As humans, we eat extensive and varied diets to help us live the healthiest lives possible. We understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all for healthy eating because we are a diverse and colourful species.
Some people can eat anything and feel little ill effects, while others have to make exceptions. Most notably of late, we’ve seen a significant increase in people going gluten-free. Our supermarkets are all now furnished with ‘free from’ sections to cater for the over 8.5 million people who have gone gluten-free to stay healthy.
Sadly, we don’t often bring this same accepting attitude to the food we provide for our pooches. Most of us wouldn’t think twice about different diets for our dogs. Instead, we buy the brands we know without even thinking much about what’s in them.
Believe it or not, though, dogs have as many different digestive needs as we do. If you want to keep that tail wagging, then, it might be worth considering precisely what your dog’s diet needs.
Of course, there is no ‘gluten-free’ or ‘vegan’ section where our pups are concerned, nor does there need to. But, there are foods on the market that consider different digestive needs. And, for the sake of this article, we’re going to consider the grain-free dog foods that could be better for your dog’s digestion.
What is grain-free?
As you might be able to guess, grain-free dog foods are, put simply, dog foods that don’t contain grains. This is compared to a typical dog food listing, in which you can expect to see grains including -
- And more
Most of the time, these provide plenty of goodies that our dogs need to stay in tail-wagging shape. But, just as some humans can’t digest grains, some dogs experience trouble. That’s where grain-free foods come into play.
Foods like these use alternative ingredients to provide a healthy and balanced diet, without the inclusion of those grains which can prove pesky to your pooch. We don’t like that bloated hard-to-digest feeling, after all, so why should we put our dogs through the same thing?
Does your dog need grain-free food?
Of course, just as not every human needs to go gluten-free, not every dog needs to change their diet. That said, your pup sadly can’t tell you when their digestion is playing them up, so what exactly are the signs that your dog can’t digest their grains?
- Excessive flatulence (yes, really!)
- Loose stools
- Skin irritation
- Chronic itching
- Frequent ear infections
As you can see, the symptoms aren’t always obvious, but knowing to look out for them may see you noticing a lot of these signs that have fallen under the dog-dar until now.
The good news is that your dog doesn’t need to suffer in silence anymore. Grain-free foods can be fantastic for eliminating these issues faster than you’d even realise. Obviously, as with any food switch, you should take things gradually and consult your vet beforehand.
With the right oversight, though, there are many benefits to grain-free alternatives, hence why we’ve dedicated a whole grain-free event to these foods! But, you don’t need to take our word for it.
Let’s take a closer at how grain-free foods can get your dog’s tail wagging at last.
#1 - Better doggy digestion
Anyone who’s gluten intolerant will already have some understanding of the uncomfortable bloated feeling that some grains can bring. A dog with allergies will experience these same symptoms, only they can’t change their diet to work out what’s not working. Instead, they have to deal with sluggish digestion without so much as a woof of protest. Luckily, switching their standard food out for grain-free options like our Pooched Salmon blend could see things changing pretty quickly. This is because grain-free foods have more protein and animal fats to make them more easily digestible. Not to mention that they don’t have any of those pesky grains! Bear in mind that a sudden extreme change won’t do any good for your dog’s gut, so make sure you take things slow and give them time to enjoy these benefits.
#2 - Reduced flatulence
While being able to blame your dogs for unpleasant smells is always beneficial, sitting downwind of a dog with a food allergy is a horror no dog-owner should behold. As well as stinking the house out, those farts are a sign that your dog’s digestion is suffering, so this isn’t pleasant for anyone! The good news is that grain-free food which your dog can digest more easily could do away with their wind problems for good. While that would mean taking responsibility for your own smells again, we’re sure the whole family would be thankful for this change!
#3 - A healthier lifestyle
In general terms, there’s evidence to suggest that grain-free foods make for a healthier doggy lifestyle all around. Thanks to grain-free feed additions like peas, lentils, and even sweet potatoes, many dogs on these diets enjoy increased energy levels with lasting effect for longer fetch sessions and generally improved energy. Dogs fed a grain-free diet also show benefits such as healthier skin, shinier coats, and less shedding. Those are all signs your dog’s digestive system is doing what it should, and could keep your four-legged friend fresh for years to come.
A final word on grain-free feed
If you’ve never considered it before, a grain-free dog diet might seem a little out there for you, but trust us when we say that it could leave you with a whole new dog. While changes like these aren’t necessary for every canine, the symptoms mentioned are a sure sign that your pooch could enjoy the benefits. They’ve suffered in silence for long enough, so it’s finally time you listened to what they’re trying to tell you with that odd assortment of symptoms. And, let’s be honest; your dog could be bang on trend with their gluten-free diet. Who knows; we could soon have free-from aisles in our pet stores, too.
Concerned your dog may have a food allergy or intolerance? Read our blog by Vet Dr Scott Miller and Barking Heads on What to do if you suspect your dog has a food allergy or intolerance!
*The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified pet health provider with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health*