At GPFK we only use very small amounts of grains and many of our recipes contain no grain at all. Dogs don’t digest grains easily and one of the main concerns with commercial dry foods is how much grain, mostly wheat and corn, they contain. Grains are a cheap source of “filler” in lots of pet foods, so please read labels carefully. Dogs are carnivores who have slowly become more omnivorous and not built to survive on large amounts of grain. That said, small amounts of the right grain can add calories for very active dogs. Grains also add good fibre to the diet.
Rice is great to feed when your dog has had an upset tummy. Vets will often recommend a very bland poached chicken and rice diet for a few days until the digestive issues settle. Brown rice has a higher protein content and white rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate.
Quinoa is actually a seed but we generally use it like we would a grain. It is high in protein and gluten free. It contains many essential amino acids, calcium, iron, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. Always rinse quinoa before cooking and only serve to your dog once cooked/soft. Small amounts mixed with a mainly meat meal with some veggies and herbs is ideal.
Oats/oatmeal: A great source of protein and fibre for dogs. They also contain iron, manganese, zinc and B vitamins. Low levels of gluten makes oats a much better option than wheat. Always soften by soaking in warm water or stock or cook oats before feeding to your dog. A small serve of oat porridge is great for dogs for breakfast, just add a dollop of yogurt, honey, cinnamon and some fresh berries or banana and yum, dog’s breakfast! Although once a week is enough otherwise they may miss getting enough all important animal protein. You can also add an egg to the porridge, mix well. Oats help to maintain a healthy heart and shiny coat.