Today’s pet owner has choices. They have plenty of them. Some might say, they have too many but these options allow us, as an industry to diversify – to follow trends and ultimately, give our customers exactly what they are looking for.
If you’re sat reading this in your own shop looking at your stock, you will already have formed your own opinions about grain-free. You will know who is buying it and why and which dogs can’t live without it. But what does grain-free actually mean? According to PFMA grains are “a group of ingredients that contain carbohydrates and are used in pet foods, including rice, wheat, barley, sorghum, maize (corn), etc’
Now carbohydrates are always a subject up for debate in human nutrition too – what are the right carbs? Should we eat them after 7pm? Do we need them at all?
Cats and dogs do not need carbs but does that mean we shouldn’t be feeding them? After all, we don’t technically need cake but I for one, would be pretty gutted if it stopped being stocked in my local supermarket! The key then, is to stock plenty of options but make sure you can answer the questions your customers might ask.
In some cases, owners have reported that switching to a grain free diet has resulted in a more shiny coat (I’m talking about dogs here, not humans!), less flaky skin and an eradication of allergies which can manifest in many different ways causing an overall lack of bounce.
However, PFMA advises that: “the most important consideration when deciding what diet to feed is whether it provides complete and balanced nutrition. If there is too much of one nutrient and not enough of others, it will impact the pet’s health. This principle is true regardless of whether the pet food contains grain or not. The nutrient profile of a product is
more important than any one ingredient.”
Considering grain-free? We’ve asked three industry experts for their take on grain-free diets – its advantages and disadvantages. So read on to find out more.