Grain-Free Food vs Grain Food. What’s the Difference?

Grain-Free Food vs Grain Food. What’s the Difference?

May 24, 2022
12 min

There has been a lot of debate about the relevance of grains in pet food. Many pet owners want to know the purpose grains serve in their pet’s food and whether their pet needs them or not. Knowing the difference between grain and grain-free food, as well as what those ingredients do, can help you choose the right food for your cat or dog. Read on to know what grain-free and grain-inclusive pet foods are and the difference between them.

Grain-Inclusive Food

Grain-inclusive food (also referred to as regular pet food) are as its name suggests, foods that contain grains. Regular pet foods are still popular among many pet owners. You can find them on the shelves and in many online stores. Typical cat and dog foods are also more affordable than foods without grains. 

Examples of grains found in pet foods include wheat, rice, soy, barley, corn, oats, and rye. There is a common misconception that grains are bad for dogs. However, that is not true. Grains are a great source of nutrition for cats and dogs. Many people see them as nonessentials, but they play a key role in the pet’s diet.

Grains are an excellent source of carbs, providing your pets the energy they need. They also supply fiber to enhance digestion. Grains provide vital nutrients such as linoleic acid and protein. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid for canines. Furthermore, they contain multiple minerals and vitamins, including magnesium, B vitamins, and iron. Some grains contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help enhance the skin and coat health of dogs and cats.

Click here to find out more about the benefits of grain food.

Grain-Free Food

Grain-free pet foods are food without rice, corn, wheat, and other grains. As mentioned earlier, grains are a great source of carbohydrates for cats and dogs. Hence, grain-free food contains alternative carb sources such as pea flour and potatoes. Grains are one of the suspects of dog and cat allergies, especially in pets with itchy and digestive issues. Dogs and cats with sensitive skins and stomachs often react to certain grains. Some of the major offenders are corn, soy, and wheat.

Many pet parents are switching to grain-free formulas in hopes of curing their pet’s allergy issues. Nevertheless, there are still debates about whether grains cause allergies in pets. Food allergies are very low in cats and dogs; the most common causes are not grains.

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Grain-Free Food vs. Grain Food – Which Is Better?

Both grain-free foods and grain-inclusive foods are good. Grain-free formulas provide a wide variety of benefits. However, the best option comes down to what you and your cat or dog prefer. 

Product Recommendations

Dog Food

  • Absolute Holistic Grain-Free Salmon and Peas Dog Food: This dry dog food is free of wheat, corn, soy, and other grain forms. The formula is safe, healthy, and highly nutritious. It consists of 70 percent meat & superfoods and 30 percent minerals, vitamins, carbs, and supplements. The diet is well-balanced and complete for all dogs.
  • Addiction Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo and Apples Dog Food: This grain-free food is formulated for dogs with digestive and skin sensitivities. It contains premium quality ingredients rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The formula contains only 2 percent fat and is suitable for dogs of all life stages.
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream with Smoked Salmon: Taste of the Wild is one of the most reputable pet food manufacturers. This grain-free food is made with sweet potatoes as a carb source and real smoked salmon. The formula contains plenty of fruits and veggies to give your dog the vitamins and minerals needed to live a healthy and happy life. It is also rich in omega fatty acids to enhance your dog’s coat and skin health.
  • Addiction Grain-Free Salmon Bleu Dog Food: This dog food from Addiction has a hypoallergenic formula containing low allergy-triggering ingredients. It contains natural antioxidants to boost immune health.
  • NutraGold Holistic Indoor Adult Microbites Dog Food:  This grain option helps to achieve good skin and coat conditions and contains real meat, whole grains, and egg included in high-quality protein and omega fatty acids.

Cat Food

When looking for the proper diet for your pet, the first and most important to consider is a diet that supports their health and well-being. Grain-free and grain-inclusive diets are good, but they both have downsides. If your pets do not react negatively to grain-inclusive foods, we recommend you stick to them. If you want to switch to grain-free foods, consult your vet first.