Are Grains Bad For Dogs? –Know The Whole Truth behind it

Are Grains Bad For Dogs |Are Grains Good For Dogs | Should Dogs Eat Food Grain-free or With Grain

Lately, there is a lot of talk about grain-free dog food. Obviously, everyone tries to pull the water on their own mill:

  • All grains are bad
  • Cereals are good for you
  • Cereals are bad, but ancient grains are not
  • Cereals are bad, but rice is not
  • The dog can eat everything in the right quantities

If you care about your dog’s health and are confused about the subject, I understand you perfectly well. Just do a short Google search to find everything and the opposite of everything.

I’ll tell you more, looking at the scientific studies it is very difficult to orient yourself. It is not uncommon to find studies that give opposite results, as well as studies that are not really “independent”.

For this reason, I now want to clarify, so that you can consciously decide which food to give to your dog.

Be patient, the article is very long, but I assure you that it is worth reading through.

Evolution says that the dog is omnivorous

The evolution of the dog is still the subject of scientific debate. We know that it is the first animal to have been domesticated by man, but we don’t know when. It is estimated around 10-15,000 years ago.

Its closest relative in nature is the wolf, which is a 100% carnivorous animal, which feeds only and exclusively on the prey it hunts. Therefore its diet is composed only of proteins and fats and those few carbohydrates stored in the bowels of the prey.

Are Grains Bad For Dogs?

The dog, however, despite being similar to the wolf, has important genetic differences.

As it has spent thousands of years in our company, sharing our agricultural diet, it has evolved into an omnivorous direction.

This means that your dog can also absorb nutrition from plant-based foods.

Without going into too many specifics of digestive processes, what you need to know is that dogs, unlike wolves, produce a series of enzymes (amylases) necessary to digest starches, complex carbohydrates found in cereals and vegetables.

Thanks to these enzymes, it can obtain nourishment not only from animal proteins and fats (such as wolf), but ALSO from cereals, legumes, fruit, and vegetables in the form of carbohydrates.

Everything ok then? Well, not really, the problem lies in the word ALSO.

Difference between health and survival

Nature and evolution always reward the animal that SURVIVES, that is, the one that is able to reproduce.

Being able to get nutrition from many different food sources is a huge plus. If there is a shortage of meat, the animal can survive by eating potatoes, cereals, and legumes.

However, this does not mean that feeding your dog grain for life is good and right.

As I told you a moment ago, surviving is different from living long and healthy!

Observe your dog.

Its canines are sharp to tear meat from the prey, just as its molars are pointed to tear it apart.

Are Grains Bad For Dogs?

The PH of his stomach is very acidic and his intestine is shorter than that of us humans, in order to digest meat better and expel waste faster.

At the same time, the cecum is not developed. The cecum is the part of the intestine where plant fibers are digested. So the dog can eat the fibers and they help him in intestinal regularity, but he is not able to digest them and draw energy from them.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because the dog has always been a predominantly carnivorous animal and despite its evolution, its body remains that of a carnivore.

Here in the picture, you see a typical granivorous animal (even if it eats meat too). Do you notice any differences compared to your dog?

Are Grains Bad For Dogs?

Are Carbohydrates Really Necessary?

If the dog remains a predominantly carnivorous animal, then it means that its diet must consist mainly of proteins and fats.

Careful: I’m not saying you have to give him ONLY proteins and fats, that is, only meat and animal fat. I’m saying that most of his diet must consist of meat and fat.

Since he is able to digest starches and assimilate carbohydrates, it is absolutely fine to include a vegetable part in his meals.

I do not deny that feeding your dog with 100% animal products, made with high-quality ingredients, would be a real drain on your wallet, especially if it is a nice big dog!

The only important thing is that you don’t invert the proportions!

Most of the cheaper croquettes, to keep the price low, contain mostly cereals and the meat covers only a small percentage.

Here, this is not good.

Because the fact that your body is able to digest starches does not mean that it can handle large quantities well, as in the case of a diet based on cereals and legumes.

Have you ever wondered why dogs get fat or become diabetic?

It is exactly for the reason I just told you.

The dog also survives on starch but is not made for a starch-based diet. Too many carbohydrates put stress on the pancreas, which is forced to over-produce insulin.

Too many carbohydrates are not absorbed by the muscles and therefore end up in fat deposits.

And you can imagine how all this is good for your dog’s health …

Can a modest amount of grains be good for your dog?

If you notice, I told you earlier that including a portion of vegetables in his meals is good for his health.

