What Does This All Mean
A relationship between grain-free diets and the development of DCM hasnt been fully proven. However, there are numerous reports of dogs with DCM whose condition improved or completely resolved after they were taken off a BEG diet and started on a special amino acid supplementation . The short answer is, we still dont know why this is happening, but it appears that DCM is more likely to occur in dogs who are only eating BEG diets.
Kibbles N Bits Homestyle Grilled Beef & Vegetable
At first glance, this recipe looks alright. Its promoted as having a culinary-inspired formula and is supposed to be loaded with proteins.
The texture crunchy kibbles with soft, meaty bits is also something that would definitely interest a pup. However, if you look closely at the label, youll see that the food is made up of low-quality ingredients.
Its not meat-based. Although its billed as a beef and vegetable recipe, the vegetables come first and there are more of them than necessary.
In fact, the main ingredients of the meal are corn and grains. The meat doesnt come in until the third slot. and its the only meat within the first eight ingredients of the recipe .
We dont usually have a problem with corn or grains, but this many? And its not only that. Theres corn syrup in the food. While corn syrup is not a dangerous ingredient, it has a high sugar content.
Its not necessary in dog food, and manufacturers only add it to enhance the flavor. If your pup is already struggling with obesity, then this sugar product makes the problem worse.
Lastly, were not a fan of artificial colors, and this food has plenty of it. Dogs arent tempted by colored foods, so the artificial hues are really intended to attract pet owners.
Recall Info: No food recall for this specific recipe although Kibbles n Bits has been involved in a recall for its canned foods back in 2018.
Recommended Reading: Is Purina A Good Dog Food
The Fda’s Findings On Diet
The FDA’s June 2019 update reports receiving 515 reports of DCM in dogs in the years 2014 through 2019. There were more than 515 dogs affected as some reports included more than one dog in a household which further indicates a possible dietary-link if the dogs were not genetically related but ate the same diet. There were also several breeds reported that were not among the commonly known breeds linked to DCM including Labrador Retrievers, pit bulls, and Australian Shepherds which may point to a dietary link. The FDA notes in their report that since there’s no system in place for regular reporting of disease incidences nationwide for pets, it’s difficult to gauge an approximate percentage of the “real world” incidence of diet-related DCM.
Recommended Reading: Softening Puppy Food
What Dog Foods Are Killing Dogs
A pet food recall is widening after the Food and Drug Administration announced that more than two dozen dogs died after eating Sportmix brand dry kibble. The statement issued on Monday said that the suspect is aflatoxin, a byproduct of a corn mold Aspergillus flavus, which at high levels can kill pets.
The Latest Research On Grain
The FDA has been instrumental in alerting consumers to the potential for DCM with specialized diets. After conducting an investigation last July, they concluded that 90 percent of dog foods connected with DCM cases were grain-free and 93 percent of those foods contained peas or lentils .
They also found that other risk factors had an impact on the likelihood of a dog developing DCM even after eating an at-risk diet. Variables include breed, genetics, and health status of the dogs in question
In the Journal of Veterinary Medicine in December 2019, Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN made it clear that it isnt just a grain-free diet that is risky. Pets developing heart disease are equally linked to boutique and specialty products, including wild game.
Although there is still no definitive proof that these specialized diets lead to DCM, pet owners should consider the benefits and risks for their individual pets nutritional needs.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does Dog Food Last
What Is A Food Topper
A food topper will help you add more nutrition to your homemade lectin-free dog food, by adding a small quantity on top of your dogs meal. Vital Boost its made with grass-fed beef and organ meat, as well as other raw, plant-based ingredients that support the balanced, complete nutrition your dog needs. All of the ingredients in Vital Boost are received fresh, then gently freeze-dried to lock-in the flavor and nutrients. Check the ingredient list before you buy to make sure your dog is not allergic to any of them.
Vital Boost is loaded with a colorful spectrum of polyphenols, antioxidants, and other powerful nutrients to help your dog experience:
- Balanced energy levels for more relaxed, playful moods
- Improved digestion for less gas and firmer, healthier poops
- Healthier joints and muscles, thanks to a powerful blend of magnesium, iron, calcium, and other essential minerals
Vital Boost is easy to prepare. Simply add one scoop of Vital Boost to your dogs food once per day. If your dog eats two meals a day, you can use a half scoop with each meal.
If your dog is over 30 pounds, use 1 ½ scoop a day and If your dog is over 50 pounds, use 2 scoops a day.
The Role Of Taurine In Canine Dcm
The investigators also looked into low taurine as a possible cause for the recent cases. So far, these results have been inconclusive. Just under half of the tested dogs in the report were taurine-deficient, while the remaining half had normal taurine levels.
Other studies, however, suggest that taurine may play a bigger role in DCM, especially for certain dog breeds. One study found that 24 Golden Retrievers with DCM had low taurine, and most of the dogs were fed grain-free diets prior to diagnosis.
