Is Grain-Free Really Better

By: Scott Freeman

Dog and cats are naturally carnivores receiving the majority of their required nutrients from meat.

This has led pet food manufactures to create grain-free formulas for both dogs and cats promoting that it is healthier and more natural. However, while grain-free manufacturers are migrating away from including grains in pet foods, they are instead using other starch ingredients such as potato, sweet potato, tapioca, peas or chickpeas.

While some in the pet community will advocate grain-free foods as better for pets a question arises. Are potatoes, chickpeas, and tapioca really biologically-appropriate foods for dogs and cats? And though they may be grain-free they are still a starch and these starches are a major source of carbohydrates and sugar in dry kibble pet foods and often linked to various pet allergies or health issues.

Dogs and Cats are NOT Naturally Grain-free

In the wild, meat-eating predators consume nearly their entire prey, including the intestines. This supplies them with additional nutrients from predigested fruits, vegetables and yes, grains, in the stomach of their prey, and from the little that they will forage in the wild. So actually the most natural diet for dogs and cats is not one that is grain-free, but rather one high in animal protein and low in carbohydrates.

Starch and its Purpose in Pet Food

A starch is a complexcarbohydrate found chiefly in seeds, fruits, tubers, roots and stem pith of plants, notably in corn, potatoes, wheat, and rice¹. Grain-free kibble brands still contain starch from one or more of these sources, not because of the nutritional value, but because it makes the kibble stick together and hold its shape.

If you as a pet parent have decided to feed your pets dry kibble for whatever reason, (cost, convenience, etc.) some form of starch is required to help kibble keep its shape, is there a healthy starch that is low in carbohydrates and a more natural option?

Benefits of Millet

Millet is a grass seed and is similar to what a carnivore might consume from eating the stomach of a bird or herbivore. So it is a starch that is more likely to be eaten by predators in the wild, either directly or through their prey. This is much more likely to occur naturally in a wild dog or cat’s diet than chickpeas or potato, so will be more natural for their digestive systems.

Further, millet is low in sugar and carbohydrates. The grain contains less natural sugar than other starches frequently used in pet foods. Plus millet contains NO gluten, a relatively common allergen for pets.

Nature’s Logic dry kibble formulas for both dogs and cats include millet as the only starch. Since Millet is low in carbohydrates and Nature’s Logic diets are high in protein it makes all our kibble a biologically-appropriate, healthy diet for your pets. If you would like to learn more about Nature’s Logic dry kibble diets that are 100% natural, visit our website