Ask any specialist veterinary surgeon and they will have this advice on hand for you when considering your canine breed’s best and healthiest nutrition. If you are currently shopping online, endeavoring to source the best grain free dog food, then pleasingly and reassuringly enough, you are going to be receiving this worthy advice too. The good advice from canine breed specialists is to endeavor to avoid the plant ingredient of alfalfa in your dog’s diet for now.
Online information on this matter is healthy reading indeed. It is user friendly, with the finer points always bulleted and with the use of short, easy to understand phrases. No veterinary or medical jargon is utilized. Alfalfa is, indeed, a high protein source. But this alfalfa is a plant source of protein. It does not include the required quota of amino acids that all carnivorous dogs and cats require. Also, alfalfa contains phytoestrogens.
These are plant estrogens and they are known to be what has been termed endocrine disruptors. This plant source also contains saponins, called glycosides. This leads to the unedifying prevalence of foaming (at the mouth) in dogs. The saponins are anti-nutrients. This ingredient interferes with the dog’s ability to properly absorb all essential nutrients. Clinical and veterinary advice remains unanimous in the sense that there should be a lot more emphasis placed on meat-based protein sources for the benefit of carnivorous canine species.
The argument has also been made in the human equivalent, especially in reminding those that choose to go entirely vegan that they will lacking in strength and growth inducing protein sources. A welcome set of ingredients included to healthy grain free dog food is that of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The human body is not able to produce these essential ingredients. Canine species cannot produce these either.
But for the purposes of having a healthy dietary variety, there will be a minimum quota of carbohydrates included into the healthy dog food component, but not nearly enough to cause any harm to, say, a small dog or puppy’s health. And for more variety, as well as authenticity, dog owners can now also produce grain free alternatives that include protein sources derive from game and fish. But poultry sources are frowned upon owing to the allergens (to canine species) included therein.