Over the past few years, a grain-free diet has become a more popular option among responsible pet parents. Today, there is more awareness than ever before when it comes to the high amounts of wheat, corn, and soy products that are often packed into commercial dog food. Pet owners these days know: fillers and are not always the best choice for your dog. A grain-free diet eliminates these ingredients to ensure that your dog is getting a well-balanced diet filled with nutrients like animal fats and protein.
If you are considering switching your dog to a grain-free diet, think of their individual health requirements and any other needs first. Every dog is different, so it’s important to make a tailored approach to ensure that your pet is getting the right nutrients for them. But there are definitely some obvious benefits to grain-options.
Do you have a specific question about the benefits of grain-free diet? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- Is grain-free more nutritious?
- Grain-free and dogs with food allergies
- Does grain-free food improve digestion?
- Does grain-free affect a dog’s coat?
- Will a grain-free diet make my dog more energetic?
- How it affects dog smell?
- Can dogs lose weight on a grain-free diet?
- How to switch to a grain-free diet the right way?
Is grain-free more nutritious?
You can usually rely on grain-free dog food to be more nutritious and balanced for your dog than cheap kibble from the supermarket. Many commercial pet food brands will include huge amounts of grain products in their foods to keep production costs down and make as much as possible for the lowest price.
Because of this, many commercial dog foods that you can find today tend to be lower in nutritional value. While they will surely fill your dog up, they may not provide all the nutrients they need for optimal health and wellbeing. On the other hand, grain-free dog food has much lower carbohydrate quantities. It tends to be much higher in healthy fish and meat proteins, fiber, healthy fats, and vegetables.
Grain-free and dogs with food allergies
It can be beneficial to consider switching your dog to a grain-free diet if they suffer from food allergies. Many dogs are allergic to corn and wheat. And these two are common ingredients in many commercial dog food brands. It can be worth making the switch if your dog has shown any potential allergy symptoms.
Excessive licking of the paws, an itchy bottom, or diarrhea that lasts for longer than twenty-four hours can all be signs and symptoms of a possible food allergy. Although some dogs are allergic to proteins, it is often more common for them to be allergic to certain grains. You can work together with your vet to put your dog on an elimination diet and find out exactly what they have an allergic reaction to. So after all, you can choose their future diet based on this information.
Does grain-free food improve digestion?
For many pet parents who switch their dog over to a grain-free diet, one of the first benefits they will notice is improved digestion. Dogs are not biologically capable of fully digesting the majority of grains. This is why a dog fed a diet of commercial food might experience digestive problems like constipation, flatulence, or diarrhea. Grain-free dog food does not contain any ingredients that are hard for dogs to digest.
So that everything will pass through your dog’s digestive system easily and is usually less prone to causing problems like stomach upset. Bella & Duke, a company that offers prepared, grain-free, nutritious meals for your dog, explains why choose grain-free dog food in details. For example, if your dog is suffering from digestive problems currently, switching to a grain-free diet can be very helpful.
Does grain-free affect a dog’s coat?
If your dog’s coat has been looking dull and lifeless lately, it could be their diet that is to blame. Making the switch to a grain-free diet can be very beneficial for your dog’s coat’s health and condition. This is because foods high in grains simply don’t give your dog the right amount of healthy oils and other nutrients necessary for optimum coat and skin health.
Grain-free dog food tends to have a much higher protein content and is often high in omega-3 fatty acids that will improve the condition of your dog’s coat and make it thicker and softer. Adding extra protein to your dog’s diet can also minimize shedding by making the fur stronger.
Will a grain-free diet make my dog more energetic?
A grain-free dog food diet can be an ideal option if you have noticed a difference in your dog’s energy levels. If you feel that your dog is not as energetic as it should be for its breed and age, the diet could be blamed. Dogs require protein in their diet as energy sources, which is not always provided in the optimum quantities from commercial dog food brands.
On the other hand, Grain-free dog food is high in proteins and therefore a great energy source for your dog. Many pet parents who switch to grain-free find that their dogs are more energetic and perform better at activities than when eating their old diet.
How it affects dog smell?
Some dogs can be smelly – but it’s not something that you have to put up with forever, as it’s often the diet to blame. Dogs fed a diet that is high in grains might suffer from bad breath, excessive flatulence, or has soft and disgusting smelly poops. Switching to a grain-free diet could be the solution to your smelly dog problems. It will often lead to healthier and firmer poops, fewer digestive problems, and better breath.
Can dogs lose weight on a grain-free diet?
Packing a few extra pounds can be a health risk for your dog. Dogs that are overweight are similar to humans. So extra pounds can often put them at a much higher risk of severe health complications and diseases.
Another benefit of switching to a gain-free diet for your dog is that it can be an excellent way to control your dog’s weight and help them reach a healthier size. When dogs are getting many carbs in their diet and not doing enough exercise to burn it all off, they will often put weight on. On the other hand, grain-free dog foods are higher in proteins and vegetables with much lower carbohydrate content than grains.
How to switch to a grain-free diet the right way?
If you’d like to try out grain-free dog food for your dog to see if they will benefit, it’s crucial to plan how you will switch your dog over. For a raw diet, it is best to make a straight swap since kibble. And raw food requires different times and pH levels in the gut to digest and can lead to stomach upset for your dog if fed together.
Switching your dog over to their new diet for the first meal of the day is typically the best option. Keep an eye on your dog and keep their new food simple so that they can get used to it before you add other options.
Grain-free dog food is gaining more popularity as people begin to see all the benefits it can have for your dog’s wellbeing.
Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com
Doghint.com is a participant of several affiliate programs. The list includes (but not limited to) the following: VigLink, Refersion, ShareASale, and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Doghint.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. All published articles are meant for informational purposes only and not substitute the professional veterinary consultation.