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.
What Is A Boutique Dog Food
Boutique dog food is short for boutique, exotic and grain-free food. Usually these types of food include exotic protein sources like alligator, ostrich, bison, duck, kangaroo and similar. Grains are swapped for peas, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes and potatoes/sweet potatoes. Boutique dog food is usually manufactured by smaller companies which might have not done any of their own scientific research.
Arguments At A Glance: Why Is Grain
The following five arguments against grain and for dog food without grain are among the most frequently mentioned. There are, of course, other points of criticism, but they tend to play a minor role.
- The dog is a typical carnivore, which does not need grain.
- Grain could trigger allergies and intolerances.
- Grain food contains too many high-calorie carbohydrates and makes you fat.
- Monocultures and pesticides in agriculture characterize grain farming.
- Grain is a cheap filler without benefit for the nutrition of the dog.
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Are Dogs Carnivores Or Omnivores
While most agree that cats are carnivores, dogs are an area of contention with debate around whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores. If our dogs have evolved hunting and eating meat, they must be carnivores, right? Not quite
Arguments for dogs being omnivores include their ability and evolution to digest carbohydrates including grains, the length of their intestine compared to whats observed in carnivores and the fact that they produce amylase in their salivary glands the digestive enzymes that allow them to digest plant-based sources.
Those that argue that dogs are carnivores, refer to their wolf ancestors being carnivores and their carnivorous teeth. They argue that grains therefore are an unnatural source of nutrition for dogs given that their ancestors certainly didnt consume grains. However, most mammals, including herbivores, have canine teeth just look at the very scary herbivore that is a hippo. Essentially, this argument doesnt have any teeth .
On top of that, wolves have been observed to both graze on grass and regularly consume non-meat content from their preys stomachs, so they are not strictly carnivorous, but probably most importantly dogs and wolves are not the same.
So that settles it right? Dogs are omnivores. Im afraid the jury is still out on this one. The evidence is not clear cut either way, although what is clear is that dogs are fully capable of drawing nutrients from grains and that they benefit from meat in their diets.
What To Feed Your Puppy: Knowing Whether To Go Grain Free
Dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages require different diets to ensure they stay healthy and strong this is especially true of puppies who have a lot of growing to do in their first 12 to 18 months. For instance, whilst puppies need more protein to feed their growing muscles, an imbalance between protein and other nutrients can negatively affect their growth and development. Whilst owners have traditionally had to choose between feeding their puppy wet food or dry food, now there is also the option of grain-free food. Whilst its no coincidence that this trend appeared around the same time humans started asking for grain-free and gluten-free diets, grain-free can nevertheless be the right choice for some puppies.
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Why Were Grains Removed From Dog Foods In The First Place
The myth that domestic dogs are unable to digest grains is likely to be a factor in the growing popularity of the grain-free diet. It has been well-documented that dogs can thrive on a grain-inclusive diet and have done so historically!
The great evolutionary success of the dog can be traced back to its evolution alongside human populations. This was achieved, in part, by the dogs ability to adapt to consuming the carbohydrate-rich scraps and leftovers. There are no studies that have shown grain-inclusive diets to be detrimental to the health of our domestic dogs. In fact, the cooked grains in commercial diets provide many beneficial nutrients to the diet including vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
The grain-free statement on the label itself has also proven to be an attractive feature of certain dog foods. The absence claim labelling trend is on the rise as has been seen with the popularity of free-from foods on British shelves.
This category of products was originally created to satisfy the needs of individuals with allergies and intolerances. However, free-from foods are now being appreciated by the wider market and are perceived to be healthier than ones without a claim. Similarly, with dog foods, absence claims can make a diet seem like a better choice even when the reasons arent clear.
Why Are Grains Used In Dog Food
Grains are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, says Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, a PhD pet nutritionist for the pet food brand Petcurean. They provide carbohydrates, and help dry pet food maintain its shape and crunch.
They arent just filler, says Dr. Susan G. Wynn, veterinary nutritionist at BluePearl Georgia Veterinary Specialists.
Traditionally, wheat and corn have been the go-to grains for commercial dog food manufacturers. But in recent years, theres been an increase in what Adolphe calls novel grains. These include barley, oats and rye.
Other brands are dropping grains entirely and manufacturing grain-free dog foodopting instead for ingredients like sweet potatoes, peas and beans.
