A Dog-Loving Beginner’s Guide to Grain-Free Feeding
A Dog-Loving Beginner’s Guide to Grain-Free Feeding
Heard about grain-free diets for dogs? This way of feeding is increasingly popular across the globe. We have lots of customers looking for dog food in Dubai who come to our stores wanting to know more about going grain-free. We are always happy to help them out since we wholeheartedly recommend grain-free diets for dogs. Grain-free feeding for dogs is also frequently endorsed by veterinarians as the healthiest choice for your pet.
Read more here about the multiple benefits of grain-free feeding for your pet, as well as what to look out for when you take the plunge and switch to grain-free.
The grain-free philosophy
What exactly is meant by grain-free? Well, grain-free in simple terms means omitting foods like wheat and barley from your pet’s diet. However, it’s also about embracing a nutritious diet that focuses on high-quality and natural ingredients that are also responsibly sourced.
Here’s exactly what is meant by grain-free feeding:
Protein first and foremost
Grain-free feeding should have a high-quality source of protein as the main ingredient, usually red or white meat, or fish. Why protein? Because these foods are a source of sustained energy, ideal for active dogs, and are packed full of the nutrition your pup needs.
Whilst grain-focused foods also provide plenty of energy from carbohydrates, they are not as nutrient-dense. For this reason, they are often described as “filler ingredients” that will fill your pet’s tummy but will not provide the same long-term, sustained energy release as a protein-based food. Instead, they’ll provide a short-term peak of energy.
Grain-free pet foods focus on the wholesomeness of all ingredients. So, there shouldn’t be unexplained additives. Ingredients should be natural and recognisable.
Minimal filler foods
Neither should there be too much filler. Many pet foods use non-grain fillers like meat by-products, rice or potatoes as their main ingredient. A pet food following the grain-free philosophy will include as much protein and high-quality, nutrient dense vegetable as possible. So expect less filler and more ingredients like sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans. These will provide the carbohydrates a dog needs alongside the protein-packed main ingredient.
Just simple, natural and high-quality ingredients
In essence, a grain-free diet will provide a balanced diet that focuses on the good health of your pet by providing optimal nutrition. You will see from the label of your chosen food that all ingredients are natural, simple and recognisable foods. No cheap and unnecessary grains to bulk out the more nutritious ingredients, just high-quality, carefully chosen meats and vegetables.
How a grain-free diet benefits your dog
We’ve already talked a little about the sustained energy release that grain-free, protein-based foods provide. Are there any benefits? Definitely:
- Grain-free diets are an excellent way to help your pet maintain a healthy weight. In the hotter summer months when your dog may be using less energy, protein-based foods are even more beneficial. Vets routinely recommend higher-protein, lower carbohydrate diets for overweight pets and weight control in healthy-sized dogs.
- Diets that are high in carbohydrates cause energy peaks. This may be affecting your dog’s behaviour. Grain-free diets release energy slowly and consistently, to prevent blood-sugar highs.
- Many pet owners worry about pet foods made using genetically modified or GM crops. The truth is, very little is known about the effects of GM ingredients on our pets’ health and behaviour. If you are concerned, following a grain-free diet should allow you to stay clear of GM ingredients.
- Many veterinarians are concerned about the effects of excessive carbohydrates on dogs’ digestive systems. The primitive nature of a dog’s gut means that cereal grains are fairly difficult to digest. Over the longer term, this is known to sometimes cause chronic conditions such as food sensitivities and allergies, inflammation of the bowel and obesity. Protein-based foods are much more closely aligned to the natural canine diet.
3 grain-free pet foods we love
Ready to move your beloved dog onto a grain-free diet? Given their natural, high-quality ingredients, grain-free pet foods are considered to be “premium foods.” The good news, however, is that there is a grain-free food to suit most budgets.
Indeed, the large variety of grain-free options now available means that it shouldn’t be difficult to find the optimal food for your pet, no matter what their age, breed or size is or what their overall health picture looks like.
Here are three favourites, frequently recommended by our knowledgeable staff, along with the approximate cost per day.
Ziwipeak (Approximate cost: AED 14.4 per day)
This respected brand from New Zealand prides itself on the high meat content of its food, believed to be the highest available at an incredible 96%. As well as fresh meat, organs, bone and seafood, Ziwipeak includes necessary vitamins and minerals to ensure your pet is getting optimal nutrition. Their 100% natural, air-dried dog food comes in six different delicious flavour combinations, including lamb and mackerel, and venison.
Orijen (Approximate cost: AED 6.4 per day)
This Canadian pet food company produces high quality, high protein food with a philosophy of “Biologically Appropriate.” All their recipes use locally sourced, natural ingredients. As an example, their “original” food contains wholesome chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and free-range eggs alongside lentils and dozens of fruits and vegetables. Their foods typically contain around 75-80% meat and are completely grain-free. As a great all-around food, Orijen is a popular choice.
Vitalin (Approximate cost: AED 4.6 per day)
Vitalin is a much-loved UK, hypoallergenic and grain-free pet food created by a team of veterinarians and nutritionists. Its more affordable price reflects that it contains a little more filler like potato and rice than the above brands. However, it is still designed to provide very healthy, balanced, protein-based nutrition. Vitalin dog food is a great starting point if you are interested in switching to grain-free.
This is just a small selection of brands we happily stock and recommend at Pet’s Delight. Reputable pet stores across the globe will now be stocking a variety of nutritious, tasty grain-free options for grain-free feeding so finding the perfect food for your pet and your budget should be no problem at all. Get in touch with us today.