What Is Barley?
Barley is one of the most common cereal grains alongside others, such as Wheat, Rye, and Oats. Barley has been cultivated for thousands of years and originated in Eurasia as far as back as ten thousand years ago.
Some of the largest producers of Barley are Russia, Australia, France, Germany, and Ukraine. However, it is produced in many more countries across the world, including the United States and Canada.
Barley has a considerable number of uses ranging from animal fodder, beer production, soups, stews, and more. In addition to these, Barley has been a staple ingredient in dog food for over fifty years.
What About Pearled Barley?
Pearled Barley is a semi-processed version of Barley that has had its outer shell removed. This processing is similar to Rice, where Brown Rice still has its outer shell, and White Rice has had it removed.
Sadly, by doing this, significant is lost, including dietary fiber, as well as select vitamins and minerals. While there are exceptions, most dogs would benefit from unshelled Barley, also known as Barley Groats, than Pearled Barley.
That being said, a small quantity of Pearled Barley combined with other grain and plant material should not be cause for concern. The reason you shouldn’t be concerned is as the other ingredients in the recipe can likely make up for the Pearled Barley’s lack of fiber and other micronutrients.
Advantages Of Barley In Dog Food
The primary nutrition provided by Barley is its large proportion of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can provide dogs with a source of energy.
In addition to carbohydrates, Barley contains a small portion of protein. Sadly this proportion isn’t as large as some of the alternatives to Barley, such as legumes.
As discussed earlier, non-hulled Barley, also known as Barley Groats, contain a significant proportion of dietary fiber.
Lastly, Barley is an excellent source of select vitamins and minerals such as the B Vitamins, Manganese, and Phosphorus.
Disadvantages Of Barley In Dog Food
Barley doesn’t have any distinct advantages, but what is becoming more prominent is the use of Barley and other grains in overly large proportions.
While dogs may be omnivores, they thrive best on a balanced diet with large portions of meat and fish ingredients. Dog food that is loaded up with higher proportions of grains and other plant matter is not ideal and won’t provide a dog with the required nutrition.
You should always ensure a dog food has named meat and fish ingredients as its number one listed ingredient, and preferably also in lower places.
Dog Food Brands That Use Barley
Of all the recipes that use Barley created by these brands, we’d recommend checking out the recipe from Earthborn Holistic below. This recipe combines high-quality meat and fish ingredients with Barley and other grains in modest proportions.
However, compared to some other grains which have been gaining popularity in recent years (such as Millet and Buckwheat), Barley has remained somewhat stable.
Check out our articles on these grains below.