Most of us animal lovers feel that our pets are just as much a part of our family as our children or spouse, and as such, we want to give them the best we can, whether it’s for play time or nutrition. You want your dog to be happy and healthy to live with you for as long as possible, and if you’re anything like me, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve their health and overall life.
When it comes to healthy food for your dog, you can’t get much better than grain free dog food. If you’ve never heard of it before, grain free dog food is essentially dog food produced without any grains in it. This is especially great for them if they have specific food allergies, or if you just want to put them on the road to eating better food for them. In this article, we’ll be going over a few of the best grain free dog foods, as well as a few benefits that come from this pet ‘diet.’
To start off, and to cover a bit more of something we’ve already mentioned, grain free dog food is safe for pets with allergies or sensitivities to certain grains. If you aren’t sure if they are, some signs to look out for are:
- Chronic Diarrhea or Gas
- Excessive Feet Licking
- Excessive Scratching of the Hind Quarters
If you see this, but aren’t sure of what exactly constitutes as ‘excessive’ or just want to be absolutely certain, your vet will be able to confirm if it’s the grains their reacting to or something else within the food or their daily lives. They’ll also be able to assist you in making the right choice when it comes to the ideal food for your dog, so before you change their diet, definitely consult your vet first.
Another benefit is more for pregnant or lactating dogs, but grain free dog food provides the energy to produce healthy puppies, as well as providing them with all the nutrients they need to grow into happy, healthy dogs.
The second benefit overall of switching your dog’s food is weight control. Dogs aren’t much different from humans when it comes to food consumption versus energy output, and if your dog is eating a lot of grains in their food without getting enough exercise, it could cause them to put on extra weight.
Replacing their normal dog food with grain free dog food – as well as getting them to exercise a bit more by initiating walks and playtime – is a great way to help balance out their nutrition and get them back into healthier shape so they can live with you longer.
The last benefit is more noticeable on the outside, rather than the inside, but either way you and your dog will be thankful for the change. Along with reducing food allergies and helping them maintain a healthy weight, it can also help improve the appearance of their coat. Switching to a grain free diet helps make their skin healthier, their coat shinier, and can even help reduce shedding.
As with anything, you can’t always trust what’s written on the front of the packaging; some brands may say they are grain free but still contain some grains for texture, flavor, or as a filler, so always make sure you check the ingredients of the packaging before you buy it for your pet. It is also good practice to ease them into a grain free diet, rather than changing it all at once; after all, you never know how your dog will react to certain foods, so start them out on it slow by mixing it with their normal food, and monitor their behavior for a while. If there are no signs of allergy or other unusual behavior, you can slowly increase the ratio until you’ve fully converted them to a grain free diet.
Best Grain Free Dog Foods
Now that we’ve covered some of the benefits of switching your dog over to a grain free diet, here are some of the best grain free dog food brands to choose from, and why they might be right for you and your dog.
- Taste of the Wild; not only is their dog food grain free, it’s also packed with natural meats and vegetables such as Bison, Venison, Sweet Potatoes and Lamb to provide a well-balanced diet.
- FROMM Grain-Free Dog Food; FROMM offers grain free options based on your dog’s age, weight, and activity levels, and also have natural meats and vegetables such as Duck, Turkey, Peas and Potatoes.
- AvoDrem; this brand is unique because of its use of avocados along with meats and other vegetables to not only provide a nutritional balance, but a healthier coat as well.