Only a couple of years ago, it was not uncommon to see dog food featuring at least one of these grains – barley, wheat, or rye. However, as pet trends gradually shift from ownership to parenting, people demand healthier, grain free dog food options for their canine companions.
In fact, the driving force of the pet food market in Australia is pet humanisation. As an Australian proud of their furry buddy, are you also wondering if you should switch their diet?
This guide will tell you what the fuss surrounding grain-free food is all about.
There’s No Black and White When It Comes to Dog Food.
The main area where proponents of grain or grain-free pet food go wrong is choosing an extreme position. The primary idea behind grain-free food stems from the biological similarities between a dog and a wolf.
Proponents of grain-free food believe grains are not a part of a wolf or a dog’s natural diet. To back this claim, some dogs show grain intolerance in the form of bloating or digestive issues.
But, the same is not true for every fur baby out there. Some dogs can successfully digest grains, albeit in small quantities. To determine whether or not your dog would do better without grains, you need to check for gluten intolerance.
Signs of Gluten Intolerance and Next Steps
Naturally, the next thing you’d want to know is how to identify gluten intolerance in your pet. Well, here are some common signs and symptoms –
- The first thing to check is the coat of your four-legged friend. A strong and shiny coat is a healthy one. But, if you notice bald patches, loss of excessive hair, and constant itchiness, you’re probably looking at early signs of Celiac disease.
- Sometimes, there might even be blister-like hot spots and red (inflamed) patches across the skin. That is a sign of food allergy, mainly gluten intolerance.
- Thirdly, if you notice that your dog is continually losing weight despite being fed timely meals, they might need a diet swap.
- Though an upset tummy now and then is not a red flag, it should not be a chronic problem. If so, it’s a sign of gluten intolerance.
If you suspect your dog may have gluten intolerance, take them to the vet immediately. Based on the vet’s instructions, you can then eliminate gluten or grains altogether.
Maximising Pet Health with Grain-Free Food: Things to Remember
Now, a grain-free diet can, more often than not, do well for all kinds of dogs. But, your pet’s health depends not just on the fad but also on the supplier. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure maximum health through grain-free dog food –
- Question or carefully review the ingredients (and their nutritional values) used to prepare the grain-free food.
- Select as per your dog’s age group.
- If there are special dietary needs, take them into account.
- Go for locally sourced ingredients.
That said, grain-free dog food options are plenty, but quality options are few. It may take some time and research, but balanced nutrient ratios will ensure your dog enjoys a long and healthy life. So, worth it, right? Maximise the gains.
With this, it’s clear that grain-free pet food is not simply another passing trend. Instead, it is a lifestyle chosen by pet parents who want their fur babies to enjoy a standard of living as good as their own.