Join Club

The Chew: Grain Vs. Grain-Free Pet Food

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark + Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington

What your pet eats is vital to its health, so making the best choice regarding their food is important.

Since nearly every pet owner has an opinion on grain-free food and whether you should feed it to your pet, how can you know for sure what you should do for your furry friend? Bark + Boarding is here to help you sort through the information.

Is Grain-Free Best?

The primary argument supporters of grain-free food make is that the ancestors of modern-day animals were carnivores, and so it is more natural for our pets to eat meat.

Until the 1940s, dog and cat food was primarily moist and packaged in cans. As World War II began, the pet food industry switched to dry food, since it included less meat and could be packaged in bags rather than metal cans, which were also affected by rationing. While these dry pellets contained the necessary nutrition, they included more grain than found in previous products.

Grain-free foods also tend to have higher quality ingredients, such as real chicken, beef, salmon, eggs and other whole protein sources, which are generally better for your pet than the byproducts that are found in lower quality brands.

Because it is typically made of these healthier ingredients, grain-free food keeps animals fuller for a longer amount of time. Even though it is more expensive up front, the food should last longer and end up costing less in the long run.

A common belief is that switching to grain-free food can help alleviate food allergies. Although there is no solid scientific evidence to support this, it’s worth consulting your veterinarian about switching if you suspect your dog may have allergies caused by food.

What About Food Containing Grain?

While it’s true that the ancestors of dogs were carnivores, studies have shown that since dogs began living with humans, they have evolved genes for digesting grain and starches that wolves don’t have. This means that food with grain isn’t destroying your dog’s digestive system.

The grain-free movement in animal food didn’t develop until gluten-free and Paleo diets became popular among humans. Pet food marketers suspected that if humans considered certain elements as unhealthy in their own diets, they would believe they were unhealthy in their pets’ diets as well and began creating food to capitalize on this belief.

Low quality brands often rely too much on meat byproducts and starches such as potatoes to act as fillers in their foods. While this may not be detrimental to your pet’s health, it does mean you’re giving them food that in large part has no nutritional value and is simply meant to fill them up quickly.

However, if you buy high quality brands that are comprised of whole protein ingredients, these will likely be as healthy for your dog as the grain-free options.

Ultimately, it depends on each individual pet if grain-free is best for them. Consulting your vet is an important part of deciding whether to switch to grain-free food. Remember that it is important to introduce any new food slowly, replacing about 10 percent of their current food with the new brand each day.

Whether grain-free or not, you should look for food that has protein sources listed as the first ingredient and doesn’t rely heavily on additives and unnecessary fillers like low-quality meat byproducts and starches.

Bark + Boarding sells a variety of high quality grain-free and grain food and treats from which to choose. Being smart and attentive to your pet’s diet is the best way to ensure they are receiving the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy and thrive.

Click here to check out our short (approx 60 second) video about this article!

Recent Stories

Arlington is poised to take a proverbial weed whacker to commercial properties with overgrown lawns and all properties with obstructive vegetation. Last month, a proposal to change the ordinance pertaining…

Meet the beautiful Koda, a glass half full kinda dog who searching for his forever home.

It appears as if Courthouse’s newest date night spot won’t be open for Valentine’s Day. The opening for the hotly anticipated Taco Bell Cantina at 2039 Wilson Blvd has been…

Are you a SWaM certified business? Nominations for the 2023 SWaMmy Honors are now open until April 1.

Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.

$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.

$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.

$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.

On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.

Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.

On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

×

Subscribe to our mailing list