Is Grain Free Dog Food All It's Cracked Up To Be?
With most people becoming a lot more aware and proactive when it comes to their own diet and lifestyle, it only seems fitting that they are also applying this way of thinking to their pets. In our minds, this is great! The inclusion of fresh foods in a pet's diet can be a huge contributing factor to longer, healthier lives for those pets! And who doesn’t want their pet to live for longer with them?
The sad fact is though, that pet food companies have also cottoned on to this idea of the more educated pet owner and what they’re now looking for in their pet foods. The notion of ‘grains are bad and unnecessary’ for your pet is now fairly well established amongst pet owners, alas GRAIN FREE kibble was born from pet food companies and is being promoted everywhere you look as the “better” option for pet food.
A ‘grain free’ product CAN be better for your pet if it is meeting all the nutritional requirements necessary, but do not rely on the clear GRAIN FREE labelling to guarantee that it’s automatically the superior product. In fact, sometimes products labelled grain free are actually worst for your pet nutritionally.
This bring up the question, are GRAINS really the problem??
Looking Beneath The Surface
Now, here’s the secret pet food companies don’t want you to know; the real problem ingredient or nutritional analysis (that isn’t required by law to be listed on pet foods) is CARBOHYDRATES.
Carbs can come in many different forms, including potato, sweet potato, pasta, lentils, peas (pea starch), chickpeas, tapioca (none of these are grains) plus many more and are just about always included in dry pet foods as this is the easiest way for manufacturers to bind the product together to make kibble (small dry biscuit). You have to actually take a deeper look as to what is in grain free kibble.
Why Is There An Issue With Carbs?
The first thought that might come to mind is, don't we need carbs for energy? This reasoning is based on human nutritional needs, not on the species appropriate needs of dogs and cats. The optimal diet for dogs and cats is far different to a human's.
Dogs and cats get their energy requirements from protein and fats and are not biologically set up to process mass amounts of carbs. And did you know that unused carbs turns into starch which then turns in sugar?
So basically a high carbohydrate filled diet for your dog or cat is essentially a high sugar diet! And then we wonder why there’s an epidemic of sugar related health concerns like obesity, cancer and diabetes currently amongst our pets!
Carbs can be included in your pets overall diet (10% or less), but not in the quantities that most kibble companies are supplying them in in your pets food.
To work out the carb content in your pets food, try this simple formula written by the Dr. Karen Becker (remember you ideally want it to be 10% or less).
Read The Nutritional Guide On Your Pets Food
Start with 100 – protein % - fat % - moisture % - ash % (if not listed, assume 6%) = carb % total.
How does your pets food look for carbohydrate content?
For more info, please get in touch with us and we’d be more than happy to help you and your pet towards a healthier tomorrow. And yes, just as a an end note, our fresh dog food is naturally grain-free and kibble-free.