Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Is Grain Free Dog Food Good Or Bad

Worst Wet Dog Food: Cesar Filets

Is Grain Free Food Good For Dogs?

Cesar Filets is considered one of the worst dog foods because of its high salt content .

It has sufficient water for processing, animal liver, chicken, beef and meat by-products, wheat gluten, ground wheat flour, cornstarch, salt, pea fiber, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium carbonate, added color, choline chloride, magnesium.

It helps if you also understand that the quality of ingredients cannot tell the whole story, but the amount of meat in the dog food is critical to consider before determining whether it falls in the best or worst category.

The amount of protein in Cesar filet is about 44%, with 22% fat and 25% carbohydrates.

This analysis shows that this dog food includes an above-average level of protein intake and just near-average fat.

At the same time, the carbs are below average compared to a portion of typical canned dog food.

Another factor making it a low-quality dog food is that it has artificial colorings added to it, which is useless and not preferred.

And What It Has To Do With His Heart

You mightve heard a lot of hype around grain-free dog food being good for your pup, but it turns out its not the best diet for most dogs.

Grain-free dog food is actually intended for pets with a grain allergy or intolerance. This isnt a problem for most dogs, so theres really no benefit for them to eat grain-free dog food.

And since its been linked to heart disease, a regular diet of grain-free food can even do more harm than good.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Cristina Bustamante, an associate veterinarian with Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Florida and founder of Dr. B. Vet, to find out exactly why grain-free food is bad for dogs.

How Do Grains Benefit Dogs

Dr. Venator says, Grains are actually an excellent nutrient source. Grains are packed with nutrients and provide carbohydrate, fat, and antioxidants. That means, the grains in dog food can support healthy, skin, and hair, plus support healthy immune systems and more. Also, there are many different kinds of grain: wheat, barley, corn etc. Each has its own combination of nutrients, and many are easily digested by dogs. Dog foods containing grain balance the grains nutrients with nutrients provided by other ingredients to create a nutritionally complete dog food.

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Research Indicates Genes With Key Roles In Starch Metabolism Were Targets Of Selection During Dog Domestication But Selection For Docility Was The Major Force That First Altered The Domestic Cat Genome

Wildcats have been shown to have a preference for rabbit prey, secondarily consume rodents, and round out the remainder of their diet with insectivores, reptiles, birds and arthropods, based on availability. The main dietary components of a free-ranging feral cat are reported as 78% mammalian, 16% birds, 3.7% reptiles and amphibians, and 1.2% invertebrates, with prey availability also dictating consumption preferences 6. The daily macronutrient intake of feral cats is 52% ME protein, 46% ME fat and 2% ME carbohydrate 6. When domestic cats were offered a variety of dry and canned diets, their preferred macronutrient distribution was 52% ME protein, 36% ME fat and 12% ME carbohydrate 7. Grain-free dry diets for cats contain less carbohydrate compared to grain-containing diets 8. Similar data are not yet available for dog diets.

Bravo Packing Performance Dog

Grain Free

We normally like raw pet food because most of these are free from fillers and the meat included are in their purest forms, free from processing of any kind. However, in the case of Bravo Packings raw diet, wed have to rethink this.

Bravo Packings Performance Dog and all of Bravo Packings other raw diets have undergone a recall this year.

Although no deaths or illnesses have been associated with the food, it is troubling that the brand has once again been involved with a recall.

From 2011 to 2015, Bravo had 7 recalls, which included expanded recalls.

There was another in 2018 and another in 2019 before the one for 2021. All of the past recalls were due to the possible presence of Salmonella or Listeria.

Recall Info: On March 3, 2021, Bravo Packing, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of two of their raw pet food products for possible cross contamination after samples collected during a US Food and Drug Administration inspection tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

The brand expanded the recall on March 16 to include ALL of its pet food and bone products of all sizes. No lot code or date code has been provided for the recent recall so assume, for the safety of your pets, that all are possibly contaminated.

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What Is Canine Heart Disease Or Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a type of canine heart disease that affects the heart muscle. The hearts of dogs with DCM have a decreased ability to pump blood, which often results in congestive heart failure.

Some breeds, especially large and giant breeds, have a predisposition to DCM. These breeds include Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, and Saint Bernards. While DCM is less common in medium and small breeds, English and American Cocker Spaniels are also predisposed to this condition.

The reports submitted to the FDA span a wide range of breeds, including many without a known genetic predisposition. When early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicated that recent, atypical cases in breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus all consistently ate grain alternatives in their diets, the FDA took notice.

