Having had so many visitors to my kennels I am inadvertently asked by people as to how much and what do I feed my dogs. (Mind you, I do own 105 dogs). Most people always express shock that I feed my dogs a pure raw diet which includes no grains, which invariably follows the classic question–but isn’t Feeding Grains cheaper?
That’s the million-dollar question I have been answering for a long time now and given that we have google today for everything it makes life even more simpler for me in answering that question as most people can and inadvertently do research about feeding grains to their dogs after talking to me and then we have the pet parents see a whole different perspective about feeding grains to their best friend.
A vast majority of pet parents feed their best friend-a grain based home-made diet and which in their opinion is perfect as (1) it is cheap and (2) they do not seem to be having any visible problems. That seems to be a perfectly fine right? Have we ever thought that is if this was the right choice why do we invariably have every big pet food company has come out with offers of a grain-free diet?? Something must be missing or something wasn’t right with grains in the diets right?
A couple of months ago I walked down to our local pet store in Colva and was going through the ingredient lists on all those grain-free diets and was shocked to see that the grains were all replaced by potato, sweet potato, lentils, tapioca or another carbohydrate source(s).
And unfortunately, many of the dry pet food formulas are loaded with carbs, which invariably leads to insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes and other health issues in dogs.
Conventional dry dog foods can exceed 45 to 55 percent in total carbohydrate content. This means that more than half the dog's diet is composed of non-essential simple sugars. This isn't something many dog parents are aware of because pet food manufacturers aren't required to list carbohydrate content on package labels and neither do many of us research the nutrient contents well.
Eliminating grains from the diets was certainly the right step in the right direction. But substituting them with higher glycemic ingredients such as tapioca, potatoes and lentils has not only cheated the average consumer but it has also created an epidemic of sugar-related health conditions in pets.
The incidence of obesity, cancer, diabetes skin allergies and several other chronic health conditions is much worse now than it was 20 years ago. And many of these sick pets were weaned onto grain-free foods because their owners assumed they contained less sugar, in the form of starch, than regular pet foods.
Feeding Grains and a Starch-Free Species-Appropriate Diet to your dog:
Feeding a species-appropriate diet means that the food you offer your best friend should be:
- grain-free and carb-free. No rice, no corn, no wheat, no jowar, no bajra, no oatmeal, no potato, no sweet potato, no tapioca etc.
- In its true biologically correct form — raw, whole, unadulterated and un-denatured meat
- Contain all the moisture that is needed for your dog's body to process the food with very little metabolic stress
My first recommendation is to feed a raw-food diet. One which is grain-free, moisture rich, living, and of course, it's fresh. My alternative recommendation is freeze-dried raw food that can be reconstituted with water to contain at least 70 percent moisture.
The difference between freeze dried foods and extruded foods is temperature. Foods that are not cooked
or extruded at high temperatures retain more nutritional value. When a freeze-dried food is reconstituted with water - they become moisture rich and are significantly healthier than any dry kibble on the market.
Armed with these secrets to canine good health: you are ready to make an informed choice on what to feed your dog— and hold your own at the next dog-park discussion panel!