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.


Madeleine Innocent

You know how often people struggle with their dog’s health? They want to know WHY they suffer with health issues and all their veterinarian can offer is drugs and more drugs? They feel helpless and at the mercy of another.Well, what I do is to help you pinpoint WHY your dog is getting sick and implement a strategy that takes you to a feeling of empowerment, of being in control of their life. A strategy that restores their health and allows you, and them, to enjoy life.

    3 replies to "Grain Free Dog Food – The Truth is More Complex"

    • Jackie Sprong

      Scary! Thank you for the info!

    • Yvonne Nachtigal


      I have an experience that I think is worth sharing on this topic. My dog was itching herself raw, and getting hot spots that flared up, that were just horrific, and huge, like she had a bad case of poison oak. I couldn’t let her lay on the grass because it got profusely worse when she did. I just concluded she must be allergic to grass.

      She is on a grain free food from a family owned dog food company (Fromm). She gets a lot of supplements and I cook for the dogs too. So she gets everything she needs. I was giving her “organic” dog biscuits.

      Recently I heard about GMO (genetically modified) corn and wheat, and in the movie about GMO foods, the guy said “my dogs would just chew themselves up!” (Referring to eating genetically modified grains in their food.) So, I stopped the dog biscuits, and I made my own, from a flour that I had called the manufacturer to check up on, and they guaranteed me that it was NOT made from any GMO wheat. I also use corn meal in the biscuits from a non-GMO source. There’s rice flour in them too… Anyway – Here’s the bottom line: The itching is GONE – the hot spots – are completely GONE. It’s been several months now. I have no question this was what made the change – the results were immediate.

      Of course – dog food companies are going to buy the cheapest things possible. So of course they will use the cheap genetically altered grains.

      As it turns, it WASN’T a “WHEAT OR CORN allergy”, like so many vets tell you. It was GENETICALLY MODIFIED grains that were causing her so much discomfort. I forget the name of the movie, but it’s online. If anyone is interested, I’ll see if I can find it again for them.

    • Madeleine Innocent

      Hi Yvonne, that was a great lesson for us all. But I would add a couple of things – you want the No GM in writing, preferably. Sales people lie all the time when talking. It’s more difficult to, in writing.
      I would also suggest that the preservatives in dog food is one of the main causes of itch.
      Family owned businesses MAY be more accountable, but that doesn’t mean they won’t ever cut corners.
      The label ‘organic’ means nothing in pet food as it is never, in my experience, backed up by a certifying body.

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