Can I Feed Grain To The Dog Or Is It Cruel To The Animals?

The trend towards natural, light, and healthy eating has also taken hold of dog owners: if you look online, you will find countless opinions on this topic. It is not uncommon for people who feed their dogs’ grain to be called cruel

Feeding a dog is as natural as feeding a wolf – it certainly sounds plausible at first. Many people also feel that they are better off following an ancient diet of meat and vegetables than when they eat chips, wheat buns, and sweets.

However, these extreme views are not safe. Because: In the long term, a one-sided diet can lead to deficiency symptoms or even overabundance.

The Dog is Not a Wolf

A sensational 2013 study compared the genes of dogs and wolves – it was shown that dogs have adapted to the diet of us humans, and digest carbohydrates significantly better than wolves.

It is now known that dogs need carbohydrates even for healthy gut function. Therefore, carbohydrates in dog food often referred to as cheap fillers, are not only allowed but even necessary.

Dogs can regulate the digestion of starch in the intestine up to 60% of the wheat content. With a grain content of 60 percent in dog food, diarrhea is due to undigested starch having an osmotic effect, that is, drawing water into the intestines.

Does Grain Feeding Really Cause Inflammation in My Dog?

This is also a popular argument that has been circulating in many forums and websites. But is there anything in this? Indeed, there is research that confirms that grains lead to chronic inflammation in the body, but so far this has only been proven in humans.

And only if these people have a previous bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease. People with healthy guts won’t get chronic inflammation from wheat-based foods.

Homemade Food Isn’t Bad at All

Continuing the widespread debate about commercial food and homemade diets, commercial food is mostly heated to make it long-lasting. This can create new allergens (for example, through the Maillard reaction, the reaction between sugar and proteins). This is why some dogs tolerate homemade food better.

However, there is a risk of vitamin deficiency or excess. Because very few people have a nutritional plan based on scientific evidence for their animals. Therefore, from a scientific point of view, it is absolutely recommended to feed your dog with quality ready-made food. And yes, it can contain grain as well.

What About Food Allergies?

For food allergies to develop, food components must come into contact with the bloodstream. This means that food allergy is always preceded by intestinal disease.

There are two phases of allergy: in the sensitization phase, the intestinal wall is damaged. Substances that are normally only absorbed through digestion can then enter the bloodstream as larger particles and antibodies are formed.

In the second phase, the phase of hypersensitivity, there is a renewal of contact with the allergen. This then leads to an overreaction of the immune system, which manifests itself in itching and diarrhea.

According to a 2015 study, the most common allergens are beef, poultry, cereals, cow’s milk, soy, eggs, and fish. However, for this reason, no one would consider feeding their dog a vegetarian or vegan diet – the substances mentioned are simply the most common ingredients in our dog food, so allergies are more likely to develop.

Grain Allowed in Dog Food

Conclusion: Yes, there are food intolerances and grain allergies, but no more than other substances such as meat and dairy products. Therefore, it is absolutely justifiable to choose a dog food containing wheat if your dog likes it and is good at digesting it.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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