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What Are the Benefits of Feeding My Dog a Grain-Free Diet?

What Are the Benefits of Feeding My Dog a Grain-Free Diet? 

Why grain-free dog food? 

Main benefits of grain-free dog food 

Health from the inside out 

Less risk of food allergies and intolerances 

Nutrients and Value 

Aesthetic Benefits 

How to transition your dog to a dry food diet 

As a responsible dog owner, you always want to make sure that your dog is happy and healthy. Ample exercise mixed with mental stimulation and games can go a long way in ensuring your dog is healthy both physically and mentally. 

But what about your dog’s diet? Are they getting the best nutrition to lead a long, healthy life? The health of your pet really depends on the choices you make. Understanding the ingredients in your dog’s food is the first step towards better health. 

Grain-free food can be a fantastic option for dog owners looking to feed their pups a healthy meal while also cutting out the bad ingredients that you want to avoid. 

Why grain-free dog food? 

I’m sure you’ve seen items labeled ‘grain-free’ in grocery stores and restaurants. So what’s the fuss all about then? Let me begin by saying that grains are a perfectly healthy ingredient to be included in pet food, as well as grain-free diets. Either choice is perfectly appropriate for your pet’s nutritional health. 

But, and this is very important, they need to be correctly formulated. While whole grains are often a better choice when selecting a grain diet, it all comes down to your dog’s individual needs and your preference as their owner.

Main benefits of grain-free dog food 

Feeding your dog a grain-free diet comes with many advantages such as providing high nutritional value, healthier skin, and plenty of other benefits. 

Health from the inside out 

Your dog’s digestive tract does much more than just processing the food that they eat. In fact, the gut plays a key role in natural immunity to diseases, and maintaining a healthy gut can contribute to a healthy dog. 

New research suggests that having a variety and blend of carefully selected fiber sources can create an environment in the digestive tract that leads to an optimal balance in the gut. Having a diverse blend of prebiotics provides nutrition for the gut bacteria, which in turn nourishes the whole body. 

Less risk of food allergies and intolerances 

Food sensitivities can be quite frustrating and can cause numerous health issues and discomfort for dogs. In fact, many dog owners are actually unaware if their dog is suffering from a serious allergic reaction due to the food that they are consuming. While food intolerance describes any scenario where your dog is having trouble digesting a certain ingredient (like human lactose intolerance), a food allergy is a bit different. Food allergies in dogs occur when there is an extreme response in their immune systems. 

Symptoms of dog food allergies vary greatly and can range from mild to life-threatening. If your dog has any of the following symptoms, talk to your veterinarian, and consider switching their food to a grain-free variety. 

  • Skin irritation or rash 
  • Excessive gas 
  • Vomiting 
  • Frequent infections 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Itching skin with chronic chewing/biting at the affected area

Even if your canine companion displays none of the above symptoms, that doesn’t necessarily mean their current diet works perfectly. Food intolerance, although not usually as severe as allergies, still pose a serious risk to the health of your dog. 

Nutrients and Value 

High-quality grain-free dog food is a completely different story. As is the case with most other super-premium dog foods, you can most likely count on reducing the amount of food you give your dog once you make the switch to a grain-free diet, which also helps them maintain a balanced weight. 

Some dog owners feel slightly shocked when they see the price of premium grain-free food. But, if you factor in the smaller amount of food required to feed your dog as well as the reduced health problems and potentially fewer vet visits, you may find that super-premium grain-free food is in fact a far more affordable option. 

Aesthetic Benefits 

While the medical and nutritional benefits of grain-free dog food are typical enough to make owners switch, it can also make your dog look much healthier. Grain-free dog food can help prevent your pup from getting flaky skin. Additionally, it can give them a shinier coat, whiter teeth, and can drastically improve the smell of their breath. 

How to transition your dog to a dry food diet 

Switching your dog from a wet food diet to a dry food diet is no simple task. If you switch too quickly, numerous health problems can arise such as an upset stomach or possible digestive issues. So, to make the transition safely, you must gradually do it over many days or weeks depending on the sensitivity of your dog. 

  1. Transition slowly – As I mentioned above, transitioning too fast will most likely give your dog an upset stomach. Ideally, this process should take around two weeks, but may take longer depending on the sensitivity of their stomach. 
  2. Mix wet and dry together – You want the transition to be as smooth as possible. So, mix both types of food together while gradually decreasing the amount of wet food and increasing the amount of dry food. After about two weeks, your dog should be consuming only dry food but of course, it may take longer depending on the dog. It’s crucial that you mix both foods together thoroughly so your dog can’t

choose what type of food they want to eat. Start by giving them around 75% wet food and 25% dry food. 

  1. Half and half – Once you think your dog is ready to continue making the transition, give them 50% of dry food and 50% of wet food. They should now be getting an equal amount of wet and dry food mixed together. 
  2. Move to 25% wet food and 75% dry food – At this point, you’re making fantastic progress, and you’re nearly finished. This part should probably last for around three to four days so they have plenty of time to adapt to their new portions. 
  3. Only dry food – Great job! You finished transitioning your dog to a fully dry food diet. Your dog should be happy and healthy, but if you notice any problems, check in with your vet to make sure your dog is healthy.

Author: jeff

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