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Cast your eye back 5 years and you’d struggle to find a grain free dog food bag on the shelf. Today, the premium end of the aisle is full of them but grain free can be just as bad if not done properly.
Grain free is only as good as what you replace grains with. Scratch has improved the health of thousands of dogs with our game-changing grain free dog food.
Grains aren’t all bad, but the cheap ones used in dog food offer little nutrition, increase inflammation and contribute to big blood sugar spikes. Many grain free foods just swap grains for processed starches and soy – not cool. Our two super-premium grain free dog food recipes are full of meat, veggies and legumes.
Scratch contains more meat than just about any kibble in Australia. We top off each recipe with whole veggies, healthy oils, and extra vitamins for a resilient gut, shiny coat and tough immune system.
Whole ingredients contain much more nutrients than the processed stuff you find in most dog food. You won’t find any soy, refined sugars, corn or wheat fillers in any Scratch food – just whole Australian ingredients from farmers we trust.
Common grains can cause a lot of damage but are actually pretty good at providing essential amino acids that many vegetables don’t have. It’s important that grain free recipes account for the rest of a dogs needs. Our recipes are 100% nutritionally complete, including extra Taurine and Methionine to reduce risk of DCM in at-risk breeds.
There is a growing number of pets that have allergies or are sensitive tummies to specific ingredients. These are often things like wheat, corn, soy, dairy, chicken and beef.
As pet food has become such a big industry, stores and brands have tried to cut costs and keep dog food affordable as the price of marketing and rent has risen. The food has been compromised as a result, using cheap grains instead of meat or vegetables to fill your dogs stomach.
Just because it fills them up, doesn’t mean it’s good for them, however. Most grains are very hard to digest, so they don’t just increase the risk of allergies and health issues, but also require a lot of your woofers energy to break down and process.
Many dog owners report an improvement to their dogs skin, coat, energy levels, and digestion after moving to a grain free food.
Pet food marketing laws don’t exist in Australia, so it’s hard for to know what’s really in your dog food.
Grain Free dog food has become associated with higher protein and higher fat as there are less grain filling up the ingredient list but this is not always the case.
The easy (and cheap) way to to make a grain free dog food is just to swap the grains for plenty of refined carbohydrates like tapioca starch.
It’s a tricky one, but largely it is hysteria so far. Of the estimated 77 million dogs in the US, there have been 560 dogs affected in the last 5 years. This is a very low percentage, but any preventable issue and attention to proper dog nutrition is a good thing.
Golden Retrievers are very highly represented and their genetics and others are also being investigated. 91% of cases are associated with grain-free food with some even from raw fed dogs. 89% had “Peas” as a main ingredient which we do not use. In comparison only 62% had lentils. This is where Chickpeas and Broad Beans fit into the FDA groupings. Chicken and Lamb were the most prominent meat ingredients reported.
The FDA is not suggesting that people should move away from grain-free at this stage. They are continuing to investigate and believe it is a “complex scientific issues that may involve multiple factors”.
We believe that most likely, grains are being replaced with ingredients that don’t account for the taurine that grains offer, and often replace them with ingredients that consume more taurine (as food ferments in the gut longer – a good thing for gut health).
Working with our nutritionist and US based nutrition experts, in June 2019 we decided to add two amino acids to our recipe to help mitigate any risk for dogs with genetic deficiencies while the investigation is ongoing, and continue to believe that high quality grain free food is the best option available (just don’t replace grains with more crap!).
Nope! Broad beans (like most other peas and lentils) are not good to be fed to dogs when they are raw, as they have compounds that stop protein being absorbed.
The heat that is used to make our food however de-activities these compounds and makes them a great source of protein, fibre, vitamins & minerals. The fibre that broad beans offer helps to feed good gut bacteria and slow down food from processing too quickly.
They’ll poo more often, but we have biodegradable poop bags to make that easier on you 🙂
We designed our Turkey kibble recipe without these refined carbohydrates, instead using high protein and fibre based whole vegetables such a broad beans and chickpeas.
Our Kangaroo single-protein dog food also has 84% whole ingredients with low levels of potato starch.
Nope! Soy is fine in small levels, but fed regularly can affect dogs’ hormone levels more than we’re comfortable with.
Most dogs with sensitivities will generally do better with grain-free dog food.
Poor grain-inclusive recipes can create gut bacteria imbalances and overgrowth. Grains such as wheat, rice and oats are very high in carbs – something that these overgrowths thrive on.
A healthy grain-free dog food like Scratch should reduce risk of overgrows in the first place and then reduce inflammation for those already suffering from sensitivities.
“Grain free” and “gluten free” are alike, but different.
Gluten is the name for a group of proteins most commonly found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.
Gluten itself isn’t harmful, but in dog food it’s included to help to bind the food together so doesn’t offer much nutritional benefit.
Most grain free dog food contains no gluten. Scratch grain free recipes contain zero gluten, while our lamb with ancient grains contains a small amount.
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