Natural Grain Free Dog Food
Many dog foods contain grains because they’re a cheap ingredient—and because they add fibre and nutrients. But this can be an issue for dogs with an allergy to, or intolerance, of, grains. For these dogs, a natural grain-free dog food is the answer.
Identifying a grain allergy
The grains found in dog food can include corn, wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, buckwheat, millet, sorghum and many others.
Dogs can develop an allergy or intolerance to grains at any stage of their life. Symptoms can include:
- Itchy, inflamed or scabbed skin
- A rash or hives
- Recurrent ear infections
- Inflammation around the eyes, nose, mouth or ears
- Coughing, sneezing or a runny nose
- Retching or vomiting
- Gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhoea, constipation and flatulence
- Behavioural changes: being unsettled or lethargic
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, take them to the vet for a check-up and talk about your concerns. Your vet can rule out any infections, health conditions or environmental factors that may be behind your dog’s symptoms. If they suspect a grain allergy, they may recommend an elimination diet to see if this alleviates your dog’s symptoms.
Choosing a natural grain-free food for you dog
When looking for a grain-free food for your dog, remember:
- Hypoallergenic dog food is free of common allergens
This means hypoallergenic dog food should automatically be grain-free—but always check!
- Gluten-free doesn’t mean grain-free
If a dog food is gluten-free, it just means it’s free of the specific grains that contain gluten (chiefly wheat, barley, rye, couscous, semolina and spelt). Your dog may have a sensitivity or allergy to one of the many cereals that don’t contain gluten, such as buckwheat, corn, flax, maize, millet, quinoa or rice (and oats, although sometimes gluten is introduced in processing). This means you should always check that your dog food specifies it’s grain-free.
- Natural is best
Choose a natural grain-free dog food to ensure it’s free of artificial additives, which your dog may also have an intolerance to. Dogs with any dietary issues are best fed food with no surprises or hidden nasties!
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