Since there have been many discussions on the merits of grain free foods in the past, I thought I'd share this short article on the subject by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine:
Excellent article. From the reading that I have done on foods. What I have read corn seems to be the biggest problem for dogs...it is hard to digest in both dogs and humans.
I also went on to the read the article on acupuncture, very informational. As a human who had her dog treated with acupuncture for IVDD in his neck and saw what it did and who also has acupuncture for her back and arthritis based on the dog's reaction, I can tell anyone who may be considering it to read the article. It is realistic and does not claim to be a cure-all for everything but states the areas where it is most helpful including pain management.
Thanks for posting that
Thanks Linda, maybe you could post the acupuncture link separately, together with your comments on it, to make it easier to find later on in a search
That could help someone.
The quality of the food makes a huge difference. Dog Food Advisor is an excellent independent site that rates dog foods and explains use of ingredients. You want to pay for good ingredients, not good marketing....
Thank you, Anna. My biggest concern with grain-fee is they tend to use legumes (peas, chick peas) or potatoes as the starch. We have much less history feeding legumes to dogs than we have feeding grains, so I consider it an experiment I am unwilling to take in my dogs. I had previously read that protein allergies are much more common than grain allergies. And, dogs have several genetic mutations from wolves that allow them to digest grains very efficiently; it is what helped them co-evolve so well with humans.
People say "wild canines don't eat grains" which is only partially true, since they eat the stomach contents of herbivores. Still, even if we accept the problematic statement as true, it does not change the fact that wild canids don't eat many tubers or legumes either.
The seed coat on grains makes wild grains undigestible to most animals without a gizzard (like birds) or a multi-step digestive system. However we clever humans have figures out how to remove the seed coat, or break it up and leave it in the grain, and so both humans and our pets can digest them efficiently.
Hi Beth, at the risk of falling off my high horse....dogs have lived, until the very recent commercial dog foods, on whatever leftovers people gave them, or on whatever scraps they could scavenge. They often lived longer lives and probably did not know, for the most part, what allergies were. In many other Countries, this still holds true. The only good thing about commercial dog foods (and I'm not knocking it) is great convenience for the owners. The dog food Companies have brainwashed people to think that their foods are balanced and complete (this part may be true) and that we should not add any people food to their kibble, lest we unbalance it and court disaster. This is a bunch of hooey. Now they've caught on to the grain-free craze because of the economic success of gluten free" products. I'm not saying this does not have a legitimate place in the life of a few but, as in all things "follow the money" and you'll get a pretty good picture. This picture includes many Vets, who were selling high end diets at the time, like Iams and Science Diet, which were poisoning dogs with Ethoxyquin while refusing to take this out of their product until breeders boycotted them en masse. I guess that dates me....
My sentiments exactly. Domestic dogs have been co-evolving with humans for some 15,000 years. It was only in the 20th century that we got a bug in our communal bonnet about feeding them special (profitable, commercially manufactured) dog food.
My dogs have been eating real food -- meat, a combination of dog-friendly vegetables, and starch (e.g. rice, oatmeal, sweet potato) for many years now. They thrive. They have no health problems. Dogs that were fed commercial dog food began to ail four or five years into their lives and were decrepit by what should be canine middle age. Granted, one little old lady's experience science does not make...but I think it does suggest that feeding your dog real food doesn't harm the dog.
To say the least...
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I've been feeding my dogs Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Weight Maintenance Dry for a number of years. It has a 4 star rating on Dog Food Advisor. Mornings I mix in fat free cottage cheese and evenings I mix in chicken and either green beans or peas. I started using it after I got a coupon for cat food actually. When I tried it for the cats (Indoor Hairball Control) and found I wasn't having trouble with hairballs...there were a lot with 3 cats...I decided to try the dog food. I was using Pedigree weight maintenance, even using less than the recommended amount both my dogs gained weight especially in the winter when they were less active outside. All 3 of us hate the cold and snow. Now my dogs maintain a steady weight year round and are very healthy including 13 year old Katie.
I do remember as a kid our dog got cans of Ken-L-Ration and table scraps.