Is Food Containing Ancient Grains Beneficial to Your Dog?

Ancient Grains Beneficial to Your Dog  by Delicia Warren |Published 04-08-2021

To echo the recent human food trends, more and more pet food manufacturers are promoting foods made with ancient grains. These grains are said to be highly beneficial to your pet’s health and wellbeing because they are jam-packed full of vitamins and minerals.

What are ancient grains, and are they beneficial for your pet?

What are ancient grains?

Ancient grains are a group of grains that haven’t been changed by agriculture like the ones that we routinely eat today, so they have exactly the same makeup as they did thousands of years ago.

They are dietary staples in places like China, Africa, India, and the Middle East and have been for hundreds of years.

It’s believed that they are excellent for your health because they are full of vitamins and minerals and offer health benefits like improved digestion and better blood sugar control.

Each individual grain will have its own particular nutritional profile; for example, quinoa is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, and barley is linked to heart health.

Some examples of ancient grains are

  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Teff
  • Sorghum
  • Barley
  • Quinoa
  • Bulgar wheat

Amaranth has a nutty taste and a chewy texture.  The grain is similar to couscous and is used as a side dish similar to rice.  

Millet is a whole grain containing protein and antioxidants and is one of many ancient grains.  It is known to have health benefits in humans, such as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It's gluten-free,  And, yes, it is also found in birdseed.

Teff is a fine grain that comes in different colors. It is an ancient grain from Ethiopia and Eritrea and is their staple grain.  It can be ground into flour and used to make bread.

Sorghum is a gluten-free, ancient grain that is most commonly used as feed for livestock.  It is also a popular food grain for those living in Africa and Asia.

Barley is a member of the grass family and is a prominent cereal grain grown in temperate climates. It's also one of the first ancient cultivated grains dating back as early as 10,000 years ago.  

Quinoa is a whole grain growing in popularity for human consumption due to its high nutritional value.  Often substituted for rice, the seeds can be cooked in a similar way as other grains, but the plant is actually more like spinach.  

Bulgar wheat has been around for at least 4,000 years, with it's production originating in the Mediterranean region.  In human cuisine, it is used instead of rice, couscous, barley, or quinoa.

Ancient grains are becoming more popular because of their health benefits and because they are gluten-free and so can be eaten by people with wheat intolerance or celiac disease.

They are also being added to dog foods as a way to incorporate more vitamins and minerals into the diet. Usually, the ancient grains are just some of the ingredients, and the rest of the food is made up of meat to provide a balanced diet for your dog. Diamond Pet can tell you all you need to know about beef pork ancient grains formula for adult dogs.

Are ancient grains beneficial to your dog?

It’s quite hard to talk about whether something is beneficial to all dogs in general, as each breed is so different! Each breed, and indeed each individual dog, will have their own health requirements and their own preferences regarding food.

Many people are adding ancient grains to their dog’s diet to increase their carbohydrate intake without including gluten in their diet, which can cause digestive upset. Ancient grains have become even more popular since concerns have been raised over gluten-free dog foods that were high in carbohydrates derived from legumes, as these have been linked to heart problems in some dogs.

Diets that are high in ancient grains are proven to be great as a way of aiding digestive issues in some dogs and a way to help keep weight on and provide extra carbohydrates for dogs that need it - for example, dogs who are very active.

The best way to tell if ancient grains will be beneficial to your dog is to speak with your vet to see what they think, and if they think it could be beneficial, then give a dog food containing ancient grains a try to see if it works for your dog. Remember, if you are going to switch your dog food, do it gradually, as sudden diet changes can cause digestive issues.

Ancient Grains Beneficial to Your Dog
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Author Bio

Freelance writer, Delicia Warren, is passionate about the environment and the impact humans are having on the world around us. She's an advocate of holistic approaches to life's issues, including alternative medicines, as well as having an interest in helping individuals make small changes to their lifestyles to minimize their carbon footprint.

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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