The truth about grains in pet food

If conflicting headlines about the best food for your pet have you confused, here’s what you need to know

Friday 11 October 2019 13:57

Pets are like members of the family, so it’s no surprise that recent research found that UK dog owners spend an average of £58 per month on dog food, while cat owners spend £36.

While some headlines have suggested that grains are simply used to bulk food out, are hard for animals to digest and could be responsible for allergies in pets, both cats and dogs can actually benefit nutritionally from grains.

The most important thing for any pet is a nutritionally-balanced diet – and that’s where the experts at Purina come in. With more than 90 years of scientific research and development by vets and nutritionists, their pet food is designed to help keep your pet as healthy and active as possible.

Dogs’ dietary needs can be met by either meat or plants, while cats need some meat in their diet, but can supplement this with other food. And far from being included in pet food simply as a filler, grains such as corn, wheat and barley – all found in Purina products – are a great source of essential nutrients for cats and dogs. Their high levels of carbohydrates and low sugar content help to give your pet a sustained release of long-lasting energy, and as long as they are properly cooked, should be easy to digest. Grains are also high in fibre, which helps encourage good intestinal bacteria and positively impacts many areas of digestive health, such as regular bowel movements.

Carbohydrates are an essential part of canine diets as this is where they get their energy from. So even pet foods marketed as "grain free" will contain carbs, usually in the form of potato or pea flour. And despite common misconceptions, very few dogs and cats have a true allergy to grains or gluten.

Grains are among a blend of nutrients within Purina pet foods that include essential fatty acids, B vitamins, antioxidants, protein and trace minerals. These can contribute to a range of health benefits – from keeping eyes in tip-top shape, to boosting the immune system – and help to provide a balanced diet to ensure your pet is as healthy and happy as possible.

The experts at Purina can help you discover more about the benefits of grains in pet food, and Purina ingredients, science and sustainability