The high grain content found in many commercial dog and cat food brands is adversely affecting the health of our beloved pets, by increasing obesity and food allergies in cats and dogs.
As an alternative, many vets and animal nutritionists are now recommending grain free cat and dog food. Often made with more nutritious and better quality ingredients, grain free pet food boasts many health advantages.
To help you decide if it’s the right choice for your four-legged friend, we’ve put together a list of the top health benefits of grain free pet food for cats and dogs.
Grain free pet food is easier on digestion and so will help prevent nasty digestive illnesses.
Dogs and cats are designed by nature to acquire protein from meat sources not grain. It’s true; their wolf and wildcat ancestors are rarely seen grazing fields.
In fact, dogs and cats find it difficult to process grains as they lack large quantities of amylase - the enzyme that breaks down starch heavy carbohydrates.
Undigested grains can cause damage to the lining of the digestive system and bowel inflammation disorders, as well as food sensitivities and allergies.
For this reason many nutritionists favour more natural cat and dog foods that mimic the diets of their ancestors. In other words, food that contains large quantities of protein derived from high quality meat sources, like chicken, beef and fish, rather than grains.
Grains such as corn, wheat and rice are some of the most common causes of pet food allergies, which can result in all sorts of unpleasant symptoms: from excessive itching and licking to diarrhoea and sickness.
If your pet is allergic to grain, you should see a great improvement in their health by switching to grain free pet food.
Pet food allergies are incredibly complex and difficult to diagnose though so it’s always best to seek the advice of a vet in order to identify the exact trigger.
Some pet food preservative and other additives can also be potential allergens for cats and dogs in which case hypoallergenic food (link to hypoallergenic food article) may be the answer.
A grain free diet can be a great way to ensure your pet is in receipt of a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Many companies use grain based fillers like rice bran, corn bran and corn starch, in their cat and dog food products. These add very little in the way of nutrition and instead serve to bulk out the product so higher quantities can be produced at a low cost.
Grain free pet recipes, however, tend to rely on healthier ingredients for fillers, such as vegetables, fruit and herbs. These include foods like potatoes, carrots, apples, cranberries and thyme, which enrich your pet’s diet by providing important vitamins and minerals.
And better nutrition can lead to greater overall health for your fury friend. Studies show that pets on grain free diets tend to exhibit:
Whilst the cheap starchy grains used as pet food fillers may be low in nutritional value they are certainly high in calories.
Even the healthier grains used in dog and cat food still pose a risk to weight gain as they are high in carbohydrates, which unless burnt off by frequent exercise can turn into fat.
On the other hand, grain free pet food for dogs and cats is comprised of leaner ingredients, meat and vegetables, that are lower in fat and carbohydrates.
What’s more, the higher nutritional content keeps pets fuller for longer, meaning less food is consumed overall.
Of course, whatever grain free pet food you opt for be sure to thoroughly check the list of ingredients.
A recent study revealed that many so-called “grain free dog food” products actually listed grains and cereals as ingredients. And a quick scan of the internet indicates “grain free cat food” brands are also guilty of false advertising.
Parcelpet’s high quality, super nutritious line of products now includes grain free options:
Did you know we offer a trial, for both our dog and cat foods, so you can try before you buy?
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