Pet Food Composition 101: “Grain-Free” Is Good?

Just open a pet food directory, there are more than 100 kinds of “Grain-free”. If you just add “grain-free”, the price is not significantly different from the general product, then we as consumers, but also happy to enjoy the business to do more than a product. But in fact, grain-free food is more expensive than non-grain-free products. Not only that, big brands such as Sears and Royal have their own “grain-free” product line, which makes us more assured that “grain-free” pets products┬ámust have their own specialties and better for pets.

So, what is the “grain-free” product? Maybe we have to start with what is “grain.” Grain, which we generally refer to as grains, is commonly used in pet foods: rice / corn, wheat, soy, barley, sorghum, Oats, rye. Now it is easy to understand “grain-free” again, that is, there is none of the food mentioned above. Common characteristics of these foods are: plant origin, carbohydrate content is relatively high.

The reason why people prefer to choose “grain-free” pet food seems to be obvious after knowing their common characteristics. The easiest ones to understand are:

Because of the variety of plant-derived proteins, pet allergies can easily result, so choose “grain-free” to prevent or treat allergies.

Dogs and cats are carnivores and do not digest cereals well, so “grain-free” foods are more suitable for their stomachs.

The high carbohydrate content in cereals can easily lead to pet obesity.

Well, we are all adults, do not easily believe “seemingly” justified remarks, in fact, the above three seemingly correct remarks are wrong! In the 21st century, we have to believe in science and use data to talk. So many pet nutritionists diligently collect data, analyze the data, and draw conclusions for us to enjoy. We still have to believe rumors, which we cannot justify. Let’s break the rumor one by one.

Rumor 1: A wide variety of plant-derived proteins, it is easy to cause pet allergies, so in order to prevent or treat allergies, to choose “grain-free.”

A recent statistical study of 386 food-borne adverse reactions, the data show that the first four components of pet discomfort are beef, dairy products, chicken and fish. Maize, wheat and soybeans together as a group of three, accounting for less than 20%. Many pet dermatologists also see that many referral patients have tried “grain-free” foods before coming to find them, but have little effect because food-borne adverse reactions exceed 80 % Of the case is caused by the meat in the food that is not dealt with by the gastrointestinal or immune system of the pet

If your pet has food allergies, try a different source of protein (beef for mutton) source try, do not worry try “grain-free”, in all likelihood in vain.

Rumor 2: Dogs and cats are carnivores and do not digest cereals well, so “grain-free” foods are more suitable for their stomachs.

Cats are indeed carnivores, but dogs tend to be omnivores. But does this affect them to digest the grain? The answer is that this does not affect their ability to digest the grain content of pet food. Cats, as carnivores, prey on rats instead of just eating pure meat, eating them all, including the hair, skin, nerves, blood vessels, internal organs, and the food that remains in the intestines of mice – grains and others plant. And dogs, a recent study comparing the genomes of dogs and wolves found that dogs had a lot more digestive enzyme in their evolutionary journey. The metabolism of carbohydrates has been incorporated into the dog’s instincts during dog domestication. So, the ability of dogs and cats to digest their grains is not as weak as we thought.

At the same time, the grains are processed before they are added to the pet’s feed, and a series of steps such as husking and heating allow them to be digested and absorbed by cats and dogs. However, it should be noted that although the processed grains can be digested by cats and dogs, there is still a certain demand for the proportion of grains in pet foods, especially for cats, where high-carbohydrate foods are not suitable for them Meal structure.

Rumor 3: high carbohydrate content in cereals, it is easy to cause pet obesity.

The problem of obesity seems not very serious in the motherland, in contrast, the United States more obese pets. But do you know what is the main source of pet obesity? In fact, not carbohydrates, but fat. At the same weight, fat contains more calories than carbohydrates (on average about 2.25 times). Some grain-free pet food eventually results in too much fat in order to meet the demand. For example, a low-carbohydrate grain-free cat food containing 538 kcal / cup of calories, this calorie-level cat food cat eat 1/3 cup a day to meet the caloric requirements, eating more will be fat, and 1/3 The cup is simply not enough for many cats. Studies have shown that total calorie intake affects obesity more than the proportion of carbohydrates in food. Therefore, we should not blindly think that eating more carbohydrates will be fat (secretly speaking, in fact, the same for people.)

In fact, this article is not written to advise you to refuse “grain-free” pet food, just to remind everyone not to blindly respected some seemingly correct, the actual error theory, the rational choice of their pet food.

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