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    What Are the Benefits of Grain Free Dog Food

    What Are the Benefits of Grain Free Dog Food?

    You might be wondering, what are the benefits of grain free dog food? Get back to the basics of diet and good health for our four-legged friends. That means giving their bodies what they were designed for. From puppy hood to their mature years, dogs need lean meat to grow, develop, and thrive. 

    Consider their heritage. Today’s domesticated dogs have evolved from wolves. Thousands of generations of selective breeding have produced hundreds of breeds of dogs.

    And while they all look different on the outside, inside they retain the same basic systems of their ancestry. Wolves are meat eaters, and so are dogs. They need protein from meat and have little use for carbs, grains, and other foods. 

    Since World War II, even though manufacturers of dog foods have known this, they began using large quantities of grains to keep costs down. Indeed, even today, most dog foods on the market list a grain such as corn or wheat as one of the top ingredients.

    Such grains can have a detrimental effect on a dog’s system. Their digestive systems have great difficulty digesting fibers and grains. Over a period of time, this can cause bowel disorders, food sensitivities and allergies, leaky gut, and obesity.

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    Problems with Grains in Dog Food

    If your dog has developed, or is in the process of developing digestive difficulties or allergies, discuss this with your veterinarian. Tip offs may be changes in behavior, or a manifestation of physical symptoms.

    One of the symptoms of food allergies includes skin irritations. You may observe this in the form of very dry skin or rashes. You may notice your dog frequently licking, chewing, or biting at a particular spot as though to relieve an itch. Take a look at what has captured his attention and you may find something of concern.

    Other symptoms include loose stools or diarrhea. Of course, your dog will experience these from time to time. However, if you notice these on a recurring basis, it may raise a little red flag in your head. He may be having difficulties processing the grains in his food, and that may well be the cause of his discomfort.

    On the other hand, these symptoms in addition to bloating and frequent gas may indicate a far more serious problem called leaky gut or dysbiosis. The overuse of antibiotics is a common cause of dysbiosis, but grains may also have the same effect.

    As a result of the difficulty of breaking down and metabolizing grains, the intestinal mucosa may become inflamed. The resultant inflammation then allows for undigested food particles to pass directly into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall.

    Often you may correct dysbiosis with a change in diet to a grain-free/high protein dog food. But you need to get this checked out by a veterinarian. The symptoms may mask some other conditions such as hyperactivity, nutritional deficiencies, and certain types of cancer or dry eye. 

    Recurring and frequent ear infections might also indicate food allergies. Often associated with the weather, or swimming activities your pet might enjoy, it could very well be his food. Discuss this with your vet. It could be a food allergy.

    If your dog is very overweight, he probably needs more exercise. However, there’s a good chance his dog food contains lots of grains that his body cannot metabolize. Since his body doesn’t know quite what to do with it, it stores it as fat.

    In all cases, if you see changes in your dog’s behavior or observe a new physical symptom, take your dog to the vet. Only a medical professional can evaluate him, make a diagnosis, and make a recommendation for an effective treatment.

    Benefits of Grain-Free Dog Food

    Feeding Fido grain-free dog food has many benefits. Just as you wouldn’t do well on cat food, your dog needs food made specifically for him.

    First, feeding grain-free dog food to your dog helps prevent all the previously mentioned problems such as allergies and digestive difficulties. That will make for a much happier, healthier dog overall.

    In addition, grain-free/high protein foods pack more calories. These calories will make your dog feel fuller longer. Another upside of this is that you won’t have to give as much food which will save you some money. With the additional calories, your dog may have more energy. In addition, he’ll most likely have fewer and smaller stools, along with a lot less gas.

    Because the grain-free food has higher protein content, he’ll be getting all the antioxidants and amino acids he needs. As a result, he’ll have healthier skin and a shinier coat.  Another plus on this scale means that he will shed less, have better breath, and will be healthier overall.

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    Take a Good Look

    Now don’t rush out to replace your present dog food by tomorrow. If you decide to change dog foods, you must do so thoughtfully and with professional guidance from your vet.

    Begin by reading the ingredients on the food you are currently feeding your dog. What are the top ingredients? Take a good look at your dog. If he seems to be developing allergies or having digestive difficulties, consider changing to a grain-free dog food, but consult your vet.

    On the other hand, if he’s happy and healthy, think twice before you make any changes in your dog’s diet. Talk to your veterinarian about it and ask for his or her recommendation. If you and your vet decide to make a change, do so gradually. He or she can help you accomplish that goal.

    In either case, you should talk to your veterinarian about it. This is the medical professional who knows more about your dog’s systems than you do.  Your vet can help you make the transition with the minimal amount of disruption to your dog’s system.

    Conclusion

    Educate yourself about the specific nutritional needs of your dog and his breed. Read the ingredients list on the dog food you currently feed your pet. Observe his general health and behavior. Then talk to your vet.

    Discuss any concerns you may have about your dog’s behavior or symptoms. Listen to his or her recommendations and consider them carefully. The vet may tell you that your dog is just fine and that the dog food you’re providing is perfect for your pet. In that case, stay the course and follow that advice.

    On the other hand, the vet may think you need to make a change to see a positive difference in your pet’s health. In that case, listen to what the vet has to say, and follow his or her instructions. After all, you love your dog and want to do the best you can for him.

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    About the AuthorAngela Miller

    Hello, my name is Angela Miller. Several years ago, I rescued a little seven-year-old Bichon Frise. I started looking into dog nutrition so I could keep my little love bug for as long as I possibly could. I love my dog too much to feed him unhealthy food. I hope some of the things I've learned along the way will help you and your dog.

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