Is rice a grain?
Let us get this confusing question out of the way first. Many people are unsure if rice is a grain or not. The answer is yes, rice is a cereal grain. African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian rice (Oryza sativa), are both grasses and rice is the seed. Hundreds of millions of tonnes are consumed worldwide annually. Brown rice has more nutritional value and is a quality ingredient in most dog foods.
Why grain free dog food?
What is all the commotion about grains? Why do we now consider them less than ideal for our pets? Dogs are descended from wolves, and wolves are meat eaters. When foraging in the wild for meals, you will never see a wolf sit down to a meal of grass. So doesn’t this mean that our precious canines need meat instead?
Is grain free dog food better?
It is true that dogs have a much easier time digesting proteins over grains. However, they do require carbohydrates. A diet of pure protein gets costly but there are other sources of good carbs instead of grain.
So what carbs are better suited for Fido? Whole grain barley, even though it is a grain, has both high protein and fibre. Numerous health benefits are attributed to barley so it may be an ingredient you want to keep. Other carb choices with excellent vitamin and mineral content include peas, green beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
The benefits of grain free dog food
Most dogs have sensitivity to grain on some level. It may be so mild that you never notice, or it could be a severe case with obvious symptoms of an allergy. Usually you would see dry, itchy skin or ears, a rash, vomiting, or even diarrhoea. Some reactions can actually require a trip to the vet to get back on track.
Pet owners who feed grain free food have several reasons for doing so. They have reported higher energy levels, less food being consumed, better and more regular bowel movements, and a general sense of better well-being.
What is the best grain free dog food?
Keep in mind that your pet may not like the first brand you try. Ask the pet store for some samples. If they don’t have any, buy the smallest bag size possible until you know what your dog prefers.
What is the best grain free small breed dog food?
There are many brands to choose from in this category as well. Ask yourself the same questions as listed above. Be careful to ensure the food is designed specifically for the unique requirements of small breeds. Kibble size is extremely important as well, since smaller dogs have trouble chewing kibble made for larger breeds.
Grain free puppy food
When you are going grain free, you still need to pay attention to the life stage of your dog. Puppies require higher levels of protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals in order to grow properly. They should always be fed a puppy diet until your vet recommends switching them over to adult food.
Grain free dog biscuits
Biscuits are a great way to promote good oral health in your pet. There are many different varieties of grain free dog biscuits given to control plaque and tartar, or to freshen breath. Since they come in numerous flavours, you can get the kind your pup likes the best.
Best grain free dog treats
The best grain free dog treats are dependent on your preference. Make sure to get treats that are sized appropriately for your pup and their current life stage. They are available in a selection of flavours, shapes, and brands. Check label information carefully to be certain there are no undesirable ingredients, the same as you would when choosing a food. It may be a good idea to get a couple of different ones so that your dog does not get bored with having the same treats all the time.
Cheapest grain free dog food
Finding the cheapest grain free dog food will depend on where you live and what is available. You will need to do some research in order to find the lowest price. Check with online retailers and several different pet stores. They carry mostly the same products but certain brands are lower priced from one store to the next.
Gluten free dog food
There are numerous choices on the shelves for dog food without gluten. These generally high quality foods would be an excellent choice for the majority. Often this category of food is human grade. Experiment with a variety to see what is preferable to your canine’s taste buds.
Corn free dog food
Perhaps your dog is fine with wheat but corn is a problem. There are several brands of food containing no corn, yet still have other grains included. Most owners will go straight for the grain free options as opposed to taking a chance with their pet, but if your vet has done allergy tests and corn is the only culprit, this category of food makes perfect sense.
With corn being so hard to digest in both animals and humans, a side benefit to omitting this grain will be better bowel movements. A good source of information about these brands will come directly from the vet. Although they may have a preferred brand, you should be able to get several product recommendations.
Wheat free dog food and treats
Wheat is used as a thickening agent or other type of filler. Both food and treats can be purchased which contain other grains except for wheat. If your dog is sensitive to wheat, or if you are trying to cut down on the amount of grains that they consume, consider making the switch.
Products are available for all breeds, sizes, and life stages. With the wide variety of flavours available from manufacturers, a bit of experimentation might be needed to find the one your pet prefers. Ask your pet store what brands they sell the most of to others who have the same type of dog you do.
Purest dog food
What is the purest dog food? Some people believe that it would be a meat-only diet. Others are of the opinion that no artificial colours and flavours is what it takes. Personally, if I were to pick the purest dog food for my pets, I would go with grain free (except for rice), real meat as the first ingredient, no by-products, no fillers, no artificial anything, non-GMO, added vegetables and fruits, and quality protein sources like buffalo.
Who should use these?
Grain free dog food reviews
Taking the time to read reviews from other owners is an invaluable source of information. We consider our pets to be our children, so when something hurts them, we are quick to make other people aware.