Fortunately, the heart disease resolved for nearly all of the dogs after they received cardiac medications and taurine supplements and switched to a grain-inclusive diet.
Don’t Miss: Darwin Dog Food Reviews
Should You Switch Your Dog To Or From A Grain
Your veterinarian should be consulted regarding the best dietary choices for your dog.
There have not been any recommendations issued by the FDA advising whether you should or should not feed your dog a grain-free diet, as their study is ongoing.
The most important consideration in choosing a dog food is that it provides complete and balanced nutrition.
If you are thinking of switching your dog to a grain-free diet, discuss the risks and benefits of feeding a grain-free diet with your veterinarian first.
If your dog is already on a grain-free diet, and you want to know if you should switch to a dog food that has grains, ask your veterinarian what the best dog food option would be for your particular dog.
How Concerned Should Dog Owners Be About The Grain Free Diet Alert
The FDA investigated 515 reports of DCM in dogs received between January 1, 2014 and April 30, 2019, finding 560 dogs were affected. Out of the 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM, 119 of them died as a result of DCM.
An enlarged heart is very common in humans, says Dr. Patton, but its uncommon in dogs, so these numbers do seem concerning. Its absolutely something we should keep an open mind about and keep investigating.
So, why would a grain free diet contribute to DCM? It might not be as simple as grain free or not grain free, according to Dr. Patton. The amount of other ingredients of concern complicate the issue.
A deeper look at the results of the 2019 study shows that these cases may have something to do with common ingredients in grain free dog food. The findings show high instances of cases reported in foods with ingredients such as peas, lentils and sweet potatoes.
To complicate the situation even more, some dog breeds had more cases reported than others, and some brands were reported more frequently than others.
Recommended Reading: How To Soften Hard Dog Food
What Did The Fda Find
The FDA received 515 reports of DCM in dogs between January 1, 2014, and April 30, 2019. When they looked into what these dogs were eating, they found that 90% were on a grain-free food and 93% were on diets that contained peas and/or lentils. The foods were tested for minerals, metals and amino acids and no significant abnormalities were found.
Diet Information From Reported Cases
Review of the canine reports shows that most reports were for dry dog food formulations, but raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were also represented.
When examining the most commonly reported pet food brands named in DCM reports submitted to the FDA, it is important to note that the graph below is based on reports that included brand information and that some reports named multiple brands. Brands that were named ten or more times are featured below. For a granular, case-by-case breakdown of DCM reports submitted to the FDA, see Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy Complaints Submitted to FDA-CVM Through April 30, 2019. FDA urges pet owners to work with their veterinarians, who may consult a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to obtain the most appropriate dietary advice for their pets specific needs prior to making diet changes.
To better characterize diets reported in DCM cases, product labels were examined to determine whether the product was grain-free , and whether the products contained peas, other lentils including chickpeas and beans, or potatoes . Because so many products contained peas and/or lentils, a category was created for peas and/or lentils. More than 90 percent of products were grain-free, and 93 percent of reported products had peas and/or lentils. A far smaller proportion contained potatoes.
Also Check: Buying Dog Food With Food Stamps
Also Check: Can You Get Dog Food On Food Stamps
Fewer Allergies And Less Intolerance
Dogs develop allergies and intolerance to certain ingredients, some of which include grains. One of the best ways to prevent allergies is by cutting down on grains in pet food formulas. The symptoms that dogs with allergies display include itchy skin, excessive gas, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash and irritations, ear and skin infections, and loose stools, among other issues.
Food intolerance does not display severe symptoms as allergies, but they are a threat to the dogs overall health. Putting the dogs on a gluten-free diet that is also free from other grains helps to save the situation.
Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula
Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula is a mid-priced canine formula that does little to impress, but also does little wrong.
It only comes in one size, but at $36 for a 40-lb bag, this food fits comfortably between a budget and mid-range price point.
Diamond Naturals take a holistic approach to crafting dog food, aiming to meet every pet’s needs with the use of proprietary probiotics and the inclusion of superfoods.
They believe that by making their dry dog foods contain 10-20% superfoods , your dog will be able to properly absorb all of its required vitamins and minerals.
These superfoods replace common fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy . It contains 25% protein and 15% fat which is pretty average in this price range.
Don’t Miss: Can Dog Food Go Bad
These Are Two Examples Of How I Use Ingredients In Batch Cooking
Batch 1: 2 big/giant sweet potatoes 4 broccoli heads half a bag of spinach chicken meat chicken feet gizzard some beef liver.
Batch 2: 2 big/giant sweet potatoes 4 broccoli heads half a bag of spinach chicken feet beef some beef liver pork
The meat for each batch was about 7lbs + the veggies and all covered with water. The 12 qt pot was nearly full and this filled x15 24oz containers = 10.5 liters . 1 container is one meal for Rocky, so 15 meals from each batch.