But not all vegetables are the same.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, so they are a great choice. As well as potatoes, as long as they are used without a peel.

The situation changes if you consider cereals (wheat, millet, amaranth, spelled, oats, barley, corn, etc.) and legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas, etc.).

The dog did not evolve as a granivore. In fact, he does not chew but uses his teeth to break food into pieces and swallow it.

His teeth are not made for shredding and grinding seeds, grains or beans, and his digestive system is unable to digest them whole.

I don’t recommend that you do this, but if you try to feed your dog whole corn kernels, he will excrete them whole with the feces!

Contrary to what happens with a large piece of meat or an apple, which is completely digested.

Are Grains Bad For Dogs?

I’ll tell you more, the same goes for us humans too!

Do you know why this happens?

Because cereals and legumes are SEEDS and are equipped with natural defenses against animals to guarantee the reproduction of the plant.

If they are not shredded, the intestines cannot break them. But even if they are chopped, they contain substances that are problematic for the body called antinutrients.

I am referring mainly to four:

  • Gluten
  • Lectins
  • Fite
  • Exorphins

Surely you know gluten, which creates many problems for us humans. It is no coincidence that the cases of celiac disease are constantly increasing and there is a real explosion of gluten-free products.

Again I don’t want to bore you with too much biochemistry.

What you need to know is that these substances have 3 main effects:

  • They reduce the absorption of food nutrients (in particular proteins, iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, and magnesium)
  • They damage the intestinal mucosa giving rise to an immune response that can lead to allergies and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, dermatitis, etc.
  • They are addictive because exorphins have a pleasant effect similar to that of drugs. Have you ever wondered why it is so much easier to give up a steak than a plate of pasta, a slice of cake, or a slice of pizza? Well, they have the same effect on animals too: their hunger/satiety mechanism gets high and they end up overeating and gaining weight.

Keep in mind that all cereals contain these substances, no matter whether it is simple corn, or the so-called “ancient grains” that are so fashionable today. 

The only cereal that is saved is white rice, that is, the one deprived of its skin which also contains anti-nutrients. Contrary to what we read around, brown rice is NOT healthier than white rice!

Are Grains Bad For Dogs?

“Grains and legumes are poison for your dog!”

After everything I’ve told you about grains and legumes, it wouldn’t be hard to back it up. But I do not want to make fun of you and I would not even make a good impression given the large number of dogs that eat them and continue to live.

So I want to address this issue sincerely and without extremes.

Certainly grains and legumes are not good food for dogs and the reason is all the anti-nutrients they contain.

At the same time, however, our bodies, as well as those of our four-legged friends, are extremely resistant. Think how much the human body can resist damage from pollution or cigarette smoke! After all, if after millions of years of evolution we are still here, we have to be resistant.

This means that your dog may also eat grains, live a long life, and be in good health to the last.

Of course, I am referring to high-quality cereals. Because in the past there have been several scandals about animal feed prepared with waste cereals, contaminated with pesticides or toxic substances, or perhaps imported from countries that do not carry out controls.

Always pay attention to the price. I know that everyone likes to spend less, but too low a price must always ring the alarm bell: quality raw materials cost money. What compromises has the manufacturer made in order to keep the price so low?

However, dogs are not all the same, some are more resistant, and others are more sensitive. It would be nice to be able to turn around, look at your four-legged friend and know if he may have problems or not. But unfortunately, this is not possible.

Eventually, our dogs live in a polluted environment, less and less natural and more artificial. Taking care of their nutrition in the best possible way can only help them.

Are Grains Bad For Dogs?

Is there a 100% healthy alternative? The answer is yes, so why take risks with foods not suited to their nature such as grains and legumes?

But be careful: if your dog is already suffering from problems, then I recommend that you brush off any doubts and immediately choose a grain-free diet.

Signs that your dog may have a food allergy or intolerance

The intestine is one of the most delicate organs in the entire organism of humans, dogs, cats, and even other animals. For this reason, it is very important to protect it with the right diet.

An irritated or damaged bowel can lead to many ailments. Some are obvious, while others you would never think come from the gut!

Here are some of them:

  • Impaired bowel function (diarrhea, loose stools, or constipation)
  • He retched
  • Flatulence
  • Skin irritation and dermatitis
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Frequent infections by parasites
  • Dandruff
  • Hair loss
  • Articular pains

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, I recommend that you immediately switch to a grain-free, legume-free diet with only the highest quality ingredients.

A truly healthy diet is the best cure for most ailments.


Can Dogs Eat Grains?

