Many people assume that dogs are carnivores. While this may be partially true, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Dogs are not strict carnivores, though they do require a diet rich in meat. They are, however, able to digest a limited amount of plant material which technically makes them omnivores. It is important to realize, however, that some dogs have difficulty digesting grains and grain allergies are fairly common. If your dog fits either of these categories, you might consider switching to a grain-free dog food.
What are the Benefits of Grain-Free Food?
For many dogs, whole grains are a digestible source of carbohydrate that provide energy, fiber, and essential nutrients. Unfortunately, many dogs are allergic or sensitive to grains. A dog that can’t properly digest grains needs to be fed a diet free from those ingredients – a grain-free diet. A grain-free dog food doesn’t contain any grains, whole grains or otherwise. This doesn’t mean, however, that the recipe is free from carbohydrates altogether. There are plenty of digestible carbohydrates that don’t come from grains. The main benefit of a grain-free diet for dogs is that it may be easier for some dogs to digest and it has a lower risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities.
What Kind of Carbohydrates are Grain-Free?
The ideal diet for a dog is rich in protein and healthy fats but limited in carbohydrate. If your dog can’t tolerate grains, you may need to switch to a dog food that is made with an alternative source of carbohydrate. Some of the most commonly used carbohydrates in grain-free dog foods include the following foods:
- Green peas
- Sweet potatoes
- Yellow peas
You may also be wondering about the distinction between grain-free and gluten-free when it comes to carbohydrates for your dog. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. There are, however, gluten-free grains like brown rice and oatmeal. If you want to feed your dog a grain-free diet, however, you’ll have to avoid these grains as well as other popular grains such as barley, wheat, corn, millet, sorghum, and quinoa.
What Are the Cheapest Grain-Free Dog Foods on the Market?
The best advice you can follow in regard to your dog’s diet is to feed him the highest quality pet food you can afford on a weekly or monthly basis. When it comes to pet food pricing, however, there are a number of factors to take into account. Foods made with high-quality ingredients are going to be more expensive than foods made with low-quality ingredients and fillers. Just because a pet food is grain-free doesn’t mean that it will be expensive, but it doesn’t mean it will be cheap either. It varies from one dog food brand to another. If you’re looking for a grain-free dog food at a low price, here are the sixteen cheapest dog food brands that offer grain-free recipes:
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain-Free
- Diamond Naturals Grain-Free
- Health Extension Grain-Free
- Iams Grain-Free Naturals
- Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free
- Nutrisca Grain-Free
- NutriSource Grain-Free
- Perfect Balance Grain-Free
- Purina Beyond Grain-Free
- Purina ONE SmartBlend Grain-Free
- Purina Pro Plan Natural Grain-Free
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain
- Triumph Grain-Free
- Under the Sun Grain-Free
- Victor Grain-Free
- Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free
Though the brands listed above may be inexpensive, they aren’t necessarily the highest quality brands on the market. Price isn’t always directly correlated with quality when it comes to pet food, but in most cases, it is. Some of these brands – like Under the Sun and Whole Earth Farms – are made by some of the top pet food brands on the market but designed specifically to offer pet parents a more affordable product that is still of decent quality. In the end, you still need to know what your dog’s nutritional needs are and how to evaluate the quality of a pet food product for yourself. That is the only way to make sure that your dog gets the high-quality diet and the nutrition he deserves.