Itching, scratching, and red-hot looking skin? Oh, the poor suffering that most of our pets go through!

So what are you currently doing about it? Most pet owners have gone the route of steroids with a side of antibiotics. However, the majorities today are dabbling with the ever-so hot “grain-free formulas” to try and find relief!

Is Grain Free the answer?

According to Dana Scott of Dogs Naturally Magazine:

“Pet food companies are recognizing our desire to move away from harmful grains. And why wouldn’t we? An overwhelming percentage of dogs suffer from yeast and skin disease.

“Grains and other starches have a negative impact on gut health, creating insulin resistance and inflammation” says holistic veterinarian, Dr Jodie Gruenstern of Dr. Jodie’s Natural Pets. “It’s estimated that up to 80% of the immune system resides within the gastrointestinal system; building a healthy gut supports a more appropriate immune response. The importance of choosing fresh proteins and healthy fats over processed, starchy diets (such as kibble) can’t be overemphasized.”

Yeast is a fungus that’s always present on pets as part of the normal flora of the body, both internally and externally. When the immune system becomes over burdened, or when the dog is fed starchy foods, the yeast will proliferate in the hair follicles and throughout the body. Hence a giant out break of itching!

So, pet parents with these itchy pets want to keep them off harmful steroids and are rightfully looking at their pet’s food as a potential cause. Pet owners now know that grains high in starches feed yeast, and with the explosion of itchy pets these days, perhaps going grain-fee is the answer.

Only one problem though!

Starches are found not only in grains like rice, corn and wheat, but AS WELL in grain-free items like potatoes, tapioca, peas and sweet potatoes for example – all of those ingredients currently found in grain-free goods.

You see, there’s one really big problem with kibble: manufacturers can’t make it without starch. That starch is not only cheap to source, but it’s necessary to hold the kibble together. Without starch, your bag of grain-free dog food would be a bag of dust.

Regardless of what definition manufacturers want to classify their pet foods as, those grain-free foods, expensive veterinary allergy foods and super premium foods all have one common denominator: lots of starch!”

“Mother Earth gave us, as a species (human or pet), eight hormones to raise blood sugars and only ONE hormone (insulin) to lower it.” – Dr. Richard Patton, Animal Nutritionist

Think about it for a moment: Is nature trying to tell us something?


Non-cancerous cells can live and grow without glucose, while cancer cells depend on it.

Today, the average human consumes at least half a pound of sugar a day. We are experiencing a disease epidemic. Our pets, unfortunately, are consuming these same carbohydrates. Almost 60% of North Americans and their pets are overweight. Diabetes and heart disease are up in both humans and pets. The cancer rate is 1 in 2 men and 1 and 3 women; the same goes for dogs and cats.

Did you know that cancer is an obligate glucose metabolizer (meaning it needs sugar to thrive)? Non-cancerous cells can live and grow without glucose, while cancer cells depend on it. In fact, cancer cells absorb 300-500% more glucose than normal cells.

Did Mother Earth intend for us to consume all these high, genetically modified carbohydrate foods like corn, soy, and wheat!?

Ask yourself this: With 8 hormones in your body used to raise blood sugars and only one to drop, maybe there is a very important message we are missing here!

Maybe it’s time we go back to basics and start eating real food that average around 3% to 7% carbohydrates, and not food look alikes that average 40% to 70% carbohydrates.

So how much starch is in your pet’s diet?

Check out this chart in the photo – I made it to help you understand what could be fuelling your dog’s itchy skin. (Source: Borggreve et al; Murray et al.)

Rodney Habib