The simple answer is YES because Dogs are omnivores. Over time, Dog has adapted to human food. Dogs’ digestive system has the power to dissolve starch and carbs which are the reason that dogs can eat grain.

Are Grains Good for Dogs?

Definitely, Grains Are Good for Dogs. Grains are a good souse of carbs which are responsible to provide energy to dogs moreover Grains contain fiber, antioxidants, and minerals & Wholesome grains contained B-vitamins which play a major role in cognitive function, nerves, and muscles & Grain also has antioxidants which protect dogs’ cells from oxidative stress.

When Are Grains Bad for Dogs?

Grains can be good and harmful both for dogs. Let me tell you how, Some dog has food allergies issue so in this case, using food with Grains might kill your dog. Some dogs are allergic or sensitive to gluten and wheat so while serving the food we have to take care that what we are serving to our dogs & make sure food should not contained gluten and wheat. Some Grains are responsible to create digestion issues for dog-like corn, wheat, or rice.

Is Grain-Free Dog Food Better?

Some dogs are allergic or sensitive to gluten and wheat so only Grain-Free Dog Food options are left but Are Grain-Free Dog Food really Better than Food with Grain?
A grain-free food normally contains sweet potatoes and pea protein which helps to dog to get grain allergies. Even In some cases, grain-free food helped to dog with joint health, immune function, and healthy gut lining.

Which Grain Is Best for Dogs?

As we already knew that grains are very beneficial for dogs but what Grains are Best for Dogs? so we have given a list below
1. Whole Grain
Whole wheat,
Brown rice,
Whole oats
2. Ancient Grain

Which Grain to Limit or Avoid?

Some grains should be avoided or limited in dog meals.
We have the list below that Which Grain to be Limited or Avoided.
1. Refined Grain
During the production, most of the nutritious things have been removed Like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. What’s left? Mainly starch so what do we do with the carbs if all main things are removed.
2. By-products
You may have noticed some fancy names in a dry dog food recipe:
Corn gluten meal
Wheat middlings
Wheat gluten
Oat fiber
All these are by-products of food production. This means less nutrition than the original grain. If a dog food is a mentioned By-products tag avoid it.

Should dogs eat grains or not?

See answer is completely dependent on dogs if dogs are allergic or sensitive to gluten and wheat or have a food allergy then you should go for Grain-free food otherwise Grain-free foods are the best option for your dog’s health.

Why should dogs have grain-free food?

The answer is so simple if dogs are allergic or sensitive to gluten and wheat or have a food allergy then you should go for Grain-free food.

What are the disadvantages of grain-free dog food?

We have given a list below of the disadvantages of grain-free dog food.
1. Grain-free dog food can lead to weight gain for your dog.
2. Grain-free food is rich in carbohydrates only & they have fewer nutrients.
3. More expensive.
4. Grain-free dog food are not suitable for senior or less active dogs

Does grain-free cause heart problems in dogs?

As per the website article yes grain-free cause heart problems in dogs .
Grain-free food is responsible for dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a thinning of the heart wall that can fail the dog’s heart.

is rice a good grain for dogs?

The simple answer is YES but Brown rice, not White rice. Nowadays big brands or dog food brands are using brown rice. Brown rice is very nutritious for dogs. We can give our dog brown rice its good grain & more beneficial for the dog.

Are Grain-Free Carbohydrates Better?

Grains are cheaper than other carbohydrate sources such as peas, legumes, and potatoes but are not the best carbohydrate sources for this. 
Often animals fed with grain-free diets have poorly formed stools or flatulence because in reality, the form of starch contained in legumes is less digestible than the starch contained in cereals. 
In addition, protein sources are less noble because they come from legumes rather than from meat or fish which are present in less quantity than in other commercial diets. 
Always read the label of the foods you buy! 
The ingredients are sorted in descending order, so the first ingredient will be the major component of your pet’s diet.

In conclusion

I know this is a long article and reading it has taken some time for you. But if you have come this far, I congratulate you: it means that you care about your dog’s health and you are not satisfied with some slogans placed there to sell the product.

For this reason, I wanted to explain all the choices behind our products.

I’ll briefly summarize the main concepts:

  • The dog is a carnivore and has a carnivorous body and digestive system
  • Dogs digest and tolerate modest amounts of amides (complex carbohydrates) well
  • The healthiest dog food is mainly protein and fat with added carbohydrates
  • Cereals and legumes contain substances that are harmful to the intestine and are addictive
  • If you want to be 100% safe for your dog’s health or if your dog has ailments, choose a grain-free and legume-free diet.

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