If you have been paying attention, you may have noticed lots of ads for grain free dog food. Why is this the latest trend? Is grain free dog food better for the health of your pup? We did some research to find out why grain free dog food may be the wiser choice.

What Is Grain Free Dog Food?

Grain free dog food is self-explanatory. It is canned or dried dog food that is generally high in protein and comes without the addition of grains. However, what many people do not know is that corn is also a grain. Conventional dog foods often use corn, wheat, and barley as additives to their foods. This cheapens the cost of making dog food products. A grain free dog food may cost more but the benefits of switching may be worth it. While most grains are harmless, a select number of dogs are becoming sensitive to the ingredients.

Why Consider Grain Free Dog Food?

A person is going to feed the dog with the grain free dog food

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Dogs sometimes develop allergies or sensitivities to ingredients in their food. Your pet might show symptoms of an allergy or sensitivity if they are experiencing gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or vomiting. Itchy and flaky skin is also a sign that your pet may have a reaction to the grains in their food. If your dog is scratching a lot and nothing seems to help, a grain free dog food may be the perfect solution. If you are seeing bumps on the ears that look like hives, this can be another sign of an allergy and a switch of foods can help. Often, your dog's skin will become red and irritated if there is an allergy. These are all conditions you should take seriously. However, before you panic, you might first try grain free dog foods.

Both wet and dry dog foods may contain grains such as corn, wheat, and barley so be sure to check your ingredients carefully. Healthy dogs can also go grain-free. They won't be missing out on any vital nutrients; remember, dogs in the past never ate grains. They aren't necessary or essential, so your dog will be fine if he or she discontinues consuming them.

Many grain free dog foods contain more protein and animal fats making them enjoyable and easier to digest. Dogs are canines and love the taste and heartiness of meats. A grain free dog food will have a higher content of beef, chicken or fish, instead of unnecessary grain fillers. Healthy carbohydrates in many dog foods will keep them energetic and well nourished. Dog food brands use canine-friendly veggies and starches in their recipes that will keep your pet satisfied. Look for ingredients like white or sweet potatoes, green peas, carrots, and chickpeas.

Pet owners today are looking more closely at ingredients and with the highly controversial subject of corn being GMO, many people are looking to avoid corn. Studies show that GMOs may be responsible for serious health issues. Corn is one of the most common GMO ingredients used today and it is present in many of the pet foods found on the shelves. Choosing grain free dog food will cut back on the amount of GMOs your dog eats. If GMOs are a concern for you, then you should know soy is another GMO used as fillers in many dog foods. Soy is a bean but can be hard to digest. Most grain free dog food won't put soy in their recipes.

5 Key Benefits of Grain Free Dog Food

Elimination of Allergies

Reduce Ear Infections

Healthier Bellies

Healthy Skin and Fur


To sum up, any decision to change your pet's diet should be a well-informed one. Not every dog is the same or has the same needs. As we know, they come in many sizes and breeds. Younger dogs and older dogs require different diets. Some dogs are more sensitive to food and are more prone to allergies. Veterinarians have noticed many of the larger breeds react negatively to grains such as German Shepherds, Labradors, and Dalmatians. However, this does not mean your small dog won't be affected.

You need to look at the overall health of your dog. Do they have ear infections often? Are they taking lots of antibiotics or have done so in the past? Does your dog go outside a lot which may expose it to fleas and ticks? Not all skin issues are from grains and it is important that you know whether your dog has any serious conditions that may lead to infections and/or skin problems.

Digestive tracts vary in dogs, too. If your dog is having bowel issues or gas, you want to rule out other possible causes such as parasites or worms. A grain free diet has tremendous benefits but never forget the opinion and expertise of your vet. Conventional veterinarians may not approve of changing to a grain free diet but if it is something you really want to consider, you may seek out the advice of a more holistic doctor.  

Featured Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels