Grain Free Dog Food
Grain free dog foods have become an increasingly popular way to feed our animals in Australia. The basic concept is that grains are used as a filler and by removing grains, your animal will be on a healthier diet. There is a wide range of grain free foods for dogs & puppies that many pet owners use with fantastic results.
Grain Free Dog Food FAQ's
What grain free dog food is good for sensitive stomach?
As a general rule, a diet full of whole prey meat, organs and bone is best for those with sensitive stomachs. Removing the excess carbohydrates that sit heavily in the digestive tract will improve your sensitive dogs (or cats!) health.
Consulting a vet is important, however generally you can start an elimination diet - removing all fillers, grains and protein sources your dog is currently eating - to find out exactly what is triggering your pet's sensitivities. Single protein diets are excellent for assisting your pet through their gut issues, such as ZiwiPeaks Venison, Meals for Mutts Goat and SavourLife Lite Turkey.
For cats this is very similar, the ZiwiPeak Rabbit and Lamb tins or Venison tins is a great place to start whilst figuring out the source of your cat's sensitivities.
Once their diets have been changed for about a month, you can start adding other single protein sources to see how your dog or cat reacts! Popular diets that work well are Ivory Coat, SavourLife, Ziwipeak and Meals for Mutts. Always observe your pet and do what works best for them!
An excellent blog post on sensitive stomachs: https://www.ziwipets.com/blog/best-dog-food-for-sensitive-stomach
Here is a great resource for further reading: https://www.ziwipets.com/blog/dog-allergies
Can vegetarian dog treats provide enough protein for my dog?
Yes, vegetarian dog treats can provide sufficient protein if they are formulated with high-quality plant protein sources. Combining different plant-based protein sources can help ensure that your dog receives all the necessary amino acids.
What grain free food is good for fussy dogs?
This depends on your pet's flavour preference! If they are just fussy - no allergies at all - the scent and protein source are going to be the main deciding factors for most pets. In store, customers have had the most success with Meals for Mutts, Ivory coat and Ziwipeak.
If your pet has protein allergies or skin conditions, find a grain free diet that contains only a single protein and supports the gut health of your pet. ZiwiPeak is an excellent choice as all of their original recopies are single protein and are 96% meat, organs and bones. Balanced life and Meals for Mutts are also excellent for sensitive and fussy dogs, particularly the Grain & Gluten Free Salmon and Sardine for skin conditions, and single protein Kangaroo for dogs needing a low fat high protein diet with allergies to white meats.
What grain free food to avoid for my dog?
Any grain free food that used legumes and starches such a potato as a filler - usually making up 50% or more of their diet. This type of grain free food is very similar to generic kibble that contains grains. Small amount of well cooked or fermented legumes, starches and even grains such a quinoa are acceptable as their health benefits are easily digestible by our fluffy carnivorous friends. But dogs "have no nutritional requirement for dietary carbohydrates" (see source below) and cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need meat by necessity and will only consume the contents of fresh prey when left to their own devices. No grains to see here! Too much of these complex carbs can lead to health issues such as obesity, skin problems, trigger allergies and digestive tract diseases. However - as always - pay attention to your dog and cat! Notice their energy levels and their coat condition, both are a great indicator of how their diet is affecting them, and act accordingly.
Does my dog need high levels of carbohydrates - like those found in grains - to be healthy?
Cats-being obligate carnivores - will naturally select live prey with very low carbohydrates. High carb diets have been shown to lead to obesity, digestive tract and heart issues in domestic cats as very little has changed since their domestication.
Studies have shown that "dogs have no nutritional requirement for dietary carbohydrates" (see source below). However, it is important to consider each individual's activity level and health needs. Small amounts of well cooked grains, fruit, veggies and starches can be beneficial, however when it is making up 50% or more of your dog's kibble, a change will need to be made to avoid health issues that come from an overload of carbs and fibre!
Another great source for education: https://www.ziwipets.com/blog/expert-advice/protein-deception-dr-jodie-gruenstern-dvm-cva