View Full Version : Any opinions on feeding grain free vs grains?

4th June 2012, 02:31 AM
Anyone have any input? Emma's tried both grain free diets and diets with grain. Right now she is on Natures Variety Duck and Turkey (the new one that just came out this past week i think actually that has raw boost bites in the kibble). She was previously on Blue Buffalo Small Breed Lamb and Rice, but she seemed to be eating grass constantly so I think it may have upset her stomach. What do your dogs eat and how are they doing on it?


4th June 2012, 03:50 AM
If you just switched her over...she might just take a bit for her tummy to get used to it. JMHO..but I think the Natures Variety is an excellent choice. BB is very good too .. but she's gonna get more nutrition w/ the Natures.
Dog food w/ mostly grains..for me..a big > NO.
We used to feed Nutro Max. Not a bad food..but we changed over to Canidae (dry) awhile back. They do great w/ it.
I also buy Omega 3 capsules ( squirt it over the food) & our dogs get one every day.

4th June 2012, 04:14 AM
Im making sure to slowly switch over for her tummy (especially because of the grass eating), so Im doing half of the old and half of the new right now. She didn't eat any grass today, but maybe thats because we weren't outside as much as usual because it thunder stormed. I used to put salmon oil over her food but i think she got really sick of it because after a while she wouldn't touch it at all! So now i just give her half of a pet tab plus vitamin once a day for her supplement. The natures variety has so many probiotics in it compared to most of the other brands out there which I'm happy about! I definitely stay away completely from any food that doesn't have a protein source as the first ingredient though. I think that is a good rule of thumb with any type of dog food, but thats just me :)

My Henry Boy
4th June 2012, 04:27 AM
We were feeding taste of the wild grain free bison. Since the recall we have changed over to Fromm beef, grain free. They are a smaller company, family owned and have been making dog food since 1904, and have never been involved in any kind of recall.
Henry really loves his food.

4th June 2012, 04:37 AM
Dogs in the wild did not eat much grain. Usually the only grain they would ingest would come from the stomach contents of prey. While grains are okay as a part of a domesticated dog's daily diet, grains should not be a significant portion of it.

A lot of dry dog foods have very high percentages of grains, especially corn. Hill's Science Diet dry food is notorious for including a very high quantity of corn and corn meal. That is one of the reasons kibble basically is worthless junk food, and Hill's has a lot to answer for by even offering Science Diet as a food product.

4th June 2012, 05:23 AM
I fed grain free for a about year. I was generally happy with it, but Thistle needed her anal glands done every 2-4 weeks. I switched to a high quality kibble with grain and now she's goes 10-12 weeks between visits.

You definitely don't want to get a grain-based diet (science diet), I only consider foods that have meat as the first ingredient, and 3 of the first five must be meat or meat meal. And specified meats "chicken meal", "salmon meal" not "poultry meal" etc.

Another hint: when reading ingredients grab the smallest size bag and read that, it's easier on your arms.

4th June 2012, 11:52 AM
A lot of dogs simply like to eat grass, so I really wouldn't necessarily put too much meaning on that. :) All my four like to chew on a bit of grass. All are on a very good quality raw and cooked diet. They have always eaten grass, no matter what they were on foodwise. It's a pretty common thing for dogs and while dogs with an upset tummy will generally look right away for grass to eat, a lot simply like grass -- maybe for the roughage. Unless she is actually demonstrating bowel problems or vomiting, I wouldn't change diets on the basis of some grass eating. :) On the other hand maybe you will find one food is irritating the stomach and another would be better... so no harm trying.

See: http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_eating_grass#.T8ySJe3XHzI

Personally I've never found grain or no grain makes any difference to the happiness and health of my dogs but I too would not use a high grain diet. Interesting point on the anal glands needing emptying!

murphy's mum
4th June 2012, 12:23 PM
My two graze like cows when we're walking through tall grass, they seem to prefer the stuff that's about head height, but that could just be down to laziness :D

4th June 2012, 02:27 PM
Upon the advice of our holistic veteriinarian, we occasionally plant and grow a small container of organic wheat grass, so that when our dogs and cat get the urge to munch on grass, they have the best kind available. Grass from lawns often is loaded with pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers.

4th June 2012, 07:18 PM
Thanks for all the replies. Emma never really ate much grass before, but recently has been when she's really been chowing down on it. She has thrown up once from it and had diarrhea twice from it. So I'm hoping to resolve the problem, because even if she isn't eating it because her stomach is upset, it is causing her stomach to become upset. Its been rainy weather where I am the past few days so I don't really have a gauge on the issue as of right now. Luckily, we don't treat our grass with much of anything and if we do, it is organic. ALthough I'm sure organic stuff can be harmful too, it is not as harmful as pesticides.

4th June 2012, 10:31 PM
We did the same as Rod, planted what we call "cat grass" in a few pots out back, and Brooky munched on that all day. It has stopped her eating grass on our walks which I am sure is loaded with sprays and chemicals...grass from our local park always made her bring it back up, I imagine from fertilizer or something. Now she has safe pits of grass to munch on :)

Brooky is on a raw diet, but does fine with some grains like rice. I think every animal is different just like us humans (I.e wheat makes me sick, but if my husband doesn't eat it he looses so much weight and doesn't feel well)...so each their own. Unless there is an allergy, a small amount of good quality grain I don't see being an issue :)

4th June 2012, 11:01 PM
... Brooky is on a raw diet, but does fine with some grains like rice. I think every animal is different just like us humans (I.e wheat makes me sick, but if my husband doesn't eat it he looses so much weight and doesn't feel well)...so each their own. Unless there is an allergy, a small amount of good quality grain I don't see being an issue :)

We vary our dogs raw diet, and right now we have a mix that includes cooked barley every other day. Grain is fine for most dogs; it just should not be one of the main ingredients. Kibbles have a lot of grain because it is cheap and because it helps bind the mix together. Kibbles do not have grain -- particularly corn -- because it is good for dogs. It's there because it is cheaper than meat and vegetables.