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You may have seen grain free and potato free dog food formulas while shopping in your local pet food store. While grain free dog foods are not new, you may have wondered why some formulas are now excluding potatoes? Let’s examine the pros and cons of using potatoes in dog food.

Benefits of using potatoes in dog food?

Potatoes, both white and sweet varieties, can provide a readily available source of energy in a complete and balanced dog food formula. While both varieties provide many nutritional benefits, sweet potatoes win out because they contain more fiber and vitamin A and fewer calories.

Benefits of potatoes in grain free dog food formulas

White potatoes and sweet potatoes often take the place of grains as a carbohydrate source in grain free dog food formulas. Compared to white rice, for instance, potatoes have higher fiber, which promotes digestive health.

Is a low-carbohydrate formula right for my dog?

It depends on your dog. The amount of carbohydrate your dog needs may be different from other dogs, depending upon his activity level and environment. The best way to determine whether your dog is getting the right amount of carbohydrate in his diet is to talk with your veterinarian.

Is a grain free, potato free dog food healthier for my dog?

Not necessarily. Every dog is different, each with his own unique nutritional needs and taste preferences. Many dogs can thrive on any one of the plethora of formulas on the market today that include potatoes or grains. If you choose not to feed your dog a formula containing potatoes, then you are in luck as there are some grain free and potato free dog food formulas available today. For example, Purina® Pro Plan® Natural Grain Free dry formulas are made with carefully chosen ingredients, including high-quality protein as the first ingredient. In addition to being made without potatoes, these formulas do not contain corn, wheat, soy or poultry by-product meal. They are also are free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Choosing the right food for your dog is an important decision, and the array of options can seem a little overwhelming. But, what it really boils down to is this: for your dog to be his best, you need to feed him a food that works best for him. And, as always, if you have questions about your dog’s nutrition, talk to your veterinarian.