Grain-Free Food Can Improve Behavior and Allergies

wellness food

I started an experiment the day I took Chrestomanci to the vet: I put all of the animals on grain-free food. I’ve always wondered about whether or not I ought to take my pets off of corn-filled kibble, but the extra expense has always given me, and especially my husband, pause.

When I asked the vet about Chresti’s dandruff problem she said that wetter grain-free food might help. A locally-owned store next to the veterinarian’s office sells a variety of such foods, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least go in and get a bunch of samples.

I knew I’d need samples first because Cole can be very picky about his food. He even turns his nose up at wet food. But I didn’t want to have to deal with buying two different types of cat food unless absolutely necessary. So I received samples of 5 different grain-free cat foods and proceeded to give them to the cats for the next 5 days (each sample was really only about a day’s worth of food).

Then something I never expected, and what I’ve been desperate for, happened. Cole started behaving better. He still goes up on the counter and the stove top (he just can’t avoid those incriminating paw prints on my ceramic stove), but he only does so about one night out of three, instead of every night. And he doesn’t go up in the middle of the afternoon when I’m in the next room, like he used to.

I’ve known that Cole can be prone to misbehavior for, among other reasons, being hungry. That’s why, when the cats only used to get fed once a day, it happened at night before bed, so Cole wouldn’t keep me up with his howling all night long. He must not have been as well fed on his old corn-filled kibble, so now that he’s on something better he’s full and calmer, and thus behaves better. After all cats are carnivores, not even omnivores really like dogs, so they’re not meant to have much grain in their diets.

I’d still like to talk with Cole’s vet about his countertop adventures, but I’m so relieved to find at least a partial solution to the problem. Regulating Cole’s behavior is for me, given how desperate I was, definitely a good justification for the greater expense of the grain-free food.

I also tried putting Chihiro on grain-free food. No one knows much about what causes her constant paw licking, but one suggestion is that it’s due to food allergies. Grain-free food is supposed to help with that, so I thought I’d give it a try. I bought a two-week supply and waited to see what happened.

Unfortunately, the two weeks are up and Chihiro hasn’t been licking her paws any less. I don’t see much reason to put her on more expensive food if it doesn’t help her, and in fact means we have to keep a closer eye on her weight (we do for the cats too; the grain-free food has a higher fat content). When I next go into the local shop I’ll ask them for suggestions, but I think she might stay on her regular kibble.

I like the idea of feeing my pets healthier food, but I have to consider the expense as well. If you’re having behavioral issues with your pets give grain-free food a try, it just might help.

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When to Extend the Animal Family

*(This image by greggoconnell is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.)

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About Angela Shambeda

Angela lives in southern Maryland with her husband and three rescue pets. She often talks her poor husband's ear off about various topics, including Disney, so she's excited to share her thoughts and passions with you.