Veterinarian in St. Louis, MO | Rock Road Animal Hospital

Should Your Dog’s Food be Grain Free?

Should Your Dog’s Food be Grain FreeYour dog is important to you, so it follows that you want to treat him or her right and provide only the highest quality food. This makes sense, as better food will lead to a healthier, happier life for your furry friend. By researching and finding the best dog food, you are doing a favor for both your dog and yourself.

In recent years, grain-free food has become a popular trend among dog owners. The concept behind grain-free food is that dogs in the wild did not consume grains – rather, they hunted and scavenged for protein-rich foods, mostly meats. Their digestive system has not changed much since those days, so the presence of too much grain, proponents say, may cause stomach problems for your dog.

So, is grain free food right for your dog?

The answer isn’t quite as simple as yes or no. There are many factors to consider, including the current health and dietary needs of your dog.

Food Quality

In many cases, grain-free food may be the higher-quality option because of its focus on ingredients. Most companies that produce grain-free dog food source whole protein such as chicken, beef, fish, or lamb. Because grain is often used as filler in these foods, the grain-free option will give you more bang for your buck when it comes to the protein you choose for your pet.

This, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t high-quality foods that contain grain. Many of these same dog food companies have similar product lines that use the same meat sources but also have grain included. If your dog currently enjoys one of these brands of food, you may not need to switch to the grain-free option.


A small percentage of dogs suffer from allergies to wheat or corn. For those pups, grain-free is probably the best option. If you are already aware of these allergies in your pet, it is likely that your vet has already recommended switching to a grain-free diet.

More common than grain allergies, however, are environmental allergies and to a lesser extend allergies to certain types of meat such as chicken or beef. In these cases, going grain-free is not going to help your dog find relief, so it may not be necessary.


It is possible that your dog simply doesn’t enjoy the flavor or texture of grains in his or her food. If this is the case, you may consider going grain-free to keep your pet happy. A dog needs plenty of nutrition, and they aren’t going to get it if they are avoiding their food because they don’t like it.

The Verdict

In cases of grain allergies or personal preference, there is nothing wrong with switching to a grain-free diet. However, if your dog is happy with his current brand of food and does not have digestion issues, there is no reason to make a change. The key is to try different foods until you find one that makes your dog happy.

To learn more about weight control and the best food options for your dog contact Rock Road Animal Hospital today and schedule an appointment.



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