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Dog Foods

Dog Foods

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Published by: AB on Jun 27, 2012
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Grain free dog foods
have become a favorite for those wishing to more closely mimic adog’s natural ancestral diet… and to lessen the risk of food allergies.And it’s easy to see why…Compared to the typical kibble or canned food, the best grain free recipes contain
more
meat based
protein
as wellas easy-to-digest animal
fats
.And usually fewer carbohydrates, too.Not only are
grains
like corn and wheat a frequent cause of canine allergies
1
they can also be more difficult for a dogto digest.
Why Grains Can BeMore Difficult to Digest
That’s because many plant-eating animals (known as herbivores) possess one powerful weapon manycarnivores(like dogs) usually lack…Salivary
amylase
.Amylase is a special enzyme mostherbivores and omnivores(like us humans)
produce in their saliva
. It’s needed to begin the break down of starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars…Before they enter the stomach.Now, dogs also produce amylase. But the enzyme is added further down the digestive tract… in the small intestine.Because a carnivore’s saliva is mostly amylase-free, carbohydrates can be more
difficult
for a dog to digest.What actually does make corn and other grains more digestible for a dog is the cooking process itself.
Why Kibbles Can Be Grain FreeBut Never Carbohydrate Free
Compared to canned dog foods, kibbles cannot be made with just meat. That’s because the process used for making kibble requires anotableamount of carbohydratesto create a dough-like binder to hold everything together.Since there can be no corn, wheat, barley, rice (or any other cereal grains, for that matter), novel carbohydrates must be used in their place to makegrain-free kibbles possible.And
vegetables
(like
potatoes
) appear to be the most common source of carbohydrates found in non-grain recipes.
The Bottom Line
Supporters of grain-free dog foods claim these products provide at least
two important benefits
They’re consideredhypoallergenicThey attempt to mimic a dog’snatural ancestral dietSo, how can you find a quality grain-free dog food?
How We Selected the Best
If you’re looking for a quality grain free dog food, we’ve prepared
two lists
… one for
dry
dog foods and the other for
wet
.To be selected, these products must meet two basic requirements.First, they must have been rated at least
four stars
or
five stars
by the Advisor.And lastly, the recipes (of course) must be
grain free
.
Best Grain Free Dog Foodshttp://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-grain-free-dog-foods/1 of 16/26/2012 8:22 PM
 
Understanding Dog Food Labels
The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s mostfrequently asked questionsabout reading and understanding dog food labels.
Why are my dog food’s protein and fat percentages different from the ones mentioned in your reviews?
Because all foods (even human foods) contain varying amounts of moisture, we usedry matter basisto report the nutrient content of every productwe review. This method mathematically removes all the water from a food.Dry matter basis allows a more accurate comparison between dog foods with different moisture content.
Dog Food Labels | Frequently Asked Questionshttp://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/dog-food-labels/1 of 16/26/2012 8:24 PM
 
 
The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s mostfrequently asked questionsabout diet rotation for dogs.
Wh
a
t is diet rotation?
Unlike a conventional feeding plan where the same food is served at each meal, diet rotation involves varying a dog’s menu on a daily, weekly, orother periodic basis.
Why should I consider diet rotation for my dog?
Since there’s no such thing as a perfect dog food, it’s reasonable to assume every product is deficient or excessive in some way.Too much of one nutrient… or too little of another. Plus many foods can contain traces of dangerous toxins.So, built-in flaws tend to be magnified when the same food is fed continuously… day-in and day-out… for a lifetime.By periodically switching dog foods, the unhealthy consequences of serving the same imperfect products can be minimized.
What are the benefits of diet rotation?
Here are a few of the many advantages of diet rotation…Diet less boring so dogs less finickySwitching protein sources decreases the risk of allergiesDiversification minimizes the long term build-up of toxins
Doesn’t changing a dog’s diet increase its risk of allergies?
This is a common myth. Changing protein sources (species) on a routine basis is one of the best ways to avoid continuous exposure to the sameingredients… a major cause of canine allergies.
Isn’t changing dog foods dangerous for the animal?
Although some pets can’t tolerate menu changes, I’ve never been able to find a single scientific study proving diet rotation to be unhealthy ordetrimental to a dog.
Does diet rotation mean mixing two or more different dog foods together and serving them at the same meal?
No. The benefits of diet rotation are optimized only when cycling between different products on a periodic basis.
How often should dog foods be switched?
There’s no fixed feeding plan that works better than the others. So, it depends on your own imgenuity.Some switch foods daily. Others change weekly. And still others prefer to empty one bag of kibble before beginning the next.
Is there a downside to diet rotation?
There are mainly two disadvantages to diet rotation…Avoiding GI upsetMaintaining product freshnessSince some dogs have sensitive stomachs, the potential for GI upset can be an issue for certain pets.And because alternating between two or more kibbles can make each bag take longer to use up, it can be difficult to maintain the freshness of eachproduct.
Can you provide an example of diet rotation?
For Bailey, we mix one-fourth of a small can of a single-species wet food (chicken, lamb, rabbit, etc.) with his kibble. As each can runs out, we switchto a different canned product from the same brand.Then, when each bag of kibble is empty, we start with a different kibble (usually, but not always, from the same brand).Over the long term (twice a year), we gradually switch brands, too.
Rotation Diet for Dogs | Frequently Asked Questionshttp://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diet-rotation-...1 of 16/26/2012 8:26 PM

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