Dog Food: Grains or No Grains?

When looking for a quality dried food for your dog you will probably discover that there are two types of foods, those that contain grains (such as corn or rice) and those which don’t. There have been many debates over the years about which type of food is better, and it can be very confusing for the dog owner.

Corn and rice have been used in dried dog foods for decades – for as long as dried dog foods have been in production, in fact. There are many benefits to these grains. Both add a carbohydrate that can be a good energy source for a dog. Both are highly digestible; corn is 99% digestible and has been described as the perfect carbohydrate for dogs. In a small number of dogs it may cause some allergy symptoms such as skin rashes. In this case it would be advisable to substitute with a rice formula; rice also can be easier to digest, particularly older dogs and those with sensitive stomachs.

Pet foods with no grains are a more recent development, and they have been introduced with the idea that they are closer to a dog’s natural diet. Carbohydrate sources in grain-free foods are usually other vegetables such as potatoes.

It remains a controversy as to whether or not a dog does better on a grain-free diet. There is only one thing that is very clear: some dogs do better and some do worse. The key is to look at what else is in the food. As long as it contains quality ingredients – no by products, filler or waste ingredients, artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives – and has a named meat as the first ingredient (preferably in meal form) – then the dog should be getting optimum nutrition to create good health. Beyond that it comes down to personal preference and an observation of how the dog is doing.

At Petfood Direct we can offer the dog owner a choice of grained and grain-free foods with two of the highest quality foods on the market. Pro Pac is a high-meat-based food with corn or rice as the grain source. Earthborn Holistic is grain-free food and uses chicken and/or sustainably caught native American fishes for protein and a variety of carbohydrates including potato Both are excellent choices to help ensure your dog stays happy and healthy.