What are grains?Grains are the fruits (seeds) of grasses. As humans, we have been using them in our diet for thousands of years. They are a rich carbohydrate source that provides energy. We process them in pasta and bread, among other things. But animals also like to eat them, after all, mice like to invade pantries pantry for a reason.
You can distinguish between gluten-containing and gluten-free grains. Gluten is simply a protein present in most grains. Cereals containing gluten include barley, oats and wheat. Cereals that are gluten-free include millet and sorghum. In addition, there are also grains that contain gluten but do not cause celiac disease (gluten allergy). You can think of corn and rice. These contain a different kind of gluten.
Benefits of grain in dog foodThere is a lot to consider about grains in dog food. Is it a cheap filler, or is it actually a valuable energy source?
In principle, grains are very beneficial. It is not without reason that the wolf first eats the stomach and intestinal contents of its prey. This gives the predator grains to complete its diet, giving it lots of energy. In addition, the glucose that comes from the grains is crucial during pregnancy and lactation for female wolves. The grains are also very important for dogs for the same reason.
In addition, grains ensure that dog food can bind well. This way your dog gets tasty kibble that is also nice and crispy.
Why consider grain-free dog food?Despite the many benefits of grains, many people still opt for grain-free dog kibble. And that is not necessarily good or bad. There is certainly a large group of dogs that cannot tolerate grains. When they eat grains, their resistance deteriorates and their condition and coat are affected. So these dogs really need grain-free kibble.
In many cases, people opt for grain-free in connection with an allergy. But did you know that most allergies are not related to the grain at all, but to a certain animal protein source? In that case, switch to kibble with one animal protein source and use an elimination diet to see which kibble is suitable for your dog.
Dog food qualityWe can also talk about the quality of the kibble. The fact is that grains are relatively cheap. So when a brand puts relatively cheap kibble on the market, chances are that it mainly consists of grains and empty fillers. A good reason to choose grain-free is the overall kibble quality. There is a good chance that grain-free kibble is of a higher quality as a whole and, therefore, contributes more to your dog’s health.
A high percentage of grain in the kibble can be an indication of lower quality but that is certainly not necessarily the case. There is a large number of high-quality brands with healthy kibble that contains grains.
Grains for a balanced mealIf your dog has no allergies or hypersensitivity, grains are a healthy addition to the diet. The dog food can, therefore, safely contain a large portion of grains in addition to the meat. The main point of attention here is that the grains must be unlocked. This makes them easily absorbable and valuable as an energy source.
When the wolf gets grains through its diet, they are already digested. That is why wolves can absorb the grains well. We have to imitate this process with dog food because otherwise, the dog cannot process the grains sufficiently. This is done by cooking the grains. A good dry dog food only contains digestible grains and can be fed with confidence. These grains thus form a valuable component of dog food.
Conclusion - opt for dog food with grains
- Cereals contain high quality and useful nutrients
- Grains are also essential to the diet of wolves (ancestors of dogs)
- Dogs have adapted to a more omnivorous diet, including grains, during domestication
- Grains support the intestinal flora and intestinal function
- They are an excellent source of carbohydrates for energy
- Always go for high-quality kibble.
- Does your dog have a gluten allergy? Then switch to gluten-free, not grain-free dog food.