Last fall, John and I signed up to do a wellness program that emphasized whole and holistic foods. It cut–for 30 days–anything processed or refined. By day three, I had terrible headaches and I was irritable. John felt nauseated. It passed, of course, but it definitely proved how we’ve come to rely on sugary, unhealthy foods… without even realizing it. But, food is an addiction, and after completing the program (and feeling awesome!) we both went back to eating pretty much how we always have.
Don’t get me wrong: We are largely healthy eaters. I say largely because, like last night, we eat yummy/terrible stuff like tortellini with garlic bread, a big glass of wine, and chocolate cake on occasion…
Anyways! While I work on my own eating habits, at least I know that my pets are eating well! Much better than I am, in fact!
This post is sponsored by Wellness® Natural Pet Food and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share Wellness Grain Free options, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Wellness is not responsible for the content of this article.
You might recall from our post introducing this food trial of the reinvented Wellness® Complete Health™ line that Emmett’s eating a grain-free formula for three months. When I last checked in, we had just started feeding it. Now that we’re into it, a few thoughts:
I am grateful that I’m able to provide Emmett with high-quality food. Honestly, at almost 13 with terminal cancer, the boy deserves the best. (And… maybe… some junky treats here and there, but that’s another story for another day.)
Here’s the deal with Complete Health: It’s a line that’s always been part of the Wellness brand, but they’ve recently launched this reinvented formula that gives us a grain-free option. I’ve been researching grain-free pretty hard core lately, in part because it’s such a big topic in human health, and in part because I wanted to know if this was the right option for Emmett.
What I’ve found is that most of the “common knowledge” about grain-free diets are misconceptions.
The first thing that’s super important to understand and, I think, is maybe the biggest misconception is that grain-free does not mean carb-free. And that’s OK! That’s good, actually! Carbs are important. Somehow in human health we’ve turned carbs into the bad guy, but that just isn’t true. And our dogs really do need carbs to thrive. The trick? It’s the quality of those carbs that matter. In the case of the whitefish recipe we’re feeding Em, the first carb source (after the protein source, which of course you want to be first) is potato. For some reason, potatoes have a bad reputation among human health, but they’re actually full of healthy stuff like fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and B-12. I love potatoes as a main carb source, and John and I strive to eat baked potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes regularly… though we don’t achieve it often enough, which is why I’m glad Emmett’s food provides a healthy carb source!
The second misconception is that grains are a leading culprit in food allergies. In fact, most food allergies in dogs are related to proteins, not grains. Unfortunately, because this is a popular myth, the real deal is often glossed over. When it comes down to swapping grains for higher-quality carbs, the real benefit is digestibility.
With the chemo that Emmett’s been on for the last two years, combined with a lifetime of culinary indiscretions, Emmett’s stomach can get a little… well… wonky. Off. I like that the grain-free formula makes digestion easier, plus Complete Health combines high-quality protein, prebiotics and probiotics to support healthy digestion, and vitamins A and E to support healthy immune system. All things a cancer dog needs!
As I was researching this, I found all kinds of websites that make claims like “grain-free cures cancer,” and while I understand the desire to wish and hope for a miracle cure to cancer, that just isn’t a reality. Maybe some day that’ll happen, but for now, the best way to take care of cancer is through an overall healthy lifestyle: lots of exercise (catered to his arthritis, of course), lots of sleep, lots and lots and lots of love, and lots of healthy food. After this first round of research, I still say the Wellness Complete Health fits that bill.
Maybe I can use the Complete Health recipe to inspire some healthy recipes for me and John…
What do you think about grain-free diets? Have you thought about trying one with your dog? What questions do you have about grain-free misconceptions and grain-free benefits?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wellness® Natural Pet Food. The opinions and text are all mine.