There will always be the debate about dogs/cats needing or not needing grains. Like humans we all have different food tolerances and preferences, some animals do well on grain-free foods and some do well on foods with grain. Whether for energy purposes, protein factors, digestive issues, or fillers, grains are used a lot across the pet food industry. These are some things you might or might not know about grains:
- Dogs and Cats do not fully benefit from the nutrients of grains because their bodies do not fully absorb or extract nutrients from non-meat ingredients.
- Dogs and Cats have a hard time digesting grains.
- Dogs and cats do not have the proper enzymes in their saliva to break down plant matter and carbohydrates like an herbivore or omnivore.
- Grains can be harder for our pets to digest, therefore negatively affecting the efficiency of their digestive tracts and functions.
- Vegetable carbohydrates like potatoes and peas could be a better choice than grains like corn, wheat, barley, and rice. Grains like whole oats or whole brown rice could also be a better choice and easier on a pet’s digestive tract.
- Grains are used to bind meats to create different consistencies like kibble, pate, loafs, etc…
- Grains can also be used as proteins or “fillers”, which can make the consumer feel full faster and longer, while also bringing the cost down for the buyer.
- Removing grains can improve skin & coat, alleviate certain allergies and digestive problems.
Grain free diets usually tend to have higher protein percentages, obviously no grains, but this doesn’t mean low carbohydrates so keep that in mind as well. Grains do have vitamins, nutrients, and minerals but it all depends on the sensitivity of your pet and the cooking process of those grains going into their food. I want to clarify that every animal has a different tolerance, just like humans have a different tolerance for certain foods and ingredients. The bullet points above are meant to summarize the idea, the newest trends, and some simple back to basics information about our pets and their digestive tracts. You might think that you choose what your animal eats, but ultimately the choice of food you continue to buy for your pet obviously revolves around the end results. The “end results” meaning how they react and feel with their diets whether it is grain free or not.
Mauri believes in a complete and well balanced diet, while also offering a variety of common and uncommon alternative proteins, like kangaroo. Our formulas are grain, gluten, carrageenan gum, potato free, using pumpkin for digestive support, New Zealand Green Mussel for joint support, and the cat cans also have added cranberry for urinary support. Try KOHA with your pet and see how they like it…