If you’re in the market for a well-balanced, nutrient-rich, wheat- and yeast-free dog food, chances are your buddy has a food allergy. Food allergies can be a real nightmare for your pet; all the itching can drive a guy nuts. What’s a pooch to do? Good news is that a variety of wheat- and yeast-free dog foods are available to ease his suffering.
Grain Free: Believe the Hype?
Grain-free dog food will eliminate both wheat and yeast in your dog’s diet, but are they necessary? Eliminating grains increases the need for more meat and dairy in the canine diet; however, according to many veterinary nutritionists, proteins are the more likely culprits of food allergies. If your dog exhibits signs of a food allergy such as gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, rash, severe itching or ear and rear inflammation, consult your veterinarian. He will guide you and your buddy through a series of food trials to pinpoint his allergy or allergies.
Making Correct Dietary Choices
Once you and your vet have guided your dog through extensive food trials and it’s clear wheat or yeast is the cause of his allergy, it’s time to start shopping for a grain-free dog food. The most important thing a pet owner can do is read, read, read dog food labels. Some pet food producers are notorious for substituting ingredients and misleading consumers. The more educated you are about proper dog nutrition, the easier you’ll see right through marketing. The first three ingredients are the most important. They should include proteins such as meat, lamb, fish or poultry. For grain-free foods, look for labels that show high protein content and natural preservatives such as vitamins E and C.
Grain Free Dry Food
Veterinarians recommend dry food for all dogs unless there is a condition that requires wet food. The friction caused by your dog chewing dry food prevents plaque buildup and keeps his teeth and gums healthy. Some well-balanced, highly nutritious grain-free dog foods are California Natural Grain Free, Acana Regionals Grain-Free, Orijen Adult and EVO.
Grain-Free Wet Food
Wet food can be a good choice for your dog if he’s recovering from oral surgery or has another medical condition that prevents him from chewing dry food. As a rule, wet food shouldn’t be the main source of nutrition and shouldn’t continue for prolonged periods of time. A few good canned, grain-free dog foods are Merrick Grain Free, Canidae Grain Free Pure and Newman’s Own Organics Grain Free.
- Veterinary Practice News: Vet Nutritionists Weigh In On Pet Food Allergies, Grains
- petMD: Grain Free: Is It Really The Answer?
- petMD: Principles of Dog Nutrition
- Dog Food Advisor: California Natural Grain Free (Dry)
- Dog Food Advisor: Acana Regionals Grain-Free (Dry)
- Dog Food Advisor: Orijen Adult (Dry)
- Dog Food Advisor: EVO Dog Food (Dry)
- Dog Food Advisor: Merrick Grain Free Dog Food (Canned)
- Dog Food Advisor: Canidae Grain Free Pure (Canned)
- Dog Food Advisor: Newman’s Own Organics Grain Free (Canned)
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.