The subject of grain-free diets is becoming much more of a live issue in the minds of dog owners. You may have been struck by the concept of “grain-free” food while walking through various distribution outlets or browsing the internet. The choice is a complicated one, and is very much at the cutting edge of canine nutrition. True Leaf also offers products that are grain-free, which is why we are addressing the issue of this kind of diet in this article.
What is a grain-free diet?
Dogs are carnivores, which means their diet is made up primarily of meat as well as some types of fruit and vegetables. Dogs are no longer considered wild animals today, they are domesticated animals whose diet depends primarily on what humans feed to them.
Certain manufacturers have opted for grain instead of meat in their products because of the high price of meat which has traditionally been included in dog food or snacks. This grain in fact winds up replacing or reducing the amount of animal proteins present in your dog’s diet. A grain-free diet thus excludes any kind of grain, and you won’t find any wheat, barley, corn, or rice in there either! Their diet will only be made up of meat, fruit and vegetables, and will provide the protein intake that your dog needs.
What is the point of a grain-free diet?
You vet will tell you if you ask them that a dog may be gluten-intolerant (in the same way that humans may be) and it’s possible that they won’t be able to tolerate having different grains in their diet. The more curious among you will have noticed that there is a diet called BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet) which is the diet that aims to be as close as possible to a dog’s natural diet. Following such a diet, however, can take up an enormous amount of your time, which is why a grain-free diet makes a lot of sense!
Dogs who enjoy a grain-free diet will digest things better (allowing for a certain amount of time after transitioning over to the diet), with their stool changing from a light to a much darker brown. A diet with too much grain in it will result in your dog having yellowish excrement (the colour of grain). This grain-free diet is also beneficial to your dog’s fur, making it much shinier and softer. And the great part about all this? It reduces the risk of anything happening to your pet’s bodies.
Just as dog food can be grain-based, the same is also true of snacks. This is why True Leaf offers hemp-based snacks and dental sticks that are certified grain-free and free of any artificial colourings. These snacks and sticks will contribute positively to your dog’s health and are available in several product ranges. For more information about the benefits of hemp, please refer to our article on the subject.
How do you choose a quality product?
Manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon of this growth in “grain- free” foods, so you need to be careful. Whether you’re looking at dog food or snacks, you need to get into the habit of reading the labels on the products you are purchasing and to look at what’s inside them. Here are a few helpful tips to assist you in making your choices:
- If you are looking for protein for your dogs, make sure that primary ingredient is protein; you might see potatoes or peas listed before animal protein. Our treats generally consist of than 60% chicken as well as a lesser amount of salmon (around 10%). For our dental sticks, we make, in equal parts, a blend of peas, potatoes, and animal proteins.
- As stated above, the protein content must be very significant, and should preferably be the primary ingredient. For dog food, the protein content should be at least 30% (with an ash content of less than 10%, since if the amount is greater than 10%, this means that the proteins were burned when the dog food was being made). For hemp-based treats and dental sticks, the protein content is 25% for our treats and 10% for our dental sticks. This is a considerable amount, especially for treats.
- Watch out for carbohydrate levels – more than a 35% ratio can be bad for dogs. For example, the amount is 16.5% for our “Health” treats. A low carbohydrate level can help avoid unhealthy sugar accumulation in your dog’s body.
Here at True Leaf, we take the business of providing grain and dye-free quality products to our customers and their four-legged companions very seriously. We provide a healthy and beneficial diet for your pet, as well as the benefits of the natural effects of hemp on fur, body, and joints. Choosing True Leaf products means taking care of your dog and providing what’s best when it comes to their diet.
To find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team will be happy to answer your questions.