Broadleaf Grain Free Dog Food
For 10,000 years, we cultivated wheat, stored it, milled and consumed it.
The system worked and it nourished civilization.
Then, in the industrial era, we changed things.
First, we invented mechanical technologies to turn wheat into barren white flour. Then we invented chemical and genetic technologies to make it resistant to pests, drought, and blight and easier to harvest, dramatically increasing yield per acre. And, while we were tweaking genetics, we also figured out how to increase glutens for better “baking properties” (fluffier results).
Put another way:
We have mutant seeds, grown in synthetic soils, bathed in chemicals.
They ’re deconstructed, pulverized to fine dust, bleached and chemically treated to create barren industrial fillers that no other creature on the planet will eat. And we wonder why it might be making us sick? If the modern grains are making us sick then they must be affecting our dogs too.
Grain-free dog foods have become a favorite for owners wishing to feed their pets a more natural diet that is close to what their ancestors eat - wolves.
As well as being a more natural diet for your pet, grain-free diets have their health benefits too...
Grains such as corn, wheat, rice, and barley have been linked with pet allergies, with symptoms ranging from upset stomachs to itchy flaky coats. Even if your pet has no allergies that you know of, and seems perfectly healthy, these grains have virtually no nutritional value, but they are present in most pet foods!
Compared to the average dry pet food (kibble), and wet food, grain-free recipes typically contain more meat and easy-to-digest meat fats as quality protein sources, usually with fewer carbohydrates too - which if given in excess are the most likely nutrient to cause weight issues, even more than fat!
Not only are grains like corn and wheat a common cause of canine allergies, but they are also more difficult for dogs to digest.
Why are grains difficult for dogs to digest?
Dogs are mostly meat-eaters, called carnivores, and are biologically incapable of fully digesting grains such as corn, wheat, and barley. This is because they don't have anywhere near as much of the enzyme called Amylase when compared to plant-eating animals (herbivores).
Amylase is produced by herbivores and most omnivores, like us humans, in our saliva. Amylase works to break down starchy carbohydrates, like grains, into simple sugars before they enter the stomach and are digested further.
Dogs do produce amylase but it is only added into the digestive system in the small intestine, so complicated carbohydrates like grains are more difficult for your dog to digest- they are usually never fully digested into their body like other nutrients are.
What should pet foods contain instead of grains?
Many pet nutritionists believe that dog diets should mimic that of their ancestors because their digestive systems have barely changed. The dog ancestors are wolves, and from studying their diet it has become mostly agreed by nutritionists that dogs should eat a diet containing around 60% meat and 40% plant matter like vegetables, herbs, and fruit.
For that reason diets that are grain-free use vegetables,
herbs and fruit in place of grains, such as:
Potato, peas, carrot, apple, spinach, seaweed, alfalfa,
peppermint, thyme, lentils, pumpkin, and berries.
These provide a good source of digestible fiber, strengthen the immune system, promote all areas of health and enrich the diet with important vitamins and minerals.
Why can't grain-free dry pet food be carbohydrate-free?
Dry pet foods cannot be made without carbohydrates because the process used for making kibble requires carbohydrates to create a dough-like binder to hold everything together. Therefore, grain-free dry pet foods usually contain other carbohydrates in place of grains, common vegetables such as potatoes.
Also, carbohydrate is not an ingredient, it is a nutrient - one of the six nutrients your pet eats to stay healthy. Even milk and fruit contain carbohydrates! This nutrient is the one that can produce the quickest energy and without enough energy, your pet would suffer health problems.
So, how can you find a quality grain-free pet food?
If any of the following are listed in the ingredients then the food is NOT grain-free:
Wheat, rice, oats, corn, barley, pasta, and rye.
Tip: If any of these ingredients have 'meal' after, like 'oatmeal', then they are still grains, just processed to remove moisture.