Grain-Free Pet Foods

grain free dog food

Around 2005, humanization in pet foods became a key influencer in numerous product development trends.  When we think of the most recent, full-blown human trends, the first thing that comes to mind is gluten-free and paleo diets. In the pet industry this translates to grain-free and “the ancestral diet.”  Approximately 25% of the US market jumped on the grain-free band wagon – many consumers whose pets appeared to have allergies were led to believe that their pet had an allergy to wheat and grains.  In fact, many studies prove that very few dogs and cats have true food allergies.  Studies actually prove that most dietary allergies are from proteins, not grains.  Similarly, no studies have proven that grain-free diets are better for dog’s health.  It appears that there is now a growing backlash initiated by the FDA against grain-free foods.  In response, at this year’s SuperZoo Conference in Las Vegas, many companies are now launching new products featuring claims such as “grain-friendly, grain-in, whole grains or ancient grains.”  My personal thought on the subject is not to worry so much about the grains, but the unidentifiable ingredients.  I also strongly believe that every pet owner needs to know how to read an ingredient label.  Don’t take the manufacturers commercials at their word.   Make sure your first four to five ingredients are items that you yourself would eat.  Then, on a day when you’re feeling especially strong stomached, do some research on what “chicken byproducts” are.  Don’t let the word chicken fool you!!  More than likely if real wholesome chicken breast was used, your dog would not be wildly scratching at itself!!

*Some facts have been taken from Petfood Industry Magazine

1 thought on “Grain-Free Pet Foods”

  1. I was sucked into the “grain-free” push, paying top dollar for foods that touted the whole idea in larger print on the packaging. I have always avoided filler based foods, such as corn and soy and even rice anyway, so I assumed this was the answer. Fortunately, I haven’t had any significant changes in my dogs health but have since gone back to some grains in the foods. Besides, it can’t be all meat, I couldn’t afford that anyway. I agree with your advice on the first 4 or 5 ingredients being something that you would eat or at least, recognize. Along with that, I will use chicken or pork and beef and eggs I give in addition to the kibble that meets my personal criteria. I would LIKE to feed raw, but it isn’t financially probable with my four and only 2 of them really like raw bits I offer them anyway. I like using your treats as a way to show affection to them beyond basic shelter, food and love. The ingredients are whole foods, simple and clean, and your faithful companion deserves you being selective in what you feed them!

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