Benefits of Grains | Royal Canin Club Malaysia

Benefits of Grains

When we discuss ingredients in pet food, it is important to remember that their primary role is to provide vital energy and nutrients to sustain the health of cats and dogs. It is a common practice is humans to focus on specific ingredient in our diets but many don’t realise a nutrient-led approach is more appropriate which can be applicable in pet food and their nutrition as well.    

What are grains?  
Grains, commonly referred to as ""cereals"" or ""cereal grains"", are the edible seeds of specific grasses and include wheat, corn, rice, barley, oats, and rye, to name a few.    

Are grains nutritious for cats and dogs?  
When properly processed, grains and cereals provide plenty of nutritious and digestible nutrients and energy for cats and dogs. These include Vitamin E, B, linoleic acid that helps to maintain healthy skin and coat. One of the main nutritional benefits of cereals is the high-quality protein extracted from the gluten part of grains. When processed right, proteins from these sources can be far more digestible than proteins sourced from animals. 

Besides they also include high-quality carbohydrates they provide which act as the main energy source for pets. Grains and cereals are also high in fibre, which is a beneficial nutrient in supporting healthy gastrointestinal functions in cats and dogs.    

Can cats and dogs digest grains and cereals?  
Cats and dogs are well equipped to digest processed grains using the enzymes that are normally present in their digestive system: amylase for the starches and proteases for the proteins.  

To expose the most nutritious, digestible elements of grains or cereals, the raw ingredient is ground, heated and undergoes careful extraction of usable component during the manufacturing process. After this grinding and cooking process, is why some plant proteins can be more digestible than animal proteins.     

Are grain-free diets safe for cats and dogs?  
Over the last few years, there has been a trend towards grain-free foods for cats and dogs, primarily due to concerns about food allergies or carbohydrate intake. In reality, research has actually shown that food allergies are responsible for as little as 1-2% of visits to the veterinarian for cats and dogs. Instead, environmental allergies have been identified as a lot more common. In cases where food allergies are diagnosed, the likelihood of it being due to an animal-based protein is much higher as opposed it being due to grains.  

Switching your cat or dog to an all-meat diet without proper supplementation carries a considerable risk of nutritional excesses or deficiencies. Before making any changes to your pet’s nutrition, you should consult your veterinarian to ensure that the new diet is complete, balanced and entirely safe for your cat or dog.    

Finding the right nutritional balance  
At Royal Canin, we have conducted extensive research for more than 50 years into these ingredients and found that when properly processed, grains can provide a great source of energy and essential nutrients for your cat or dog.    

A healthy diet for cats and dogs provides nutrients from multiple sources – not only meats but carbohydrates too, such as grains, wheat, and corn. The important point is ensuring that your pet receives a balanced and precise blend of over 40 key nutrients to support their ongoing health and wellbeing.