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Weighing In On The Grain Debate: Is Grain
Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap lately. Maybe people are going gluten-free because they have food allergies or they believe that itll help them lose weight. Should it apply to a dogs diet, though?
This trend has also made its way into the world of pet food, as many dry dog food and wet food brands have grain-free offerings. Pet owners may be wondering: Is grain-free dog food better for your pup? And should you put him on a grain-free diet?
When trying to decide whether or not to go grain-free, you should first learn about this type of food and whether or not itll be beneficial for your dog.
Is Grain Free Dog Food Bad
Weve established that gluten free doesnt mean grain-free. Equally grain-free doesnt necessarily mean healthy dog food nor deem it good or bad. Labels like grain free are marketing tools but its important to look at the full ingredient list to assess whether the recipe is right for your puppy or dog. Quality goes beyond the grain.
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Whyis Grain Controversial For Dogs
Why did grain-free dog food develop in the first place?Well, you could point to several different reasons.
There’s always the obvious marketing and setting up a trend — advertising has done a great job pushingthe myth that grain-free is the healthiest diet for all dogs, and eating grainsare harmful to your pup.
In truth, grain-free and with-grain is all a matter ofpreference and what works for an individual dog.
Some dogs can benefit fromgrain-free diets, while others can potentially experience consequences from it.
Plus, not all grain-free dog foods are created equal. Therefore, a bettercourse of action would be to look at the ingredient list on the label, insteadof any catch-phrases or marketing hype.
Should Dogs Have Grain In Their Diet
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Companies market grain-free kibble as a solution for dogs with allergies and coat problems, but is it really healthy? New evidence suggests that grain-free dog food might actually be worse for dogs than grain-containing foods. Should your dog have grain in its diet? Lets find out.
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Are Dogs Carnivores
There is a lot of discussion surrounding dogs. We know they are descended from wolves, which begs the question, are dogs carnivores or omnivores?
Some studies suggest that wolves may have domesticated themselves in a move scientists call survival of the friendliest during hard times. During these times, dogs experienced a shift in eating patterns, similar to those of humans. They were exposed to more grains and vegetables, which increased the bioavailability of their food, making digestion easier. This prompted a change in their digestive systems.
The question of whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores is still inconclusive. What we do know is that dogs can eat almost 100% of carbohydrates This is due to the presence of amylase in their bodies an enzyme that breaks down the starch in the intestine. Its clear that dogs have adapted to digest starch, the chief nutrient in grains such as wheat and rice. Furthermore, dogs also have a maltase gene another enzyme involved in the digestion of starches. This gene is usually only found in herbivores and omnivores.
Dogs have other biological similarities to omnivores. They have molars, and they have a small intestine that occupies roughly 23% of their gastrointestinal tract. Cats, which are carnivores, have small intestines that only occupy 15%. Also, dogs are able to create their own Vitamin A from beta carotene, found in plants.
Why Go Grain Free
We know that, when given correctly cooked grain as a food ingredient, intolerance in dogs is relatively uncommon but when it does occur, it can be distressing for the dog and the owner. So an increasing number of dog owners are not taking any chances and are going straight to grain free. Many of our customers report that the grain free foods are even more palatable than our rice-based foods, so are especially good for fussy eaters. There are many benefits of going grain free for your dog, meaning theyll be full of energy and shining with health from toe to tail.
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Can Dogs Digest Grains
The argument against grains in puppy food stems from the idea that our pets ancestors never used to eat grains, so it was thought that dogs dont naturally eat them and arent capable of digesting them. This isnt true. Dogs have adapted to be able to eat grains in their diet now thats what eating scraps off our tables for a few thousand years will do! Grains provide valuable energy to a growing puppy. Of course, whether with or without grains, it is essential to feed your puppy food which is carefully formulated to their life stage so they are getting the right amount of essential nutrients. If you are not sure what to feed your puppy, you can find some great choices here.
Is There Any Situation In Which A Dog Would Need A Grain
It is rare that a dog would require a grain-free diet for medical reasons. The top two dietary allergens in dogs are beef and dairy products, with wheat coming in third. Additionally, in the case that a grain sensitivity does exist, it is unlikely that a dog will be triggered by all types of grain. If you suspect that your dog has a dietary allergy, have a chat with your veterinarian. Dietary allergies will require veterinary intervention for diagnosis and treatment.
