Grain-Free Dog Food. Good or bad?
Updated: May 6
Are you confused about what food to feed your dog? You're not alone!
The pet food industry is full of confusing terminology, and it can be hard to know what's best for your furry friend. One of the most controversial topics in the world of dog food is grain-free vs. regular food. Some people swear by grain-free diets, while others believe that grains are an important part of a healthy diet for dogs.
So, which is right? Let's take a closer look at both options and see what the research has to say.
Grain-free diets were becoming increasingly popular for our pets. The theory behind grain-free food is that it is more natural and closer to what our ancestors ate. This way of eating has been shown to be beneficial for some people, but there is no evidence that it is better for dogs.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has generated a lot of headlines - and a great deal of confusion.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that grain-free diets may be linked to a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM is a serious condition that can lead to heart failure.
However, it's important to understand that this study does not prove that grain-free diets cause DCM. It simply shows that there is an association between the two.
It is also important to understand that this only applies to kibble/dry dog food. Canned, fresh, and raw grain-free diets do not show the same association.
It's possible that the dogs in the study who were fed grain-free diets were more likely to have other underlying health conditions that made them susceptible to DCM. Or it could be that the grain-free diets were not actually responsible for the development of DCM. More research is needed to determine what if any, role diet plays in the development of this condition. In the meantime, pet owners should talk to their local independent pet store owner about the best diet for their dogs.
So, should you switch your dog to a grain-free diet?
The answer may depend on your individual dog. If your dog is healthy and happy on a regular diet, there is no need to switch. However, if your dog has allergies or sensitivities, a grain-free diet may be worth trying.
Many people are surprised to learn that their beloved dogs can suffer from allergies and sensitivities, just like humans. If your dog is scratching incessantly, has runny eyes, or has a persistently stuffy nose, it may be time to consider a grain-free diet.
Grains are a common source of allergens for dogs, and eliminating them from your pet's diet can provide significant relief. Of course, it is important to ensure that your dog still enjoys a balanced and nutritious diet.
However, for many dogs with allergies or sensitivities, a grain-free diet can provide much-needed relief from uncomfortable symptoms.