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Should My Dog’s Diet Be Grain-Free?

Should My Dog’s Diet Be Grain-Free?

March 12th

Dogs can be sensitive to barley, wheat and corn. Is it time for your pooch to make the switch to a grain-free diet?

Does my dog have grain allergies?

Dogs can develop sensitivities or allergies to common food ingredients—even ones your pet has been eating for years. Some of the most common symptoms of food sensitivities are:

  • Itchy, bumpy, flaky skin and ears
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Although grains aren’t the only ingredients that can cause these issues, they are one of the most common.

Do dogs even need grains?

Most of the time, it’s fine to feed your dog grains unless they have an allergy or sensitivity, and it’s always better to consult your vet before making any kind of dietary change.

Although research has shown that the ancient ancestors of modern-day dogs did not consume grain, that doesn’t mean your dog can’t. Your vet can tell you whether grain is the culprit, or if something else is irritating your pooch.

If you do decide to change your dog’s diet, remember that it can take up to 12 weeks for your dog’s body to fully adjust. During this period, it’s better to avoid giving your dog any kind of human food or treats so that you can have a better idea of whether your pooch’s new diet is working or not.

Yes, healthy dogs can opt for grain-free diets, too—but again, be sure to consult with your vet first.

What are the most common grains found in dog food?

Both wet and dry dog food commonly contains corn, barley and wheat, all of which can cause distress in sensitive dogs. Wheat is the biggest offender, followed by corn. And although soy is not technically a grain, it can cause very similar issues.

Grain substitutes for dogs

Healthy carbs will keep your dogs satisfied and happy. Some dog-approved veggies and starches that we love are:

  • Green peas
  • White potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Carrots

And although rice is a grain, many dogs can tolerate it as part of their diet. Just be sure to start your dog on rice slowly!

Should all dogs go grain-free?

Not so fast. Some dogs with existing health issues may not want to switch to a grain-free diet, such as those who are:

  • Overweight
  • Inactive
  • Diabetic
  • Suffering from kidney disease

Your dog’s diet is extremely important, and it’s always better to consult with a vet before making big changes to your pup’s food.

And if you’re looking for a healthy pup to get started on the right paw, look no further than our puppy finder to locate the perfect pooch.

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