why should I buy grain-free dog food? #sponsored

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Many high-quality dog foods are now grain-free or offer grain-free varieties. While not all grains are created equal, these grain-free foods, in general, may be slightly more expensive than their grain-containing counterparts due to the fact that grain is less expensive than meat protein and other natural, nutritious ingredients. But the increase in cost is worth it for two important reasons:

1. Grain-free foods are typically healthier for your dog 

2. The extra money you spend on a high-quality grain-free food will save you in the long run since many costly veterinary treatments can be prevented with a better diet.

And, unless you are buying bottom-of-the-barrel (please say you're not) grocery store brand dog foods, going grain-free isn't really that much more expensive.

Why should I buy grain-free dog food?–Well Minded

Why should I buy grain-free dog food?–Well Minded

Brothers Complete is a great high-quality, grain-free option. Plus, the people are awesome–they truly care about your dog. What a concept!

Brothers Complete is a great high-quality, grain-free option. Plus, the people are awesome–they truly care about your dog. What a concept!

We have our dog, N.A.S.H.A., on a rotational diet, which means we feed her a variety of high-quality dog foods on rotation, most of which are grain-free. One of our favorites is Brothers Complete, a high-quality kibble that comes in a variety of protein varieties, including chicken, turkey, lamb, and venison. There are lots of reasons why we love Brothers Complete, one of the main reasons being that they are totally grain-free.

why are grains bad for my dog?

• Dogs do not need carbohydrates to provide glucose to their bodies like humans do. Dogs convert fat into glucose and energy, a process called gluconeogenesis. Gesundheit. Grains in dog foods are unnecessary, taking up space that could be filled by other nutritions ingredients. Grains are used in dog food as cheap fillers.

• Most grain used in dog food is poor quality grain that was rejected from the human food industry. The grain stored in hot silos for several months and can often become contaminated by rodents, insects, grain storage mites, their droppings, and their carcasses. Ewww. As if that isn't bad enough, the heat in the silos often causes growth of fungus and toxins, some of which can be harmful or even fatal.

• Grains contain physic acid. Physic acid binds to essential minerals and eliminates them from your body, so your pooch won't receive all of the benefit of the good nutrients in the food. The soaking process our ancestors used to remove the physic acid from the grain has been eliminated in the name of efficiency. So not only are grains non-essential fillers, they actually detract from the nutrients your pet needs.

• Ingestion of some grains in dogs can cause "leaky gut," a condition that results in increased intestinal permeability. The culprit? Gliadin that triggers the release of the chemical Zonulin. The result? An increase in allergic reactions, skin conditions, and immune dysfunction.

• Processed grains and potatoes have a high glycemic index. Since dogs don't need carbohydrates, their systems react as if they have eaten sugar, causing an insulin spike. Over time, this can cause stress to the pancreas, leading to insulin resistance. The dog's body creates more and more insulin to compensate, which can eventually lead to diabetes.

• Even when potatoes are fresh, they aren't good for dogs. But it gets worse. For optimum freshness, potatoes should be stored in the dark, between 55° and 60° F. Most dog food companies do not keep to these standards. Potatoes that are exposed to light, damaged, or are allowed to get above 65° for too long produce a potent toxin called solanine. 

• Grains and potatoes have high levels of lectins, which are damaging to your dog's overall health for several reasons. Lectins interfere with the absorption of nutrients and protein digestion and can result in anemia and diarrhea. Lectins can also cause leaky gut, immune dysfunction, and inflammation. They can create food sensitivities by causing the immune system to create antibodies against them, hence the increase in dogs with food allergies and sensitivities. Hormone interference caused by lectins can affect your dog's metabolism, possibly contributing to weight gain. And that's not all...they can also cause problems for the intestines, pancreas and liver. Bad news!

if grain is so bad for my dog, why do so many dog foods include it?

One reason: it's cheap. If grain is a main ingredient or even included at all, the dog food is cheaper to produce than a food that does not contain grains. The more grain (like, is it one of the first three ingredients?) in the food, the cheaper it is to make. Large dog food companies can then charge less for their food, appealing to a broader group of pet parents, or can gain a higher profit margin on their food.

To me, that's wrong and creepy. I'd rather pay a little bit more for my food and know that the company I'm purchasing from has N.A.S.H.A.'s best interests at heart. Plus, if I feed her a higher-quality, grain-free food, she'll be healthier, and I'll save on vet bills over time.

But what if your veterinarian recommends a food with grains? 

I urge you to think about who is to profit from that.

Brothers Complete explains it well:

There are many veterinarians and nutritionists who say that dogs should not have a problem eating grain or potato; and there have even been studies designed to prove the same thing. The studies are usually funded by large dog food companies that have a vested interest in convincing veterinarians and the general public that grain and potato is good for dogs, or at least doesn't do them any harm. Given our experience with thousands of dogs over the years, we do not agree with that point of view.

I know, I'm mad, too. But there's something we can do about it.

how can my dog benefit from a grain-free diet?

Brothers Complete, one of our favorite grain-free dog foods states:

Brothers Complete Dog Food is a great grain-free option. 

Brothers Complete Dog Food is a great grain-free option. 

Years of actual experience operating a dog food store has given us the vantage point of being able to observe the effect of diet on many thousands of dogs over extended periods of time...Many dogs were seemingly fine eating grain- or potato-based dog food when we first met them, but, over the years, if they didn't eliminate grain and potato from their diet, the majority of them eventually did develop problems. Switching them to grain- and potato-free foods quickly eliminated the problems and was further confirmation that grain and potato were primarily responsible for the problems.

Dogs switched to a grain-free diet will typically see dramatic health benefits, including:

• Healthier skin and coat.

• Elimination of allergic reactions in the skin.

• Reduction in systemic inflammation. 

• Healthier immune system.

• Healthier digestive system.

• Better nutrient absorption, resulting in better overall health.

While no food is a miracle cure, switching your pooch to a grain-free diet such as Brothers Complete can help him better deal with any health issues that may arise. Since our dogs are considered family members, it's important to educate ourselves and provide our canine kids the optimum in pet nutrition, setting them up for great health and longevity. 

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Have you switched your dog to a grain-free diet? What health benefits have you noticed? Please share your story so we can learn from your experience!


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