Can Your Dog Benefit from a Grain-Free Diet?
Whether your dog is suffering from a debilitating disease like Cushing’s or just lagging in energy as they age, small changes can make a big difference to improve your pet’s overall health. Switching a dog’s diet can impact their well-being for a number of reasons.
One way to change a dog’s diet is to remove grain. Canine journal lists the possible benefits of grain-free dog food as more energy, fewer allergies, and a healthier coat among others. Some studies suggest that grain-free diets for dogs allow for easier digestion, aiding other body systems. Holistic vets recommend grain-free diets that are high in natural proteins to increase the vitality of your pet. Because many dog foods are filled with simple carbs like corn, wheat, and barley, dogs experience a quick burst of energy that is not sustained, much like in their human parents. Substituting vegetables and healthy carbs like chickpeas and sweet potatoes allows for dogs to be more satisfied and even more energetic.
Manage Health Problems by Eliminating Grain
Removing grain can impact a nutrition-based management of certain diseases as well as inflammation within a dog’s body. Cushing’s disease, the number one endocrine disorder diagnosed in dogs, has been linked to a dog’s gut health. By improving and aiding digestion with grain-free and probiotic-rich diets, as well as using natural supplements, many dogs have shown a vast improvement or have even become symptom-free of the disease. Eliminating grain makes it easier for dogs to digest and take in nutrients from supplements like CushAway that can aid in the reduction of endocrine disorder causes and symptoms.
Grain-free diets for dogs may also help with food allergies or sensitivities. These foods offer more protein and grain substitutes like peas and potatoes which can be easier for allergy-suffering canines too.
Grain-Free Diet Options
There are a few choices when it comes to grain-free food. Grain-free kibble uses proteins from whole foods as well as fruits and vegetables to provide a healthy meal. A raw-diet, which is inherently grain-free, means feeding dogs animal protein (with bones and organs included) as well as vegetables. Fish is also highly recommended as a part of this diet, as is keeping starch out.
When making the switch to grain-free, vets suggest working into the new diet slowly. Feed dogs using partial grain-free food, adding a little more each time until the entire meal is replaced. Monitor your dog for changes in stool that may indicate constipation or diarrhea. It can also take up to twelve weeks for changes to noticeably affect your dog.
Why Pet Nutrition Matters
With obesity rates on the rise in dogs, many are turning to diet as a means of improving their dog’s health. The Scientific World Journal reported in a research study on feeding habits of dogs and cats that the most common factor owners used in deciding what food to buy for their animals was if the food was healthy for their pet. Ingredients were the second most deciding factor. But how do you know which ingredients are healthy, and how do you know what constitutes proper nutrition for your pet? Whether you use grain-free diets for dogs or not, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association urges that you should look for manufacturers that have a full-time nutritionist on staff. They also suggest using the feeding directions on a label only as a basic guideline, using a vet’s recommendation formulated specifically to meet the needs of your pet.
Make the Best Choice for Your Dog
A grain-free diet may be the best answer in making changes to improve your dog’s lifestyle. Be sure to have a conversation with your veterinary professional about the considerations and potential benefits for your four-legged friend. Check for nutritional integrity in the pet food you choose to give your pet the best life. A healthy diet can be the beginning of a renewed vitality for your dog.