Is Grain Actually Okay for Your Dog?

November 17, 2022 2 min read

Are you considering a grain-free diet for your dog? Grain-free diets are stocked on the shelves of many pet food stores, and the debate on this type of feed has become pretty controversial online. With many people avoiding certain foods due to food sensitivities or allergies, it is only natural to assume your dog might have the same sensitivities. This is only sometimes the case. Before conversing with your vet about switching to grain-free dog food, here is what you need to know.

What are Grains?

Grains are the harvested seeds of grasses such as oat, barley, corn, wheat, and rice. Grains contain three essential layers. The bran layers contain B vitamins and fiber. The Germ layer includes vitamins, minerals, proteins, oil, and antioxidants. And finally, the Endosperm, where carbohydrates and proteins can be found. Grains should not be confused with carbohydrates. Grains contain carbohydrates, a macronutrient, but are not the sole source of carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, quinoa, lentils, and peas are all examples of carbohydrates. 

Whole Grains Vs. Refined Grains:

The processing stage is the primary difference between whole and refined grains. As the name implies, whole grains remain intact, but refined grains are highly processed and polished. They lose the germ and bran layers during milling, leaving only simple starches and proteins. It is in whole grains that we find the most significant health benefits. 

Common Grains Found in Dog Food:

When you read the list of dog food ingredients, you may see some of these grains at the top of the list:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Sorghum
  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Oats

Many of these grains may look familiar to you, as they likely make up a part of your daily diet and have been suggested to be an essential staple of a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet for years. 

Grain Allergies:

Ear and skin problems are most common with dogs developing or experiencing food allergies. Dogs who suffer from true food allergies will present with some or all of the following:

  • Frequent ear infections
  • Regular itchiness and licking at the paws and coat
  • Red, inflamed, or broken skin from scratching and rubbing

These can also be signs of allergies to pollen from grass and trees, fleas, ticks, and molds. Some dogs may be allergic to grains. But, few dogs suffer from true grain allergies. If they are experiencing a true food allergy, it is more likely from protein sources such as dairy, chicken, or beef. 

Is it Okay to Feed My Dog Grain?

Grains are essential in your dog's diet, just as in your own. As we steer towards health-conscious lifestyles, it is only natural to assume they need a healthier diet. Your veterinarian is always the best resource if you are considering changing your pet's diet. Remember, dogs have their own unique nutritional needs.  

Do your research and consult your veterinarian before making any significant dietary changes for your pet. Whether your dog's food is grain-free or contains grains, they need a balanced and nutritionally complete diet to thrive. 



Also in Blog

Benefits of Chamomile
Benefits of Chamomile

December 02, 2022 2 min read

Chamomile is a popular beverage and alternative remedy for various health issues. It is an herb from a daisy-like flower and has been used for centuries. Chamomile can be made into a tea or essential oil that can be added to creams and lotions. Generally, people consume chamomile tea for internal health benefits and apply chamomile essential oil topically for skin care.
5 Exercises You Can Do at Home to Increase Longevity
5 Exercises You Can Do at Home to Increase Longevity

November 22, 2022 3 min read

Inflammation is our body's natural response to injury or infection and can be very beneficial. But it can become a problem when inflammation hangs around too long or in healthy tissue. Inflammation can impede circulation, leading to the buildup of cholesterol-rich, fatty plaque, damaging the lining of arteries. 
Benefits of Morning Pages for a Daily Boost
Benefits of Morning Pages for a Daily Boost

November 11, 2022 2 min read

Morning pages are the brainchild of Julia Cameron, the author of The Writers Way, initially intended as a daily writing exercise to help writers and artists unblock from any mental resistance they may be facing. The idea is to grab a pen and paper upon first waking in the morning and write down every thought that comes into your brain completely uncensored.