Various human food trends have found their way into the pet food market, especially those believed to centre on pets’ wellness.
Many pet owners believe grain free diets are better for their pets because they assume they are natural, carbohydrate free, and less likely to result in health problems such as allergies; but this is not the case.
No credible evidence has been found showing grain free diets are better for pets, nor do any nutrition foundations support this claim. Whole grains do provide vital nutrients and some also provide protein which may be easier to digest than meat derived protein.
Grains generally do not cause allergies in pets. Of those diagnosed with skin or gastrointestinal allergies from food, most are allergic to animal protein (chicken, beef, dairy). Gluten intolerance seen in humans is extremely rare in dogs, and non existent in cats. Only one inbred family of Irish Setters is known to have manifested gastrointestinal signs from consuming gluten.
Bottom line message is to beware the marketing hype associated with terms such as “natural”, “organic”, “holistic”, and “grain free”.