Often it is stated “our dog is on a grain free diet”, our animal nutritionist has done some research on this topic and here is an article she thought our customers might be interested in. “We see the growth of grain-free foods while it is true that many pets do well on grain free diets, it is also true that these diets were developed more in response to consumer (i.e., human) preference than to the actual nutritional needs of our pets.
Estimations nearly 80% of the immune system resides within the gastrointestinal system; building a healthy gut supports a more appropriate immune response. Over emphasising the importance of choosing fresh proteins and healthy fats over processed, starchy diets (such as kibble) should never be overlooked. Yeast is a fungus that’s always present on pets as part of the natural flora of the body, both internally and externally. When the immune system becomes depressed, or when the dog is fed starchy foods, the yeast will proliferate in the hair follicles and throughout the body. So pet owners with itchy pets want to keep them off harmful steroids and are rightfully looking at their pet’s food as a potential cause. Pet owners now know that grains feed yeast, and with the explosion of itchy pets these days, pet food companies are making a lot of money by selling them grain-free foods.
But here’s the kicker: Grains do not cause yeast and allergy symptoms, starches are the instigators. Starches are complex carbohydrates that turn into sugar when metabolised in the body, and it is sugar that yeast loves to eat?
So how much starch is in your pet’s diet?
Starches are found not only in rice, corn and wheat but potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes – all of those ingredients found in grain-free goods. You see, there’s one massive problem with kibble: they can’t make it without starch. That starch is not only cheap to source, but it’s necessary to hold the kibble together. Without starch, your bag of grain-free dog food would be a bag of dust. So pet food manufacturers can call those foods whatever they want – but those grain-free foods, expensive veterinary allergy foods and super premium foods all have one common denominator: lots of starch!
Another popular misconception that many pet owners fall victim to is the assumption that grain-free diets are the best diets for pets with food allergies. While food allergies do occur in pets, corn and other grains are not among the most common allergens found in foods.
Does Grain Free Mean Carb Free?
Another popular feeding concept that often seems to go hand in hand with feeding grain free pet food is the feeding of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. High protein, low carbohydrate diets do have their place, particularly in the feeding of diabetic cats. However, it is important not to assume that a grain free diet is a low carbohydrate diet. In fact, some grain free pet foods contain carbohydrate levels similar to or even higher than diets containing grains. In many grain-free diets, ingredients such as potatoes replace the grains in the food, and often these components have more carbohydrates than the standard grains used in pet food. As a result, grain free and low carbohydrate pet foods are not always synonymous with one another.
Is Grain Free Pet Food More ‘Natural’?
Proponents of grain-free diets sometimes claim that grains are an unnatural source of nutrition for our pets. They argue that ancestors of our current-day dogs and cats did not eat grains. However, arguably potatoes and other forms of carbohydrates are no more “natural” for our pets than are grains. Fortunately, our pets (dogs and cats alike) have evolved to be able to digest grains as well as many other sources of carbohydrates (including potatoes).
We advocate that a Raw Meaty Bone Diet is far healthier than any processed food you may feed your pets with, Just like us, the more natural and less processing, the better our health will be.