September 28, 2018
Spring cleansing for your pet
Spring cleansing for your pet

Grain-free pet food is all the rage, trending right up there with human food fads, which include Gluten-Free, Paleo, and the Wheat Belly Diet. Everyone wants to avoid carbohydrates. Is choosing a grain-free pet diet really giving you what we all want, a healthier pet? Certain carbohydrates should be avoided, but some are really beneficial for dogs. Let’s think about spring-cleaning our pets’ bodies with that fabulous carbohydrate: fibre!

Some commercial dry pet foods contain up to 70% carbohydrates even though dogs can make their own carbohydrates out of protein and fats. Even canned pet food usually contains carbohydrates to reduce the ‘free water’ in the can (so that it feels more solid when you shake it). The main reason for this is cost. Plant-based carbs are less expensive and more readily available energy sources than proteins and fats. The starchy carbs used to add structure and texture to kibble creates a shelf-stable product, making it possible to ship it all over the world. The cost benefit flows to you, the consumers too. Cheaply made, inexpensive pet food has become the norm, creating an industry, and a lot of spoiled consumers who balk at paying the true cost of a healthy diet for their pets.


Carbohydrates 101

The great difference among carbohydrate types is important to understand that as each type has a unique effect on your pet’s health. Most people are familiar with sugars and starches but it’s more complicated than that. Carbs can be divided into two categories:

Simple Carbs


Complex Carbs



Fibre: The Good News

The other category of complex carbs is Fibre, and it’s the saving grace in any argument in favor of feeding carbohydrates to dogs. Actually an ‘empty’ carb because it offers few actual nutrients, it provides amazing service instead. Fiber types are either soluble or insoluble.

Soluble fibre


Insoluble fibre


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Written By | Maria Ringo
Maria Ringo is a homeopathic practitioner and co-founder of Carna4 Hand Crafted Dog Food, a small, ethical company producing synthetic-free whole foods for pets; and Sojourner Farms, one of the first commercially available raw food diets for dogs. She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her family and may be reached at