What To Feed My Dog?
It’s always important to choose the best quality dog food for your dog. Dogs are carnivores and they do need quality sources of meat protein. Feeding your dog a top quality meat-based pet food does not mean, however, that you have to feed your dog a ‘raw food’ diet; there are a number of dog food companies making high quality, meat-based dry foods that contain grains.
Can My Dog Eat Grains?
Dogs can digest grains. Over centuries of domestication, dogs have adapted to accommodate grain in their diets. Your pet dog is not genetically equivalent to the ancient wolf he evolved from. There are numerous genetic variations, or mutations, between the ancient wolf and today’s pet dog and it is speculated that these mutations are what allowed the early ancestors to thrive on the discarded wheat and other starches of early farmers and probably led to their domestication.
Each Dog Is Different
Not every diet is right for every dog: dogs are individuals. It is fair to say though, that most dogs do very well on quality dry pet foods that contain grains. In fact, some pets do better on diets with grains because of their high fibre content.
Dog Food Proportions
When dogs do poorly on dry foods, it is not necessarily grains that are the issue, but the proportions. High quality foods for dogs should have protein as the first ingredient, and shouldn’t be packed with additives and unnecessary fillers; the grains or other carbs should only be a small part of the food.
Lower-quality brands may rely too much on plant-based starches as fillers and use by-products such as “meat and bone meals” which are heavily processed. The resulting cheaper pet foods are nearly always a poor choice when attempting to nourish a meat eater. The importance of quality, nutrient dense, and highly digestible pet food products cannot be overstated.
Grains For Energy
There are lots of high quality dog foods available which have low to moderate amounts of grain from good sources. The grains are used as carbohydrate components, and not as protein or fillers. Dogs need carbs; they are a good source of energy for the brain, body and nervous system.
The guts in most dogs’ digestive systems have certainly adapted to some grains. However, the grade, quality, amount and kind of grain you feed to your pet is the key.
Grains are not bad, except when grains are used as the basis for commercial foods, in other words when grain is listed first on the label. Check out the ingredients label on your dog’s food. If they list corn, wheat or soy as the first ingredients, you may consider changing to a brand that lists protein as one of the main ingredients. Dogs are happier and healthier when meat, poultry, lamb and fish are the foundation of their diets.
Most dogs do very, very well on some grains while a few may have food allergies and do better on a totally grain-free diet. Pets with food allergies will usually display their symptoms by rubbing their face and ears, or by licking their paws or anus. So if your pet is not looking too happy, ask your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist “can my dog eat grains?”. They’ll work with you to find out what the best type of food for your pet is.
Check Your Pet Food Label
Can my dog eat grains? Yes. Most dogs don’t need to eat grain-free food if they don’t have any allergies to grains. If you want a high quality dog food for your dog, there are lots of good foods that have low to moderate amounts of grain along with great ingredients: check the label!
At Auckland Kennel & Cattery we feed your dog a diet that is both balanced and nutritious. Dogs under our care at our kennels and Auckland dog day care are fed Eukanuba and Royal Canin. We are also happy to give your pet their own special dog food when provided.