Grain-Free Dog Food

The Ultimate Guide to Grain Free Dog Food

Dog Food And Nutrition-Related Diseases

Dogs can develop diseases from poorly formulated dog products. Many grain-based foods which provide low-quantity, and/or low-quality meats, can lead to poor nutritional status for your dog and the long term effect is disease and bad health. The by-product of these grain-based, processed, poor quality foods are made manifest with an increase in the number of health problems and can be directly related to the dog's nutrition.

Grain-Based Correlation to Disease in Dogs

Grain based dog foods have been correlated with the following conditions:

  • Chronic digestive problems. 
    Chronic vomiting, chronic diarrhea, constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease areamong the most frequent illnesses treated. These are often the result of an allergy or intolerance to dog food ingredients.
  • Obesity. 
    Just as in humans, one of the most common health problems in dogs is obesity. This may also be related to high-carb, high-calorie dry foods. Obese dogs have higher rates of arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes (just like humans).
  • Atopic Dermatitis
    Common low-quality feed grains in dog food, because of the high quantity of grain mites and mite carcasses has been found to be a cause for atopic dermatitis[1].

Where sometimes even high quality grains can be problematic digestively for dogs, often times, dog foods contain extremely low-qualty, feed grain. When stored, these feed grains can be subject to grain mites, mold and contaminants. It's these contaminants that can increase the damage done to your dog's health over time.

Dry Food-Based Correlation to Disease in Dogs

Dry dog food has been correlated with the following diseases in dogs:

  • Urinary tract/Kidney disease. 
    Stones are thought to be more common in dogs eating dry foods. Additionally, in older dogs chronic dehydration leading to kidney disease is more likely to occur with dependence on dry food intake.
  • Dental disease. 
    People mistakenly believe that dry food is good for the dog’s teeth, yet we see that dental disease is the most common health problem that dogs face. The fact is that dry food, or any other kind of dog food, does not serve to clean the teeth.  Food choices should be based on quality ingredients, dental care for your dog should be addressed separately.

Many nutritional problems appeared with the emergence of grain-based, commercial dog foods. Some have occurred because the diet was incomplete, others because of the problems with malabsorption and digestion.

The takeaway here is that these poor quality approaches to the canine diet are just not good enough to keep our dogs healthy. We have lost our way.

It’s time to get back to simple foods based on how dogs used to eat, and should eat. See our dog food recommendations.

References and Citations

1. Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, et al., eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th Edition. 2002. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute.

2. Morris JG, and Rogers QR. Assessment of the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Foods Through the Life Cycle. Journal of Nutrition, 1994; 124: 2520S–2533S. Logan, et al., Dental Disease, in: Hand et al., ibid.

3. Arlian AG et al, Serum immunoglobulin E against storage mites in dogs with atopic dermatitis, American Journal of Veterinary Research, 2003 January, 64 (1):32-6

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