Carbohydrates Blood Glucose And Diet Digestibility

Another common reason some owners prefer feeding a grain-free diet is to limit carbohydrate intake and secondary fluctuations in blood glucose. Although dogs lack salivary -amylase, which initiates the process of cleaving carbohydrates into oligosaccharides, they have similar carbohydrate digestive and metabolic enzymes found in omnivorous species such as humans. Cats, on the other hand, have numerous differences in their ability to digest, absorb, and metabolize starches and sugars. Details of these metabolic adaptations are beyond the scope of this discussion, but have been recently reviewed 13.

When contemplating the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar, some consideration should also be made regarding the types of carbohydrates in a diet. In both dogs and cats, carbohydrate sources with higher concentrations of fiber and protein tend to have lower glycemic responses 14, 17. For example, corn and brewers rice elicit a higher glucose and insulin response in cats than ingredients like peas and lentils 14, so diets with similar carbohydrate contents could have differing metabolic effects.

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Fromm Family Dog Food

It is prepared with real Wisconsin cheese, lamb, chicken, duck, whole eggs and enhanced with salmon oil for a healthy coat and probiotics for aiding digestion.

Their guaranteed analysis has minimum levels of around 24% of Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat and a maximum 3.5% of Crude Fiber and 10% Moisture.

It also has a minimum of about 0.5% Omega 3 Fatty Acids and 2.5% Omega 6 Fatty Acids.Fromm has all the high-quality dog food ingredients that should be present to strengthen the dogs immune system and provide balanced nutrition.

PLEASE NOTE: Amazon.com and Chewy are NOT authorized retailers to sell Fromm Family Dog Food. Because of this, we suggest using only .

How Concerned Should Dog Owners Be About The Grain Free Diet Alert

Grain Free Dog Food…Dangerous?

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.

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Ol Roy Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken & Rice

Ol Roys is a Walmart brand that has been in production since 1981. This specific recipe from the brand is crafted for adult canines of all sizes with essential nutrients to provide a balanced diet.

Its billed as an inexpensive pet food due to lack of advertising and promotion, but if you look closely at the ingredients, youll see another reason why.

Well list the first six ingredients here: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Rice Bran, Animal Fat , and Poultry By-Product Meal. And most of these are problematic.

We dont have anything against corn. Grains are okay too. In fact, these are healthy ingredients to have in dog food. But within reasonable quantities and never as the most significant part of a diet. In this recipe, the corn and grains make up the most volume and overwhelm the meat.

Second thing, the meats are all unspecified. Theyre labelled as meat and bone meal and poultry byproduct meal. The labels dont indicate exactly what animal the meat comes from and which parts were used.

Lastly, the food contains artificial colors and artificial preservatives .

Recall Info: There has been no recall yet for this formulation, although the Ol Roy brand has been involved in several recalls since 1998. The most recent one was in 2018 where samples of its Gravy Train line were found to contain traces of sodium pentobarbital.

Overreaching By Those With An Axe To Grind

It was bad enough to see the FDAs warning reduced by a combination of poor reporting, poor reader comprehension, and social media hysteria to grain-free foods cause canine heart disease. But some media outlets also included statements from an animal nutrition expert whose opinions on diets are consistent with those of the pet food industry corporate giants she has repeatedly been quoted as implicating boutique pet foods in the current rash of reported cases of DCM. Whats a boutique food? She doesnt define this, but we suspect its anything made by any company whose annual sales are less than umpteen million

This same expert has also implicated foods that contain exotic ingredients, which she provided a partial list for in one article: kangaroo, lentils, duck, pea, fava bean, buffalo, tapioca, salmon, lamb, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas. Hmm.

All in all, we have lost track of the number of times she has been quoted as saying that pet owners should avoid boutique, grain-free, or exotic ingredient diets and, unfortunately, this over-broad and ill-defined description is finding its way into more and more discussions of this concerning issue.

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Good Health Begins With The Gut

When it comes to choosing a diet for your dog, the health of their gut should be at the forefront of every decision. They only get one digestive system in their lives, and any damage can unfortunately be long lasting and irreversible. Do your research, understand your pooch and make choices based on their preferences and health.

Of course, all dogs need a healthy supply of animal protein to get all essential amino acids. Meat should be the number one ingredient on every dog food recipe. Percentages are important, but they can also be misleading. Some brands may include fresh and dried meat in the same category, so be sure to take a closer look at the ingredients list. And for those that have vague terms and are not transparent run a mile!

