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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Is Grain-Free Dog Food Really Better?

Dog and cats are naturally carnivores, receiving the majority of their required nutrients from meat. This has led pet food manufacturers to create grain-free formulas for both dogs and cats, promoting that it is healthier and more natural. However, while manufacturers are migrating away from including grains such as corn and wheat in pet foods, they are instead using other starch ingredients such as potato, tapioca, pea by-products, or chickpeas in an effort to find unique ingredients they can claim are better.



    While some in the pet community will advocate grain-free foods as better for pets, a question arises: are potatoes, chickpeas, pea by-products, and tapioca really biologically-appropriate foods for dogs and cats? Though they may be grain-free, they are still a starch. These starches are the major source of carbohydrates and sugar in dry kibble pet foods and are often linked to various pet allergies or health issues.

Dogs and cats are not naturally grain-free
    In the wild, meat-eating predators consume nearly their entire prey, including the intestines. This supplies them with additional nutrients from predigested fruits, vegetables, and yes, grains, in the stomach of their prey and from the little that they will forage in the wild. So actually, the most natural diet for dogs and cats is not one that is grain-free, but rather one high in animal protein and low in carbohydrates.

Starch and its purpose in pet food
    A starch is a complex carbohydrate found mostly in seeds, fruits, tubers, roots, and stem pith of plants, notably in corn, potatoes, wheat, and rice. Grain-free kibble brands still contain starch from one or more of these sources, not because of the nutritional value, but because it makes the kibble stick together and hold its shape.
    If you feed your pets dry kibble, some form of starch is required to help kibble keep its shape. The best starch to use is a healthy, more natural one that is low in carbohydrates and sugar. Does such a starch exist? Yes!

Benefits of millet
    Millet is a grass seed and is similar to what a carnivore might consume from eating the stomach of a bird or herbivore. So, it is a starch that is more likely to be eaten by predators in the wild, either directly or through their prey. This is much more likely to occur naturally in a wild dog or cat’s diet than chickpeas or potato, so will be more natural for their digestive systems.
    Further, millet is low in sugar and carbohydrates. Although it is a grain, it contains less natural sugar than other starches frequently used in pet foods. Plus, millet contains no gluten, a relatively common allergen for pets.
    Nature’s Logic brand dry kibble formulas for both dogs and cats include millet as the only starch, while most other brands include several types of starches. Since millet is low in carbohydrates and Nature’s Logic diets are high in protein, it makes all of their kibble a biologically-appropriate, healthy diet for your pets.
   
    For more information about keeping your pet in optimal health, visit Nilla’s Tub DIY Dog Wash & Health Food Store for Dogs & Cats, located at 211 Landmark Dr. in Normal. They have everything you need to bathe and groom your furry friend in a fun, relaxing environment. They also offer a large selection of dietary supplements, treats, and the highest quality dog and cat food, including frozen and freeze-dried commercial raw. No appointment necessary, call 309-451-9274 or visit them online at NillasTub.com. If you would like to learn more about Nature’s Logic dry kibble diets that are 100-percent natural, visit their website natureslogic.com.


 

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