Articles of interest
Grain free Dog v's Wolf(January 20, 2010)
No grain diets are the new rage in the pet food industry, and many people are putting their dogs on grain free diets. Grain free diets tend to be more expensive than more traditional dog foods, so many consumers wonder if a no grain diet is worth the extra expense. Here we'll look at some arguments for feeding no grain diets, to help make a decision as to if they are right for your dog.
Dogs are Genetically Related to Wolves
One of the main arguments for feeding a dog a grain-free diet is that the wolf is the ancestor of the domesticated dog, and they both have similar dietary needs.
Though dogs and wolves are carnivorous, both animals ingest plant matter. Much of this plant matter would come from eating the internal organs of herbivorous animals, and grazing on plants during the spring and summer months. Carbohydrates that come from plants have always been an important part of the diets of dogs and wolves.
Dogs broke away from wolves thousands of years ago, and have developed different dietary needs as they became domesticated. There are claims that the pet dog of today is only two percent different genetically from the wolf, but this is the same percentage of genetic difference that people share with chimpanzees.
Men and women are also two percent different from each other genetically. A woman does not eat the same foods as a chimp, but probably the same food as a man. Genetics is a relatively new science, so basing nutritional claims on genetic similarities between dogs and wolves may not be the best way to choose a diet for your dog.
Grains Cause Allergies in Dogs
This claim, in some cases, is true. Wheat and soy often do cause allergies in animals, so it is best to avoid these ingredients in dog food.
Corn, on the other hand, is a touchier subject. Once corn is cooked properly, it becomes a very digestible source of protein and carbohydrates for dogs.
Corn contains essential fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat.
Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and lutein are natural antioxidants that are present in corn.
Corn should not be the main source of protein in a dog food, though. Dogs need a varied diet to stay healthy, so pay attention to the first three ingredients on a dog food label to ensure that it doe not contain too much corn.
While too much corn in a dog food can cause health problems, corn in and of itself is not harmful.