Regardless of the consequences, you may feed your pet with a number of items. You could develop the notion that a variety in the food items could ensure a variety in the ingested nutrients in the body.
In contrast to the aforementioned belief, researchers came out with the outcome that pets could thrive on a single kind of food for their entire life. They do not need all the variety that a human being generally loves to have on his dining table.
The diet of a pet is generally considered to have nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Out of these, proteins are the major building blocks of the body. Many people tend to include the materials that are made up of grains. These are the same cereals which the human beings consume.
We will now look to find whether these grained food items, which you offer your pets, are really healthy or provide less of nutrients.
We are going to cover the following topics in this article:
- What are grained and grain-free food items for the pets?
- Do pets need grains in their diet to cover the required carbohydrates?
- How grain-free items could benefit the pets?
- Which pets should not be offered grain-free diets?
- Green free vs. gluten free
- Grain-free food items and food allergies
What Is The Difference Between Grained And Grain-Free Food Items For The Pets?
Just as a human being prepares a variety of food items with the cereals, the dog food could also consist of various kinds of grains. More importantly, grained foods are more devoted towards the consumption of human beings.
Grained food items for dogs could consist of typical food sources such as wheat, corn, soy and barley etc. These are the food items that are said to cause food sensitivity in the animals, but this may not be always true. Though they are high in carbohydrates, they do not prove to be a good diet, especially for the growing pets.
In contrast to this, grain-free items could have a wide variety such as recommended vegetables, poultry products, meat from various sources and fish meals etc.
Are Grains An Essential Source Of Carbohydrates For The Pets?
Again, the humans have all the means to convert carbohydrates to energy in their body. But when you talk of pets, cereals generally do not suit the body of pets, especially the growing ones.
While it is known that the pet is attaining maturity, proteins are the major elements that should constitute the food of pets, followed closely by fats.
Does this mean that you could skip the carbohydrates off the diet of pets? Of course not. Besides grained food items, there are some other products that could replenish the need of carbohydrates in the body. These food items include Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Chick peas and Green Peas etc.
You could sometimes add rice to their diet, but with the vigilance that it neither causes sensitivity nor intolerance in their body.
Moreover, the diet of the pets needs to be balanced to an optimum level.
Benefits Of A Grain-Free Food:
Vets generally recommend that grains should not include more than 10% of the everyday diet of pets. There are various advantages of feeding your pets with the grain-free products such as:
Longer Retention: Carbohydrates are capable of being digested by the body very easily. They could also be converted to the energy very easily.
Due to ease in digestion, the grained food items could render the stomach empty at a faster pace than the food which has proteins and fats. This means that longer retention of food will keep the stomach of the pets filled for a longer time.
Reduces Food Allergies: Most of the food allergies in the older pets are caused due to the grained food items. Lesser ingestion of grains means fewer chances of developing allergies from the foods.
More Energy: Grain-free foods would offer more energy to the pets in comparison to the food products that consist of mainly the cereals as their ingredients.
Smaller Stools: The pets would excrete less when their feed is devoid of grained items as these are not fully utilized by the body. The partial utilization of ingested food means more of its conversion to excreta.
Healthy Skin And Shiny Coat: if the food consumed by the pets is free of grains, it would have lots of proteins. More of proteins favors a healthy development of skin and due to it, the hair remain healthy and shiny.
Better Respiratory Tract: Grain-free food products could inhibit the chances of development of respiratory disorders in the pets.
Reduction In Flatulence: grained food items could render the chances of production of gases in the digestive tract. This problem could be swiped when you make use of the grain-free food items.
Better Growth Of The Pets: the pets which are in their growth period require more of proteins in their diet. This protein is helpful in building the effective pet-body. If the diet consists more of grains, the growth of the body would not be as stipulated.
Which pets should not be offered grain-free diets?
While grained foods do not necessarily be healthy, they could be highly helpful for some of the pets such as:
Diabetic Pets: the pets which possess a high level of sugar in their blood may actually get benefitted by the grained foods. One of the reasons for rise in sugars could be excess of fat in the body. More fat has all the chances of ending up in diabetic conditions.
While the grained materials are included in the diet, the fat content generally tends to reduce and the rising sugar level could be controlled well.
Obese Pets: again, pets with more than the stipulated weight could have problems if there is an excess of protein or fat in the diet.
An alternative to these are the grained food materials which fill the belly in a short time. The fiber content in the foods helps to attain stability in the stomach and prohibits the chances of further increase in the weight.
Pets With Kidney Problems: Proteins and fats are further harmful for the pets which have certain kind of kidney problems. They could interfere with the proper functioning of the urinary system as well.
As an aid to this, you could feed your pets with the diets that are made up of cereals. These cereals do not require a lot of energy to be digested and in turn do not pose problems in the urinary tract.
Inactive pets: The pets which tend to be sluggish could be affected due to lack of energy. This energy could be replenished with the food items that are made up of cereals.
Cereals consist almost entirely of carbohydrates which are capable of converting themselves to energy easily. The inactive pets could get benefitted by the use of grained items.
Grain-Free And Gluten-Free Diets:
Grain-free food items, as the name suggests, are devoid of grains and cereals such as wheat and corn etc. On the other hand, gluten-free diet may or may not consist of grains. Gluten is a type of protein that is contained in grains such as wheat barley and rice etc.
Grain-Free Food Items And Food Allergies:
There is generally a misconception among the pet-owners that grain-free food items are favorable for the pets that have any kind of food allergies.
Though there could be food allergies in the pets due to grains such as corn and rye but these are not among the common allergens. In fact the outcomes of many researches have shown that meat products such as beef etc. are the common causes of allergies in the pets. Almost 95% of pets that get allergy are due to meat products.
The other food products such as dairy products and fish meals etc. could also be a cause of some kind of food aversion. Therefore, grained food items are not wholeheartedly devoted in offering all kind of food allergies. In fact, these are among the most inferior causes.
While the debate has always been on, it could not be full believed that grain-free food items could benefit the body of pets. It generally depends on the breeds or of course on the body conditions of the pets.
If our ancestors are to be believed, grains are for the consumption of human beings and they do not get on well with the body of pets. Though, this concept has been proved wrong many times in the researches.
Whatever the case may be, a smart pet-keeper always knows the body condition of his mate and would act according to that. If you find any kind of defect in the body, it is better to consult a vet. This should be a serious step even when you choose to switch between foods for your pets.
A healthy pet is always a happy one, whatever diet it is being fed with. Therefore, choose the diet of the pet carefully for a healthy living.