Are Grains Healthy For My Dog?

Over the years, there has been a lot of back and forth on whether or not grains are good for dogs. The simple truth is that most commercial pet foods that have grain included as an ingredient, use grain by-products (as opposed to whole grains). These by-products cannot be digested by a dog’s system and end up passing through them.

Healthy grains are actually quite beneficial for most dogs. They provide carbs, fats and antioxidants, which helps keep their skin and fur healthy and keeps their immune system strong. At Tom&Sawyer, we use only human edible whole grains in our food, that are of the highest quality. We fully cook our grains, which makes them highly digestible so they can provide important nutrients.

There are also many different types of grains and each one brings its own combination of nutrients:

"Wheat gluten contains more than 80% protein, is 99% digestible, and has an amino acid profile similar to meat proteins. Corn, when cooked properly, is an excellent source of highly digestible carbohydrate, essential fatty acids, and fibre. It can also be an especially crucial ingredient in diets for dogs with medical conditions requiring reduced fat or protein." - Caroline Coile, PhD

Another misconception is that feeding your dog grains will make them fat. When, in actuality, grain-free foods and foods containing grains contain about the same amount of carbohydrates. Grain-free does not mean carbohydrate-free!

Now, if you do prefer to feed grain-free meals to your dog, you should be adding healthy alternatives to ensure that they still get the recommended nutritional serving of carbs, with every meal. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils and beans are an excellent source of carbs and fibre for dogs on a grain-free diet.

We provide a variety of recipes, some of which are grain-free and some include healthy grains. All of which are fully balanced for optimal nutrition. Just remember, everything in moderation and variety is the key!