What Should I Feed My Dog Instead Of Grain
Still unsure? You may want to look for recommendations made by board-certified veterinary nutritionists , who have completed four years of vet school as well as a two- to three-year residency specifically in veterinary nutrition. The terminology can be tricky, as the phrases “animal nutritionist” or “dog nutrition specialist” sound similar to board-certified veterinary nutritionist, but do not carry the extensive education and training behind them.
Read Also: Pedigree Dentastix Recall
Should Your Dog Be On A Grain Free Diet Learn About Grain Free Dog Food
While evaluating your options to find the best food for your best friend, youve probably encountered conflicting opinions about grain free dog foods.
While some sources indicate that a grain free diet is healthier than traditional dog food, the Grain Free Diet Alert released by the FDA in 2019 left many dog owners concerned about potential impacts of grain free foods on their pets health. The alert came after the FDA investigated reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy essentially an enlarged heart in dogs eating certain types of dog foods, many of them labeled grain free.
With the growing popularity of grain free dog food and many leading healthy commercial dog food brands involved in the study, dog owners who feed their dogs these foods are faced with many uncertainties: How healthy is it to feed my dog grain free foods? Are there any benefits of grain free dog food? Are some dog foods or brands safer than others?
It can be complicated, but in short: the healthiest dog diet does not contain grains or the fillers that commonly replace grains. Only natural raw dog food diets avoid this problem completely.
With all the confusion out there, weve put together key considerations from our expert animal nutritionist Dr. Richard Patton to help you decide which diet is best for your dog.
Does Grain Free Dog Food Help With Allergies
If your dog is suffering from allergy symptoms, it might be tempting to immediately rush out to buy a variety of new dog foods including grain-free options. Before you rush off to the nearest shop its worth first assessing whether food is the culprit.
First things first, its important to consult with your vet before making any changes at home. Environmental triggers are far more common than food intolerances. Shampoos, washing powders, dust and cleaning products are all common dog allergies that will display similar symptoms to food allergies. Consult with your vet to make sure your dogs symptoms arent due to environmental causes before you make any unnecessary changes to your dogs diet.
If you do find that your dogs allergies are food related, its a process of elimination to discover the true culprit. Weve already discussed that its much more likely that your pooch will have an allergy to beef, eggs, chicken, dairy or wheat rather than grains so opting for a grain-free food which contains the ingredient your dog is sensitive to isnt going to help. Whilst it can be tempting to opt for a fast saliva or blood test, rather than going down the lengthy elimination diet process, wed recommend avoiding these tests. They not only put your dog under stress but also yield inaccurate results as high as 50-60% false positives.
Also Check: Can Food Stamps Buy Dog Food
Groundbreaking Study Clears Grain
An ongoing theory touted by academic researchers and investigated by the FDA involving a potential link between canine heart disease, also known as dilated cardiomyopathy , and certain grain-free pet foods have been debunked, according to a far-reaching study recently released by a working group of veterinary professionals and animal nutritionists.
Is Grain Free Dog Food Killing Dogs
Since 2014, the FDA has received more than 1,100 reports of DCM-related death associated with grain-free foods. Well, when we consider that millions of dogs and cats prefer non-grain diets, and they make up all of the 1,300 in America today, its easy to see why there are so many. Morgan described it as a very, very small percentage.
You May Like: How To Soften Dry Dog Food Quickly
Featured Ingredients And Health Benefits In Vital Boost
FlaxseedThis nutritious source of prebiotics is excellent for keeping your dogs digestion comfortable and regular, as well as boosting their energy and mood .
Salmon SkinNot only is salmon packed with Omega-3s, which can improve your dogs cardiovascular health it also contains compounds that keep your dogs coat shiny, healthy, and vibrant for years to come.
ChicoryChicory is a purple flower similar to a dandelion with loads of digestive benefits. It contains nutritious dietary fiber to aid your dogs bowel movements, as well as support their immune system and gut health.
Hot Tip: Orijen Tundra Is The Lowest Carb Kibble Diet That A Wide Range Of Dogs Enjoy And Do Well On Coupled With The Fact That The First 5 Ingredients Are All Named Animal Sources This Is Currently My Top Pick For Kibble Feeders
Valens Pasture for Dogs
- Carbs: 33%
- First 5 Ingredients: Fresh deboned lamb, fresh deboned beef, fresh deboned boar, fresh deboned bison, lamb meal
- Main Protein Source: Lamb
- We highly recommend this food in our stores
Natures Logic Distinction Canine Chicken
- Carbs: 34%
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, millet, chicken fat, spray dried chicken liver
- Main Protein Source: Chicken Meal
- We recommend this food in our stores
Carna4 Easy-Chew Lamb Dog Food
- Carbs: 39%
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, lamb liver, eggs, ground organic sprouted barley seed, herring
- Main Protein Source: Lamb, Lamb Liver
Canadian Naturals Turkey and Salmon Dog Food
- Carbs: 43%
- First 5 Ingredients: Fresh turkey, turkey meal, brown rice, de-hulled barley, oatmeal
- Main Protein Sources: Turkey Meal
Also Check: Why Is Royal Canin So Expensive