Our philosophy at Scrumbles is to focus on gut health. We include probiotics in our range of dry dog food and dry cat food, as well as slippery elm in our range of wet dog food and cat food for digestive health, stool quality and healthy immune systems.

Vets Weigh In On Why Dog Owners Are Still Choosing Grain

WAFCOL Senior Sensitive Dog Food  Salmon &  Potato  Grain ...

We asked some vets to weigh in on why, despite the research, almost half of dog owners are still feeding their pets grain-free food.

Indiana-based veterinarian Leslie Brooks told betterpet that she couldnt believe how quickly grain-free dog food caught on. It seemed to be a way of catering to the perceptions and needs of pet owners more so than the health of pets. Even though dogs are not humans and their digestive systems are different than ours, we as humans have a tendency to anthropomorphize animals to feel a deeper connection with them, which can sometimes inadvertently be harmful to our pets, she said.

Dr. Brooks comment is very much in line with our survey results, which reflected that some pet owners have a tendency to humanize pets. 21% of participants thought that what is healthy for humans is healthy for dogs.

Florida-based veterinarian Erica Irish explained that its pretty simple for brands to influence conscientious pet owners who want to feed their pets the best food. But if the companies dont spend some of their money on research and quality control, it may not be the best food for your pet, she said.

Dog owners should research both the brand and the type of food they are planning to buy. Buying from a company that has veterinary nutritionists on staff and that does active research on their food to make sure it doesnt cause harm and provides adequate nutrition is the best way to go, Dr. Brooks suggested.

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In The Final Part Of Our Three

Throughout 2019, headlines about grain free pet foods and dogs with enlarged hearts circulated around the news and the industry in general. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers anxiously awaited any news as to whether or not there is indeed a link between grain-free diets and enlarged heart disease and DCM .

In response, the commotion has brought up an important discussion regarding grain vs. grain free pet foods and which is best to feed pets. Before we dive into what we know, lets take a look at where the DCM issue stands as of now.

DCM Update

To put things simply, there is still no dietary link between grain free pet food ingredients and DCM. And theres been no major update since we last checked in early last year. In June of 2019, the Pet Food Institute released a Q& A document that outlined the DCM issue along with questions from a consumers perspective. They instructed pet owners that the most important thing they can do is make sure your dog is receiving a complete and balanced diet that is formulated for his or her life stage. When asked if any ingredients or grain free food as a whole should be avoided, the FDA stated that they do not advise any dietary changes based on the information gathered so far.

The Result

Whats Next

Grain vs. Grain Free

The question many consumers have is whether formulas with grains are better for pets than formulas that are grain free.

Why Grain is Good

Canidae Pure Grain Free Dog Food

Treat your dog to this real salmon and sweet potato recipe, made with zero grains and providing a balanced goodness for all adult dogs.

Its formula of vitamins and minerals allow for healthy joints, skin and coat, and is a highly recommendable product for your pet.


  • Improvement in your dogs stool this dog food will benefit your dogs stool, making it healthier in consistency, displaying the effects the product has on your dogs system.
  • Good for allergies if you dog is experiencing any clear signs of allergies, it could be the diet. If so, switching to the Canidae grain free dog food has been known to relieve dogs of their allergies.
  • Can minimize feeding time because this is high in protein, this means the amount of times you need to feed your dog can be shortened, allowing them to stay at a healthy weight.


  • Consistency the product changes in consistency, sometimes varying in color and texture depending on which pack you receive. This can be bad if your dog has a preference.

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If You Feel Your Dogs Food Is Connected To Dcm:

Based on the FDAs report, here are our first take-away points:

  • No matter what your dog eats, if she has any signs of DCM including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing, and episodes of collapse you should make an appointment to see your veterinarian ASAP, preferably one who can refer you to a veterinary cardiologist.
  • If you feed your dog a food that contains any potatoes, peas, lentils, or other seeds of legumes , look at the ingredients list. If the food contains one or more of these ingredients high up on the ingredients list, has several of these ingredients, and/or is a limited-ingredient diet typically, one containing only one animal protein source and one or two carbohydrate sources the possibility is good that the food is one of the type that is being looked at as possibly causing a higher incidence of DCM.
  • In contrast, foods that are not limited-ingredient foods and contain just one of those ingredients, or that have one or two of these ingredients fairly low on the ingredients list , are not the kind of diet that has been connected with DCM.
  • If you feed your dog a diet that meets the description of the foods that have been described by the FDA as potentially problematic , consider these points:

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