Grain-Free Dog Food for Arthritis
Grain Free Features
- Because grain-free dog foods have less filler, they maintain a higher protein and fat content. Pet owners may be averse to trying grain-free foods because they are more expensive. Keep in mind that the fillers are a less expensive ingredient but you will use less kibble per feeding because your dog will be eating more of the nutrients he needs. In the long run, this feature makes grain-free dog food less expensive.
- Canine arthritis is common in older dogs. Less active and overweight dogs are more likely to develop serious arthritic problems with more pressure placed on the joints. Dogs experience stiffness and reduced mobility in legs, most often the hind quarters, making laying down and getting up more difficult. Dogs can become more lethargic, opting to rest rather than deal with the pain resulting from activity.
Benefits of Grain Free
- A grain-free diet reduces how much food your dog is eating because it is maintains all the nutrients required in a concentrated formula. Grains are difficult to digest and older dogs may also develop allergies to grained dog food according to Pet Care Education.com. Eliminating the grains will help your dog absorb food nutrients more efficiently. Grain-free foods also have more water, helping your dog remain hydrated. These benefits can help an arthritic dog to reduce weight and feel more energy, reducing the effects of arthritis. Reducing stomach digestive issues will also help an arthritic dog absorb medications better.
- While reducing filler has its benefits, keep in mind that concentrated diets of fat and protein result in high calorie counts. Dogs with arthritis should be kept lean to promote activity and reduce the pressure of weight on joints. If your grain-free diet is still too high in calories, you may not help your dog reduce or maintain a lower weight. For arthritic dogs that are overweight, you will want to discuss the situation with your veterinarian to make sure you are using the right dog food to help your dog reduce weight.
- Switching your dog to a grain-free diet is only part of the solution to helping your arthritic dog reduce pain and stiffness. Proper veterinary care is imperative to making sure your dog is maintaining the best quality of life. Diet needs to be combined with regular exercise and medications if necessary. Whenever switching dog foods, do so over time, mixing the old food with the new to prevent gastrointestinal problems.