Dog Nutrition Guide | Against the grain – Feeding your dog a grain-free diet
If you’re finding that your dog’s tummy is extra sensitive, it could be time to go against the grain and opt for foods free from wheat, soy, corn or barley.
We aren’t suggesting that your pooch cuts the carbs all together, but there are some tasty and trouble-free alternatives to consider, such as white or sweet potatoes, green peas, carrots and chickpeas. Barking Heads and Wafcol offer some premium potato alternatives that won’t break the bank.
A lot of pet owners find that rice works as a great substitute, even though strictly-speaking it isn’t entirely grain free. Arden Grange Lamb & Rice dog food is especially popular for sensitive tums. If you decide to include rice in your dog’s diet, closely monitor them for any clues that may point towards a sensitivity (itchy skin or gastro-intestinal problems are the most common indicators).
Don’t worry if you have to remove grains entirely from your dog’s diet – many owners are choosing to do this even if their dog doesn’t suffer from an intolerance. Grains were never previously a part of canine diets – their ancestors generally fed on live prey and sporadic fruit and vegetables. Whilst your pooch can enjoy improved digestion from a grain-free diet, you may even notice a positive change in your pup’s skin and coat health – and of course, their mood and energy.
Whilst forgoing the grain is something to consider for every dog owner, there are some dogs who should certainly be sticking to a grain-free diet. Your vet can offer in-depth information but we’d suggest seeking advice if your dog suffers from diabetes, kidney issues, is inactive or overweight.
Perhaps you have recently changed to a grain-free diet and are disappointed with the lack of results? Don’t give up. It can take up to twelve weeks for food sensitivities to respond to the change in diet and most vets recommend persevering with the new food for around six to eight weeks. At the same time, cut out anything that could be interfering with the results, such as treats or the occasional fork-full from your own plate – no matter how pleading those puppy dog eyes!