If you know how to pronounce quinoa you’ve probably heard about the grain debate in the health industry. Going carb-free, Paleo or gluten free encourage cutting out grains for health reasons. So what does this mean for our pups’ food?

Grains are complex carbohydrates made up of starch which turns into sugar and fat. We often forget that dogs are actually animals – habitually out in the wild, eating meat, vegetables and plants. Because of this biology, it is said that they don’t fully digesting grains (or socks, but that’s another story). Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down starchy carbohydrates, and dogs do not have enough of it in their bodies to fully break down, digest and metabolise these carbs.

Grains offer carbohydrate-based energy, and whole grains add fibre, however there are superiror benefits in other foods that outweigh the need for grains. As shown by recent studies, a good rule of thumb is is a doggie diet of 75% lean muscle meat, 5% meat from organs (mostly liver), 10% bone, and 10% plant matter and other healthy ingredients. This last ten percent is what we are dedicated to filling with smarter ingredients that have proven benefits for your dog’s health.

Wondering what will happen when you move your dog to a grain-free diet with a focus on healthy ingredients? Here are eight benefits both you and your pup will enjoy:

1. Fuller for Longer

ever noticed how you can scoff down two bowls of pasta and not feel full? It’s the same for dogs. Protein has a slow release of energy, so switching grais out for it means they are the right kind of full, for longer.

2. Smarter Fibre

An important part of a pup’s digestive health is fibre, but it doesn’t have to come from grains. A smarter ingredient for its nutrients is carob - it’s a good source of fibre (as well as protein) without the added carbohrydrates.

3. Appetite Management

When your dog doesn’t get enough nutrients from their high-carb food, their body tells them to keep eating. A grain-free diet can help with over-eating and weight loss.

4. Fewer Allergies

Grains contain commonly known allergens for dogs, top of the list is wheat.

5. Shinier Coat

High protein diets contain more omega-3 fatty acids from food like fish, eggs and even coconuts! Resulting in healthy skin and a glossy coat.

6. Fewer Stools

And in fact smaller stools too, due to less indigestible material in their diet. Meaning less plastic bags to bring on walks.

7. Less Smells

Starchy carbs linger in the mouth and bacteria feeds on it creating a foul odour, so cutting these out means better doggie breath. Also, cutting out grains reduces gassiness. Less smells from either end!

8. Sustained Energy

Rather than a spike and a crash, they’ll have sustained energy for bounding around and persistent leaping to lick faces.

When you think about it, the historical diet for canines is high in protein, as they’d hunt and eat raw meat. It’s not like our dogs’ ancestors were grazing wheat crops or hunting rice. Although our fur-babies now shake hands for treats and sleep on our beds rather than outside, their insides haven’t changed quite so much. It makes sense to maintain their historically high-protein diet, with the addition of nutrients that are proven to be beneficial.

So why do so many brands include a high amount of grains? Namely, price. Corn flour is just $5 per kilo whereas coconut flour is $10 per kilo. Meat protein can be more expensive again, and so these cheaper grains or cereals are used as filler. At Bell & Bone we pride ourselves on our quality ingredients, chosen for their proven benefits, and not compromising for cheap fillers.

Our philosophy is to encourage a healthy lifestyle and happy wellbeing for our best friends. This begins with the food we feed them, giving them energy for long walks, happy tummies and plenty of kisses!

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