Grain free dog foods have become a favorite for those wishing to more closely mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet… and to lessen the risk of food allergies.
Compared to the typical kibble or canned food, the best grain free recipes contain more meat based protein as well as easy-to-digest animal fats.
And usually fewer carbohydrates, too.
Not only are grains like corn and wheat a frequent cause of canine allergies1they can also be more difficult for a dog to digest.
Why Grains Can Be
More Difficult to Digest
That’s because many plant-eating animals (known as herbivores) possess one powerful weapon many carnivores (like dogs) usually lack…
Amylase is a special enzyme most herbivores and omnivores (like us humans) produce in their saliva. It’s needed to begin the break down of starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars…
Before they enter the stomach.
Now, dogs also produce amylase. But the enzyme is added further down the digestive tract… in the small intestine.
Because a carnivore’s saliva is mostly amylase-free, carbohydrates can be more difficult for a dog to digest.
What actually does make corn and other grains more digestible for a dog is the cooking process itself.
Why Kibbles Can Be Grain Free
But Never Carbohydrate Free
Compared to canned dog foods, kibbles cannot be made with just meat. That’s because the process used for making kibble requires anotable amount of carbohydrates to create a dough-like binder to hold everything together.
Since there can be no corn, wheat, barley, rice (or any other cereal grains, for that matter), novel carbohydrates must be used in their place to make grain-free kibbles possible.
And vegetables (like potatoes) appear to be the most common source of carbohydrates found in non-grain recipes.
The Bottom Line
Supporters of grain-free dog foods claim these products provide at least two important benefits…
- They’re considered hypoallergenic
- They attempt to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet
So, how can you find a quality grain-free dog food?
How We Selected the Best
If you’re looking for a quality grain free dog food, we’ve preparedtwo lists… one for dry dog foods and the other for wet.
To be selected, these products must meet two basic requirements.
First, they must have been rated at least four stars or five starsby the Advisor.
And lastly, the recipes (of course) must be grain free.
Best Grain Free Dog Foods
Choose a link below to access our lists of the best grain free dog foods…
- White, S., Update on food allergy in the dog and cat, World Small Animal Veterinary Association, Vancouver, 2001 ?