Grain Free dry food?
I feed BellaMia a premium dry food, Merricks. I supplement that with fresh fruit and vegetables , salmon, chicken or a spoonful or so of Merricks wet food. She has no problems eating any of this. I'm seeing a lot of choices for "grain free" with Merricks and other brands. Is there a benefit to grain free or should I just keep giving her the regular? I'll need to buy another bag soon so I thought I'd ask here first.
I tried grain-free (chicken and the 6fish formulas from Orijen) but found it too rich and hard on their stomachs. I now rotate between merricks, acana and go! (the ones with grains, they do really well on the lamb formulas), with some honest kitchen dehydrated raw. I find the foods with grains much easier on their stomachs. What I look for are foods that don't have "bad" grains and not as the primary ingredient (corn, corn gluten, etc.) but better ones like barley or oatmeal, and a few ingredients down the list after some quality protein. I think it contributes to a more rounded diet and like you I supplement with fruits, vegetables, meat I cook and also give a probiotic.
Some say dogs don't need grains and that they're unhealthy- but when it comes to dog food in general people have very different opinions and can be quite passionate about it :)
Unless she is having issues, she's on a good dog food, so if you are happy with it and the results, then personally, I wouldn't change. The only reason Rose is on a grain free food is because of food allergies/intolerances. She does tolerate oat bran though, so I supplement with that to add some fiber to her diet. Each dog has different needs, just go with what is keeping your dog healthy and happy ;) .
If your dog is thriving, there would be no reason to change, unless you wish to add some variety. Lots of dogs enjoy the variety, too.
What I have learned from my own research is that over time, a dog can develop allergy to the grain in their diet. (this may be what happened with our Shih Tzu, who developed skin allergy problems in his old age, and I knew nothing about any of this, had never even heard of raw diets, and such)
Rotating with some grain-free food might help to keep her body from developing an allergy, and then it might not make any difference. The grain-free dry foods usually have white or sweet potatoes in the recipe, as the carbohydrate that help it all "glom" together and form the kibbles. Our own dog is allergic to potatoes in those formulas, we learned from trial-and-error, so that did not work. Every dog is different, just like humans.
Thanks for your opinions. That's pretty much what I thought. Kibble can be boring though which is why I zazz it up by adding in the other things.