Grain free dry dog foods, are these foods REALLY better? OK, let's look at two popular grain free and just MEAT BASED foods as well. Here are some of the ingredients used in BOTH types of foods grain free and not:

  1. Here are the first three line of ingredients of a new popular brand of MEAT BASED dry dog food: Chicken, chicken meal, whole oat meal, whole barley, soybean meal, whole brown rice, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), dried beet pulp, dried egg product, natural flavor, fish oil, caramel color, salt, dried carrots, dried tomatoes,
  2. Here are the ingredients of a popular GRAIN FREE dry dog food: Bison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract,

The two foods are both meat based, and both contain carbs and starches. The "meat based" food and the "grain free" foods both contain different forms of starches. These are non-grain ingredients that break down into sugars just like the grains. In the "meat based" food there is soybean meal. Soybean meal is a flour made by grinding the solid residue of soybean oil production. It is widely used as a filler and source of protein in animal diets, including pig, chicken, cattle, horse, sheep, and fish feed. (Source Wikipedia) Soybean meal is not an adequate source of protein, and or nutrition for canines and or felines.  The oatmeal and barley are usually overlooked as "fiber" or alternate "non-corn" grains. What people don't realize is that these ingredients can contribute to the same issues of yeast overgrowth.

Other things to look at are the sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas. These are all forms of starch/carbohydrates and can lead to too many sugars in the system, feeding an over-abundance of yeast. Yeast feeds on sugars in the system. The symptoms of yeast can take many different forms coming out through the ears, the pores, pads of paws and can cause a lot of itching, scratching and discomfort. Another symptom of yeast overgrowth, is a distinct odor coming from the skin even after a bath. I call it that "greasy fritos" smell!

So, in conclusion, grain free foods can be a great option, for your pet, you just have to know what to look for, and what to steer clear of when shopping for a food. Just like with any commercial kibble, it WILL have SOME form of carbs, (because that's what keeps it's kibble form;) and just like with any commercial pet food, MEAT should ALWAYS be the first ingredient, and the number of carby ingredients shouldn't out-number the meaty ones.

One way to help cut the level of yeast temporarily, is to wash the ears and bathe your dog with  a gentle shampoo containing Melaluca (Tea-tree oil.) Tea-tree oil has anti-bacterial properties. Dinovite's DogOsuds has many essential oils including tea-tree oil, lavender, coconut oil and rosemary. (NOTE:  We DO NOT recommend using the DogOsuds shampoos on cats, as essential oils can have adverse reactions for cats.) Though the best way to reduce the levels of yeast in the body is to change the diet. Feed mainly meat protein coupled with vitamins, minerals, and good fats. Dinovite for Dogs and Dinovite for Cats are a great way to provide the vitamins and minerals your pet needs to build up a healthy immune system. Coupled with LickOchops fatty acids supplement, this dynamic duo provides a well rounded nutritional base for dogs. 

If you have any questions about any of our supplements or shampoos, contact a pet nutrition coach at  (859) 428-1000. Mon-Fri 9-7:30 EST or We would be happy to help!