Grain-free dog food: does it make sense?
Dog food that does not contain cereals: for some people, it is the only correct decision, while for others, it is no more than a distraction by manufacturers to enable them to sell their dog food to humans for higher prices.
In this article, we would like to address the question of whether cereals such as wheat should form part of a breed-appropriate diet for your dog. In this article, you will learn why many forms of dog food contain cereals and what the consequences can be for your pet as a result.
Why do so many manufacturers incorporate a high cereal content into their foods?
Anyone who goes to the trouble of taking a closer look at the list of ingredients of dog food will quickly notice that dog food that contains cereals is the norm, rather than the exception. The reason why cereals seem to be such a popular ingredient in dog food is not a desire to ensure breed-appropriate feeding techniques. Instead, as is so often the case, it is all about money. Cereals are significantly cheaper than meat. In other words, the lower the production costs, the lower the proportion of meat in the food and, therefore, cereals often account for the largest proportion of the ingredients used, at least in the case of dry dog foods.
For manufacturers of dog food of this kind, this means an opportunity to make their products cheaply. This particularly applies when cereals are used that are not fit for human consumption.
Breed-appropriate feeding does not require cereals
Even though many manufacturers obviously rely on cheap ingredients such as wheat, this does not necessarily mean that that kind of food is good for your dog.
After all, dogs are descended from wolves, and their diets include only very small proportions of plant-based components, which they absorb by eating the stomach contents of their prey. By far the largest proportion of their nutrition comes from meat, offal, and animal fats.
The position is no different for dogs. They are carnivores (meat eaters) and their digestive system is primarily configured to extract nutrition from animal proteins and fats. Dogs can certainly digest starchy foods, but these should not form the bulk of their diet under any circumstances.
If a large proportion of your dog’s food consists of cereals, it can lead to long-term, serious consequences.
For example, consumption of wheat and the like can cause allergies and food intolerances. These then express themselves in the form of hair loss, itching, and other symptoms.
Moreover, a high proportion of cereals in the diet can cause your dog to develop diarrhea. This is due to the fact that the food contains too much starch, which your dog is thus unable to digest completely.
Some breeds are also particularly sensitive to gluten. Gluten is a blend of proteins that is found in large quantities in foods such as wheat and spelt. This gluten intolerance leads to inflammation of the intestinal tract, diarrhea and appreciable weight loss as a result.
If you want to protect your dog from problems of this kind, we recommend that you use cereal-free dog food wherever possible. This allows you to exclude the possibility of food intolerances due to cereals with confidence, and make an important contribution to ensuring your dog’s continuing health.
Cereal-free dog food by Bellfor
At Bellfor, we are convinced that cereal-free dog food makes it possible to provide your furry friend with breed appropriate nutrition and a healthy life, which is why we offer our Münster Country Feast product range, which is completely free from cereals.
We do not use wheat or gluten-free alternative grains such as rice or maize; instead, we rely on potatoes and sweet potatoes as easily digestible sources of carbohydrates.
As well as avoiding cereals altogether, our Country Feast also contains an exceptionally high proportion of animal proteins. Another feature that distinguishes it from its competitors is the exclusive use of natural ingredients.
With traditional varieties that feature chicken, lamb and wild rabbit, as well as the innovative use of insect protein, our cereal-free dog food is an excellent choice that not only tastes good to your dog – it is genuinely good for it.
If you do opt for cereals, make sure you choose the right varieties
As a rule, cereal-free dog food is a good choice for the majority of dogs. If, however, you do wish to use dog food that contains cereals, you should ensure that only easily digestible varieties such as rice and maize are used, as these do not contain any gluten, making them easier to digest.
However, even if dog foods do contain rice and maize, meat should always be the main ingredient, because this is the only way to ensure that your dog receives animal product in sufficient quantities.
Our recommendations for sporting dogs
Dry dog food that contains maize and rice can be useful for sporting dogs during the training phase and during competitive activities.
The combination of complex carbohydrates in rice, and the quick-release carbohydrates in maize represent a valuable energy source, thereby supporting the performance of active dogs.
In this case, we recommend that you feed with Bellfor Pure Active, which is specifically adapted for the needs of sporting dogs during training and competition, and which contains rice and maize as carbohydrate sources alongside high levels of animal proteins and fats.
Cereal-free dog food is more than just a flash in the pan. The absence of wheat, oats, barley, and other cereals makes the food easier to digest and reduces the incidence of allergies and intolerances.
In particular, the use of cereal-free dry foods is unavoidable for dogs with food sensitivities who have already experienced problems due to consuming cereals. However, even if your furry friend has not shown any indication of any complaints so far, it is still worth making the switch to prevent any future problems.