Grain or No Grain? That Is the Question
Over a period of time dogs can develop food allergies. Gluten intolerance affects all breeds of dogs. Some breeds may suffer from Celiac Disease. Gluten makes up about 80% of the protein found in wheat. A wheat allergy is often not considered by dog owners, even though gluten and lectins found in wheat can create big health problems.
Watch out for fillers, including wheat grains, gluten, barley, rye, corn, and contaminated oats. Responsible dog owners read the ingredient list printed on the dog food package to know what's in the food they are feeding their beloved pets.
On the No List of ingredients are artificial flavors and preservatives. The names are sometimes not easy to recognize. Some dog food companies try to hide or disguise these ingredients on the label. Learn the names of artificial flavors and preservatives so you can stay away from brands that use the No List ingredients.
Look for ingredients that are real, with names you can pronounce–salmon and beef. Your dog will like those, too! Your dog has an appreciation of taste and flavor just like you do, for example, some dogs like beef, other dogs prefer chicken. Don't waste your money and your dog's taste buds on sub-par food with lots of by-products and fillers. There are also antibiotic free meats such as turkey, venison, and bison that are hormone free. Try organic dog friendly vegetables like sweet potatoes.
Once you have decided on a grain-free food with all the vitamins and minerals, and none of the gluten and wheat grains, it's time to begin the transition from the old food to the new food. For about a week, mix the old dog food with the new dog food, reducing the amount of old food to new food gradually until you are filling your dog's bowl with only the new food.
When you feed healthier dog foods it might cost more in the beginning. But, you get more useable nutrition which will keep your dog more full and your dog will eat less in the long run, thus reducing the cost of food. Not to mention saving on vet bills. You might want to investigate the dog food manufacturer's for recalls. Some have fewer recalls than others.
Buy your pet food from a reputable dealer rather than big box stores. You will get better service and more reputable manufacturers. Plus, employees will be more knowledgable and able to assist you with your choices.