Grain-Free Diets

Grain-Free Diets

     At Thomas’ Tails, we put the health and well being of your pets first.  This is why we urge you to consider reducing and possibly eliminating grains from your dog or cat’s diet.  This article was not written because grain-free foods are trendy.  This article was not written because grain-free foods are edgy or popular.  This article was written because Thomas’ Tails feels that grain-free foods are one facet of a well-balanced, species appropriate diet.  And we feel that you deserve to hear it from your local pet food store.
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Why does pet food have grains?  

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What we know as “pet food” first came into existence just after World War II. This highly processed food was manufactured specifically for a cost and shelf life conscious industry. Keeping the cost down, a serious concern for a nation fresh out of the great depression, meant feeding less raw meat and more grain in home-prepared diets. It was realized quickly that the industry could provide more economical pet foods by using larger quantities of grain hulls. After the war, mill operators and grain dealers were only too happy to have the pet food industry buy their by-products and waste. This approach to cost-effective pet food manufacturing has continued to this day. Only recently have certain manufacturers stepped forward and admitted the caveats of a grain-based diet and offered grain-free alternatives for health-conscious pet owners.

Are grains good for my pet?  

Not if you have a healthy pet. There are certain conditions were a veterinarian may prescribe “cleansing grains’ for a pet and in those special cases, grains are recommended. At Thomas’ Tails, we believe in feeding our dogs and cats a species appropriate diet. Dogs and Cats are carnivores, dogs of the scavenging variety and cats of the obligate variety. A species-appropriate diet for a carnivore is high in protein, low in grain and carbs, and contains 70-80% moisture. A grain-free diet makes the most biological sense.

So I’m interested, but I have a picky eater.  What should I do?  

You’re not alone. Many of our customers are dedicated to feeding their pets the best food available only to have their efforts impeded by the particular likes and dislikes of a picky eater. Cats are notoriously difficult in this area. We have a few strategies just for picky eaters.

  1. pickyeatersSpice it Up: Crush and sprinkle a grain-free, freeze-dried treat to the top of your pet’s food. Healthy and effective.
  2. Mix it Up: Mix in a grain-free canned food or canned tripe with your pet’s food. Delicious and nutritious.
  3. Sweeten the Deal: Add a little puréed sweet potato. Super yummy and good for the tummy.

Yup.  We’ve done this before.

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We care about the vitality of your companion animals and cannot remain passive on topics that directly affect the health of your furry family. The topic of grain in pet foods is one of those topics. Grain-free pet foods will most often clearly identify themselves as grain-free somewhere on their packaging. If you are uncertain about whether a food is grain-free, how to transition onto a new food, or what other ingredients are biologically inappropriate, please ask a staff member. Consider eliminating grain from your pet’s diet and ask a staff member about other ways to achieve a more species-appropriate diet. We’re here to help and we love questions.

By Taylor Huston
Thomas’ Tails