Grain-free diets for dogs are all the rage right now and for good reason! Grain free is a more natural diet for your dog, can help resolve allergy, skin problems and inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
What is grain free dog food?
Grain free dog food is just that – free of grains such as wheat, corn, rice, and oats. This is different than gluten-free dog food which may contain gluten-free grains such as rice or oats. Another reason it is important to read the ingredients before buying.
Simply put grains are added to dog foods because they are cheap and they act as fillers to hold the dry food together. Not only are they cheap but the government promotes and underwrites the growing of grains, specifically corn and wheat. That makes it easy for manufacturers to access the grain for their products.
There are many reasons to choose a grain free diet including if your dog has allergies to grains or gluten, and a desire for a more natural, healthy diet. One reason to choose a homemade dog food is so that you can control what is in your dog’s dish.
What do wild dogs eat?
Canines or wild dogs are predators (hunters) and their diet comes from other animals. Unlike humans, they do not go for select cuts like a sirloin but consume the whole animal. This makes their diet rich in vitamins (organ meats), calcium (bones) and vegetable matter (stomach and intestine content). Wild canines eat a variety of meats as well, not the same boring kibble day after day.
How does a dog’s digestive system work?
Humans starting domesticating wolves during the Stone Age, long before modern agriculture. One hypothesis suggests that wolves started coming into camps to raid garbage sites and steal carcasses that were thrown away. This led to a partnership of sorts and later domestication.
Over the millennium we have bred dogs to look and act a certain way. However, there anatomy and physiology is still much like their ancestors. Wolves and today’s domesticated dog share 99.5% of the same DNA material.
The dog’s mouth is designed to rip and swallow and not grind the way ours does. Food moves fairly quickly through the dog’s digestive tract. A meal takes about 6 hours to go from chewing to waste. Compare this to humans at about 20 – 30 hours.
This quick pace can lead to digestive problems such as nausea and diarrhea. Planning healthy and easily digestible meals for your dog can help them digest their food more efficiently.
Try this easy grain-free recipe – you will be tempted to eat yourself!
An active dog like Riley needs high-quality food!
Quick and Easy Salmon Omelet for Dogs
This recipe is great for a senior dog or a dog with skin allergies because it is high in omega 3 fats. The size of the omelet will depend on the size of the dog and their activity level. Small dogs get 1 egg, up to 3 eggs for a large breed. This recipe would feed my Springer Spaniel, Riley who is about 35 pounds and an active farm dog.
5 ounce can of salmon
½ cup chopped red or yellow sweet pepper
½ cup whole spinach leaves
1 tea. of calcium supplement – or recommended amount from product
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork
Lightly grease a skillet and set on the stove.
Pour your omelet mixture into the pan.
When the edges are bubbling turn it over to cook the other side. (This is an art form but your dog does not care about perfection!)