There is a good market in grain free dog food, because people belief this is healthier than the food which contains grains. But in reality, most is no more healthy than those which contain grains. You need to understand the whole story before you can decide what is the healthier option.
Grains as such are a part of a wild dogs diet. However there are two provisos to this statement. One is that the grain is healthy, without chemicals, not GM, etc. The other is that the grains are only a small part of the diet.
In the wild, a dog will consume the whole of the carcass, including the stomach and its contents. The stomach contents of the animals wild dogs bring down tend to be plant based food such as grass and grain. However, the proportion of the grain to that of the meat is very small.
The commercial dog food industry is run by corporations. Their only concern is their profit. Everything else comes secondary, although they will go out of their way to try to convince you otherwise.
Because meat is the most expensive of all foods, the commercial dog food industry uses very little. To bulk this out, they use a filler. The filler is often grain, but not necessarily, although it will always be a plant based ‘food’. It can be anything that is cheap on the world market and in plentiful supply – tapioca, sawdust, newspaper, spoilt grain, crushed nut shells, sugar, fast food leftovers, the list is endless.
Dogs are omnivores, but very close to carnivores. Although they can live on an exclusively plant based diet (such as in leaner times), they are not designed to permanently.
By feeding grain free dog food, you are making a sideways move, not a move forward. The real culprit is the whole quality of commercial dog food.
All the best cuts of meat go to the lucrative human food market. You may consider that what is left over is relatively healthy and that this forms the basis of dog food.
However, what is left over is then used as a cheaper source of human food – the processed meat, the sausages, the canned meat, fast food outlets. Very little of the best cuts of meat are left over.
Generally, the animal protein that forms part of most commercial dog food comes from a source that has questionable quality and nutrition – a rendering plant. Rendering plants are the next stage after slaughter houses where rejects for human consumption go, where road kill is taken, where dead and diseased animals are taken, where butcher leftovers (such as fat) are taken, to ‘clean up’ the environment.
These are not always processed immediately.
The final straw to break the camel’s back comes from all the synthetic chemicals that are used to make the consistency more appealing, to colour, to flavour, to convince both you and your dog this is quality food, to preserve, etc.
Grain free dog food is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider the whole before making choices that affect your dog’s health, and ultimately your wallet.
Feed your dog a quality, natural diet, free from poor quality and toxic ingredients.