Going grain-free with your diet is all the rage for health-conscious humans, with grain-free devotees claiming that saying buh-bye to grains does everything from aid digestion to increase energy to decrease inflammation.
But what about dogs? If you own a dog, you know that grain-free treats are having a serious moment; it seems like every other bag of treats on the shelves have a big “grain-free” sticker somewhere on the package. But is it necessary? Are grains a-okay for your pup? Or are grain-free treats a must if you want to keep your dog happy and healthy?
The Rise Of Grain-Free Dog Treats
Before we dive into whether grain-free dog treats are a must for your pup, let’s take a brief look at how they got to be so popular in the first place.
Back in the day, you’d be hard-pressed to find a dog treat that didn’t list grains (like wheat or corn) as the first ingredient
But the quality of those grains was…questionable. Dog treat producers typically used cheap grain by-products that were categorized as unfit for human consumption. That kept costs down and production high. But guess what? As it turns out, those filler grains weren’t really fit for dog consumption, either. Not only did they not add any nutritional value to the dog treat, but they also caused digestion issues—not exactly a slam dunk for your pup.
As pet owners began to realize that the dog treats they were giving their pups were full of this “filler” grain, they started demanding better from dog treat producers—and that’s when grain-free treats started to become the go-to for health conscious pet parents.
Are Grain-Free Dog Treats A Must?
Want your dog to not only enjoy his treats—but feel great after he eats them? Look for treats that are completely free of the biggest “filler” grains on the market—wheat, corn, and soy. These ingredients offer zero nutritional value for your pet; if you’re going to have grains in your dog treats, make sure they’re healthy, nutritious grains like oats or barley.
But when it comes to choosing the right treats for your dog, you need to go a step above grain-free—and look for treats that offer real nutrition for your pet. Just because a treat is grain-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy—and if it has a laundry list of chemicals, fillers, and other hard-to-digest ingredients, you should definitely pass.
So, in a nutshell, steer clear of wheat, corn, and soy in your dog treats—and make sure any treats you choose are made with the highest quality ingredients that pack a real nutritional punch for your pup.
High-Quality Dog Treats To Give Your Pup
So, low on filler grains and high on nutrition is the way to go when choosing treats for your pup. But what, exactly, are those treats?
Grain-free jerky treats, like the Roasted Duck NYC Jerky Chews, pack a ton of flavor (and nutritional value!) into a small package. The tougher texture of jerky treats is also great for your dog’s teeth!
Soft Baked Treats
If you’re looking for something softer and chewier (perfect for older pups!), a soft-baked treat (like Yum in the Oven Duck Cranberry) is a solid choice—they’re easy to chew, easy to digest, and (most importantly!) easy to enjoy.
If you want to keep your puppy stocked with the best in grain-free treats, it’s time to subscribe to BarkBox. With BarkBox, you’ll get a carefully curated selection of toys, chews, and treats (including two bags of high-quality treats free of wheat, corn, or soy) delivered to your door every month. With so much fun packed into every BarkBox, it’s a treat for you and your pup!