People are entitled to have any view regarding canine nutrition and put it into practice, provided that no harm is done. In the US pet market, grain-free food is a very popular trend at the moment. Well-formulated, grain-free foods provide good nutrition for dogs. However, it is reprehensible to reject grains using false arguments.
The owners’ interest in natural feeding of dogs has inspired manufacturers to develop compatible foods. During recent years, sales in the US of natural petfoods have outpaced that of petfoods overall. At present, natural is the most used claim. It is the buzzword attracting the petfood buyer. In various concepts of natural there is no place for cultivated grains, particularly wheat and corn. The anti-grains conception is generally backed by six false arguments.
All six arguments can be disproved.
It could be argued that grains form a discriminating part of the natural canine diet. Recent research indicates that the transformation of meat-eating wolves into dogs was accompanied by genetic mutations promoting starch digestion. Adaptation to a starch-rich diet would thus separate domesticated dogs from wolves. However, this reasoning may not be valid and specific. Data that wolves indeed display poor digestion of ingested, cooked starch are lacking. Cats are generally considered more carnivorous than dogs. Nevertheless, research data show that ileal digestion of cooked corn starch in domesticated cats is adequate, albeit lower than in dogs.
Degrees of freedom
Dog food production conforming the nutritionist’s approach allows a great degree of freedom. Ideally, the food should sustain a healthy and long life in the light of currently available scientific data. The use of grains as ingredients fits well in the production of good nutrition for dogs, but it is not a necessity.
[Source: AllAboutFeed magazine Vol 22 nr 5, 2014)