Grain Free Dog Foods 

Grain Free Dog Foods 

In recent years, grain-free dog foods have become a popular choice. Pet food manufacturers have also jumped on the bandwagon and started to market versions. However, is grain-free food really the best choice for your pooch? 

Grains Used in Dog Foods 

Commercial dog foods commonly use the following grains in their manufactured foods:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Soy
  • Rye 

Grain free dog foods contain no-grain, but instead substitute carbohydrates sources in their food such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, lentils, potatoes, and peas. In many cases, grain-free foods contain MORE carbs than dog foods that are made using grains. 

Is Grain-Free also Gluten-Free? 

Gluten-free foods contain no grains that have gluten such as barley, rye, and wheat but they still might have other grains. Of course, a grain-free diet might also be gluten free, but they also may have hidden sources of gluten so unless the food clearly states, ‘gluten free’  you should not assume that the food is automatically free of gluten sources. Many commercial foods are even manufactured in factories where cross contamination can take place. 

Grains and Benefits

Whole grains are not completely bad. Sadly, grain-free food is considered all bad, but dogs can benefit from grains. as unacceptable. They are a valuable source of B vitamins, selenium fiber, carbohydrates, iron, B vitamins, magnesium. You are probably aware that grain diets have more meat to counterbalance the lack of grains. However, they are not all meat. 

Feeding a Grain Free Diet

Dogs who are suspected of a food allergy are often put on a grain-free diet. It is not uncommon for a dog to have allergies to the grains found in commercial foods. However, most food allergies are due to the meat source found in the food and not the grain. 

Grain Free Dog Food and Heart Disease 

Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened an investigation into dogs fed grain free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy. The heart condition causes an enlarged heart coupled with thinning of the heart muscle. The heart starts to weaken and fail until the dog passes away. The FDA has found that 1100 plus dogs studied with the condition were fed a diet labeled as ‘grain-free’ which gives a strong indication that they might be related. However, more research is needed. Pet owners who are concerned should discuss their fears with their veterinarians. 

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Grain Free Dog Food

Any time you decide to change your pet’s diet, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons to determine the benefits vs. the possible drawbacks. 

Pros of Grain Free Dog Food Include:

  • Ample protein
  • No harmful fillers such as wheat gluten and cornmeal
  • Easy to digest.
  • Assists in maintaining healthy weight.
  • Reduces carbohydrates which is excellent for diabetic canines.
  • Provides allergy relief in dogs prone to hair loss, hot spots, and itchiness. 

Cons of a Grain Free Diet Include: 

  • Expensive
  • Lacks omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Unknown relationship with heart disease (research remains ongoing) 


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Doggy Kingdom has excellent puppy and dog information to research and learn from.
I enjoy reading all the emails that I receive……we have a Maltipoo grand puppy, her name is Lexi and
she is almost a year old. We want the best care for her possible! So thanks for the great information!

Terry Simons

Suggestion for Linda, (March 23, 2021, whose dog is allergic to rice, poultry, corn, peas and tomatoes: Try Fruitables Pumpkin and Apple Flavor Dog Treats, 12-oz. bag for $9.99 on Ingredients: pumpkin, oats, pearled barley, potatoes, apple, vanilla, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint.


I feed my pup she’s 3years young Halo Salmon and white fish dry food mixed with pumpkin and rice and a table spoon of halo canned chicken stew or turkey stew she loves it is this healthy for her

Jerome Rabinowitz

I feed my pup she’s 3years young Halo Salmon and white fish dry food mixed with pumpkin and rice and a table spoon of halo canned chicken stew or turkey stew she loves it is this healthy for her

Jerome Rabinowitz

I just found out that my dog was allergic to the food l had been feeding her since she was a pup rice poultry rice corn peas tomatoes finding treats is hard


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