Grain Free Dog Food - Why?

Grain free dog food seems two have two distinct camps of followers;

Those who believe grains do not form part of a dogs natural diet and

Those researchers who attribute many allergy problems that dogs experience being due to grains being part of manufactured dog food ingredients.

Let's look at each view separately.

Natural Diet Reason.

Grain is not part of the natural diet of the Gray Wolf

Genetic studies tell us that our domestic dogs are a direct descendant of the Gray Wolf and apparently the DNA is a match of 99.8% as per this finding;

“The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the Gray Wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mtDNA sequence....

In comparison, the Gray Wolf differs from its closest wild relative, the Coyote, by about 4% of mitochondrial DNA sequence.”

Source: Robert K. Wayne, Ph.D.

“Molecular evolution of the dog family”Theoretical and Applied Genetics

Geoff Bowers founder of K9 Natural Dog Food spent time studying the eating habits of the Gray Wolf to determine what would be the ingredients of the dog food that his company was to be produce. It will come as no surprise to grain free dog food supporters that grain was not found to be part of the Gray Wolf diet!

Second often cited Reason.

Second reason for grain free dog food is the attribute of allergies towards grain within dog food recipes.

I believe this concept is concerning dog owners and is most likely the cause of the groundswell of an increasing buyer preference for grain free dog food

More and more manufacturers are promoting their "new grain free range".

In fairness it appears quality dog food producers have either never had grain in their recipes or they dropped grain inclusion a long while back.

Will your dogs' allergy be cured with the use of a grain free recipe? Maybe and maybe not!

It should be said that dogs are not solely allergic to grains.

Here's a list of possible contributors and I believe this is in order of "suspect status"! Beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs, corn, wheat, and soy.

Eye opening isn't it! Confused? I know I was!

It comes down to this - allergies in dogs are not solely related to whether there is grain in the ingredients recipe however given the number of quality manufacturers that promote their product as "grain free", they must have some reason to do so, it is a starting point.

If, after switching to a grain free recipe your dogs' symptoms do not change within say 10 - 12 weeks then you will need to consider other possible culprits, and just keep eliminating them one by one.

More in depth reading on allergies and intolerance can be read here

Also covering the subject are these 12 articles

Another point to consider is it may not have anything to do whatsoever with food - there could be one or more contributing factor.

Where to start:

As there is a lot of opinion that grain in dog food is a major contributor to allergies then switching to a grain free dog food should probably be the first step.

Become familiar with other aspects that may be causing allergies, intolerance or other health problem issues in your dog.

Is it one of the undesirable ingredients?

What about you garden shrubs and plants?

Is the dog getting some other form of bad food?

Is the food free from additives?

Any of the above can contribute to an adverse condition for your dog yet a few simple steps can make such a difference

But for me the first step would be a high quality grain free dog food selection.

Sorry folks but there is no "easy fix" solution although there are a heap of blood tests that your vet can organize that may assist (that can get expensive though!).

Don't forget that if you are switching foods do it gradually.

Okay let's now go and look at some top dog food options.

Grain free kibble (dry) page.

Here is the canned (wet) grain free page

If you have not already done so it would also be worth a visit to to my page on hypoallergenic dog food.



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