April is Active Dog Month
The month of April is Active Dog Month. This month-long…
We all want to give the best care possible to our best furry friends, just like our own children. Perhaps more than any other, the grain-free dog food trend has taken the pet industry by storm. There are many reasons to go grain-free, but here are just a few.
Your dog shows signs of food allergy
Switching to a grain-free food may have positive effects for dogs who suffer from food allergies. Some breeds, such as Retriever breeds, Boxers, Collies, and more are at a greater predisposition for food allergies, and may not respond to grain-free food as well as others. Always speak to your vet before switching your pet’s food. If you’re unsure if your pet has an allergy, look for these symptoms, and inform your vet if you observe them:
There are plenty of health benefits
The impetus behind the grain-free pet food revelation stems from the observation that dogs and cats evolved from larger breeds of their species that maintained a solely carnivorous diet. Many vets today recommend that the average house pet’s diet consist of include no more than 10% grains. Foods higher in protein (meat) content and lower in carbs or grains are easier for your dog to digest. Additionally, high-protein diets help your pet feel fuller for long periods of time and tend to provide your pet’s with more energy. Because lower grain content means more of the nutrients and ingredients in your pet’s food are digested, his or her stools will become smaller, less frequently, and more easily passed. You may also notice your pet’s coat is smoother and healthier, and she may even shed much less.
Your pet doesn’t seem excited about her current food
Sometimes our pets seem to get “burned out” on the food they’ve eaten for years. There could be a number of reasons for this. But if your pet isn’t interested in his or her food anymore, it may be a good time to switch.
If you’re concerned about what’s in your pet’s food, check the label of his current food and ask your vet for a recommendation. If you do decide to switch, gradually mix the new grain-free food with your pet’s current food over the course of about a week until you have completely replaced it. During the switch, pay attention to your pet’s stool (having a pet is a glamorous lifestyle) to be sure he or she isn’t constipated or suffering from diarrhea. If you notice abnormalities, mix the two foods more slowly.
Rest assured, you are not a bad pet parent if you’re not feeding super expensive grain-free food. Your pet’s diet is a decision best made between you and your vet to find the right food for your best friend.