Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Beef

The way that cattle are fed can have major impacts on their nutrition composition. As any dog nutritionist will tell you, grass-fed beef is significantly superior to grain-fed. In this blog post, we discuss why your dog should be eating food made from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle. 

At Rawk K9, all of our dog food is made from human-grade, USDA-certified hormone- and antibiotic-free beef sourced from cattle that were born, 100% pasture-raised, and humanely harvested in the United States in the prime of their health. Read on to learn why grass-fed beef, including our raw meals, bundles, mixes, and other products, offers your dog optimal nutritional value, then shop our products today!

What Is Grass-Fed Beef?

A grass-fed diet is pretty self-explanatory; it refers to a diet fed to a ruminant (cow, bison, goat, lamb, or sheep) consisting of grass, legumes, browse, or cereal grain crops in the vegetative (pre-grain) state. Animals that are classified as “grass-fed” cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to a pasture during the growing season. 

Cows may be grass-fed for most of their lives and then grain-fed for a short period of time before slaughter, however these cattle cannot have the grass-fed label, as outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A label of “organic,” “prime,” “choice,” or “select” does not necessarily mean that the cattle was grass-fed. Simply put, if the beef does not contain the label “grass-fed” then it was grain-fed for at least some portion of its life. 

What Is Grain-Fed Beef? 

Unlike grass-fed beef, grain-fed beef does not have any technical standard. Typically, all cows are born and spend the first portion of their lives in a pasture feeding on grass. After a certain period of time, which varies from farm to farm, they are then moved to a feedlot, also known as a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) or factory farm, and rapidly fattened with an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. To maximize growth, they are also often given drugs, such as antibiotics and growth hormones. From the feedlot, they are then slaughtered and turned into meat.

Nutritional Differences

Grass-fed beef usually contains much less total fat than grain-fed beef, meaning that gram for gram, grass-fed beef contains fewer calories. The amounts of specific fatty acids vary as well. 

Grass-fed beef contains up to five times as much as omega-3 than grain-fed beef. Omega-3 fatty acids help support dogs’ hearts, joints, coasts, skin, and immune systems. In addition, grass-fed beef contains about twice as much Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as grain-fed beef. CLA supports weight management and the development of lean muscle mass in dogs. 

Both grass- and grain-fed beef contain high amounts of nutrients, such as vitamin B12, B3, B6, iron, selenium, and zin. Grass-fed beef, however, generally contains higher amounts of certain nutrients. These include vitamin A, which supports optimal canine health, and vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Grass-fed beef tends to be richer in other antioxidants as well. 

Treat Your Best Friend to Our Grass-Fed Raw Beef!

When you feed your dog Raw K9 raw dog foods, you can rest assured that you are providing them with 100% pasture-raised and grass-fed beef that is both nutritious and delicious. We only ever sell our customers products that we would be happy to feed to our own dogs. Browse our collection of raw dog foods now. Many of our products feature not only humanely harvested beef, but also duck, salmon, lamb, rabbit, and other scrumptious, healthy delights.