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Video Answer: Raw Dog Food Diet For Pitbulls And Bullys How To Get Started
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.
While many pets may benefit from a grain-free diet, it’s not always the best choice for every dog.
If your pet shows signs of allergies and discomfort like these, transitioning to grain-free dog food or cat food may help.
Some pets will improve within a few weeks of changing foods.
Do Vets Recommend Grain Free Dog Food
A diet free of grains is suitable if a dog is suffering from a grain allergy and if a veterinarian recommends it, but this diet can leave them at risk of being injured. This does not imply that all dogs should have grain-free diets, and depending on your vet, you may consider any special diet recommendations.
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Is Grain Free Dog Food Right For You
So, there you have it, lots of myths debunked. Hopefully this helps you assess if grain-free dog food is best for your pooch. Not all grains are equal and hopefully weve drummed in the mantra of check the ingredients as your go to for assessing pet food.
If you have consulted a vet, gone through the process of elimination and discovered that your pooch is one of the unfortunate few with a grain intolerance, grain-free dog food is certainly what you need. If, however, youre looking for the best dog food for your pooch, assess the ingredients fully. Most importantly see how your dog enjoys the food of your choice.
When making any changes to your poochs diet, its important to transition. Remember that all dogs are different, and their nutritional needs differ throughout their lives. Its best to take things slowly and make the change gradually for your dogs digestive system.
Our top tip on what to look for is a dog food thats gut friendly.
What Is Grain Free Dog Food
Grain free doesnt mean low-carbohydrates or all meat.
Grain free has become a label that we tend to associate with healthy or high quality. Dog food thats free of grains can be a healthy choice for your dog, but Dr. Patton says that grain free can be a deceptive term:
When the grains are taken out of these foods, theyre just replaced with other ingredients peas, lentils, sweet potatoes which means theyll often have more carbohydrates than foods that arent grain free. So, the problem with grain free foods with these ingredients isnt just about the risk of DCM, its about excess soluble carbohydrates.
These excess soluble carbohydrates can lead to several problems in dogs. While your dog needs carbohydrates to produce energy, too many of them can contribute to obesity, the wrong bacteria in the gut and a lack of energy. So, if a dog food is labeled grain free but the grains are replaced with other ingredients, its not necessarily a healthier option for your dog.
Learn more about the impact of excess soluble carbohydrates on your dogs health.
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Should You Feed Your Dog A Grain
If you think your dog would fare better on a grain free or novel grain diet, talk to your vet. He or she might take the same stance as the doctors we spoke to, who agreed: if it aint broke, dont fix it.
If your dogs doing really well on his current diet, I wouldnt change it, says Dr. Adolphe. My motto is all foods fit, its just figuring out which works best for your individual pet.
Is Grain Free Dog Food 2021 Bad
Pet food free of grains h-free food bad for dogs? The main advantage of grain-free foods for dogs is that they contain sufficient nutrition for dogs. If qualified animal nutritionists formulate a diet that is appropriate to a dogs physical requirements, they should produce feeds that would work just fine for that dog.
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Does Grain Free Dog Food Cause Heart Murmurs
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a deadly heart disorder commonly associated with grain-free dog foods. A grain-free diet is often associated with the condition known as DCM, which affects dogs who fed on peas and lentils. Your dog however, would be especially vulnerable if he or she consumed all grain-free foods.
What Is The Difference Between Grain Free And Gluten Free
Gluten is the protein that is found in specific types of grain, such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten free food is, of course, free of these proteins. However, not all grains contain gluten. Therefore, gluten free dog food may or may not be grain free, while grain free dog food recipes will always be gluten free.
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The High Cost Of Grain
If nothing else, the last thing to mention about grain free diet for dogs is their expensive price tag. As you have probably already noted, whether cheap brands or those among the top rated dog foods, the grain free diet for dogs typically commands a higher cost than their grain-containing counterparts. Animal-based products are almost always more expensive pound-for-pound than plant-based products in pet foods.
Many dog food brands that are grain-free also include human-grade meats. While this can be healthier for our dogs, it commands a higher price as well. Whole fruits, vegetables and even lentils that are human-grade in dog foods also drives up the price. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend extra dollar on your pet’s food if you can afford it, but just be prepared before you make the switch.