To Grain or Not to Grain? - The Trupanion Blog
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To Grain or Not to Grain?

Sammy the dog got to taste-test!

There are few things as controversial in the pet world about what you should feed your pet.

Luckily, in today’s world of dog cookbooks, premium pet foods and blogs about dog nutrition, we’ve never had so many choices or had the opportunity to be so informed.

One of the sources of controversy is whether or not you should feed your dog grains.  A little background, some dog foods have used wheat and corn as one of their primary ingredients.  As a result of eating so much of the same food, some dogs have developed allergies to these ingredients.  Experts say these types of allergies affect up to 10-15% of dogs.

It’s the same with you or I.  Food allergies are on the rise in the human community too.  Mostly as a result of overexposure to that food.

It’s not necessarily the wheat or corn that is itself “bad” for dogs.  In fact, many respected veterinarians recommend grains when feeding a homecooked diet.  If you’ve ever fed your dog homemade chicken and rice when your dog was sick, you were following a long recommended treatment.

If you have a dog you suspect may have a grain allergy, or he’s tested positive for it, then you certainly want to stay away from those foods.  And, if you want to make your own dog treats at home, it can be tough to find a recipe without grain.

Here’s one I’m experimenting with:


  • Sweet Salmon aux Pommes Cake
  • 2 medium size Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can Salmon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 egg

Boil the sweet potatoes 20-30 minutes or until soft.

Add everything to a food processor and pulse until well mixed

The contents will be soft and mushy, but not as liquid as cake batter.  Pour it all together into an oiled, 8 inch cake pan and bake at 425 F. for 20 minutes or until done.  It’ll look like a cake layer.  You can serve a slice as a meal or cut it into smaller pieces for treats.

Store in refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Happy Baking!
Jen Phillips April

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