We all want to provide the best possible care to our pets and it all starts with their diet. Just like human food, pet food has a direct impact on your pets’ health and weight, so it is important to choose carefully.
Why Choose Grain-Free?
Food allergies are common in dogs and cats, so a grain-free diet helps to eliminate the worry of any digestive distress.
What are grains and why is grain-free better? Most pet food companies use grains as filler ingredients as meat and other foods are more expensive. Grains include:
The problem with grains is that dogs and cats can have allergies or intolerances to them. They are also more difficult to digest than other foods, so pets with digestive conditions or sensitivities will struggle on a diet with grains.
Grain-free pet food is great for pets who suffer from wheat allergies, sensitive stomachs, or digestive conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Dogs and cats cannot digest whole grains. In the wild, they would eat the stomach contents of their prey which would include some grains, but this is only a small part of their diet. For dogs, ingested grains would make up around 30%, while cats would be around 5%. Similarly, they cannot digest plant matter, as they lack the digestive enzymes needed to break down the cellulose.
Grain-free pet foods put far less pressure on the digestive tract as the ingredients are easy to digest. This reduces the likelihood of pets experiencing digestive illnesses such as bloat or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Grain-Free Dog Food
One key area that is important to note is that some pet food companies substitute grains with carbohydrates such as potato or lentils. This can increase the carbohydrate content quite considerably, but not all pet food companies are the same.
Take Howl Pet Nutrition, for instance exclusively supplied to All4petstore. Their nutritionally balanced dog food recipes are highly nutritious, grain-free, and fortified with prebiotics to support a healthy digestive system. Howl’s dog food range offers Puppy, Adult, and Senior options as well as recipes specially designed for small or large breeds.
Our Grain-Free Venison, Sweet Potato, and Mulberry adult dog food is the perfect example of a healthy, balanced and nutritious recipe. This food is 26% freshly prepared Venison (no meat meal),19% dried Salmon, and added Salmon Oil and stock. Salmon oil is beneficial thanks to the essential fatty acids (EFAs) it carries. The 2 key EFAs are omega-3 and omega-6. Both have an effect on inflammation, so foods with EFAs will support a dog’s joint and muscle health.
Howl also supplements dog food with whole foods such as Linseed, Beet Pulp, and Mulberry. These foods are packed with antioxidants and probiotics which are essential for a healthy digestive system, as well as maintaining skin and eye health, while also preventing hair loss and skin irritation.
All our dog food recipes use Sweet Potato, which has a much higher Vitamin A content than regular potatoes and is lower on the glycaemic index.
Whether you have a puppy, an adult dog, or a senior citizen, Howl Pet has you covered for all life stages, with their recipes based on continuous research and development.
Grain-Free Cat Food
It is not just dogs requiring grain-free foods. Cats need them too. For cats, it is more to do with nature than allergies. Cats are carnivores, so their digestive system is not designed to break down grains or carbohydrates.
Although grain allergies are far less common in cats than dogs, some cats will suffer from food allergies or intolerances that can be triggered by grains. Cats with digestive conditions generally manage their condition better when fed a grain-free diet.
For cat food, the biggest quantity ingredient should be protein. Howl Pet’s Kitten Food is a very healthy 75% protein, made up of freshly prepared Chicken and Salmon, plus Salmon Oil and Chicken stock. Their kitten recipe is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E to support immune function, plus Taurine and Vitamin A for a healthy heart and vision. Yucca Extract is also added which has the added benefit of reducing stool odour.
Our adult cat food has two wonderful recipes; Turkey with Sweet Potato and Salmon and Potato. Both recipes have a protein content of 32% which is perfect for adult cats. As cats cannot naturally synthesize amino acids, Howl Pet supplements these into their cat food recipes, as well as adding Cellulose and Beet Pulp to reduce the formation of hairballs.
How To Successfully Change Your Pet’s Diet
Animals are naturally susceptible to stress and digestive upset due to sudden changes in their diet. The best way to swap your pet’s food to a grain-free option is to so slowly and in small amounts.
On day 1, add a tablespoon of the new food into your pet’s current diet. Monitor your pet for any changes in behaviour, vomiting, or diarrhea, which could be caused by the new food. If there are no adverse effects, you can gradually increase the new food and reduce the old food.
Changing your pet’s diet should take several days, but 2 weeks is ideal as the daily changes will be smaller, putting less pressure on their digestive system as it adjusts to the new food.
Some animals are picky eats, especially cats. A great trick to encourage your pet to try eating their food is to soak the kibble in a small amount of warm water. The heat will enhance the odour of the food and should help to entice your pet to eat.
For cats, you should offer small portions throughout the day. Cats have a tendency to eat too much food too quickly. The stomach cannot expand fast enough to accommodate the food, so they will vomit after eating. Smaller portions help to prevent this.