What Dog Food Brands Are Associated With Dcm
The FDA recently published the 16 brands of pet food that were linked to greater than 10 cases of DCM in dogs.
Here are the brands the FDA is focusing on and the number of cases for each brand:
But before you avoid those foods and move on, theres more you need to understand about taurine.
A Comparison Of Our Favorites In 2022
|Special Diet||Grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy, high protein|
This salmon and sweet potato formula from American Journey has deboned salmon, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and a mix of fruits and vegetables. Salmon oil and flaxseed are contained within this recipe to provide omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.
This food is high in fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to support your dogs overall health and immune system. Along with being grain-free, its corn- and soy-free, which makes it a great choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food sensitivities.
While this food is labeled as all life stages, its not suitable for puppies. However, American Journey does make a grain-free puppy food specially formulated for dogs under 1 year of age.
American Journey dog food is not guaranteed to be GMO-free, but its products are considered high-quality.
|Special Diet||Gluten-free, grain-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat|
Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food isnt not only grain-free but also gluten-free. While this seems like an unimportant distinction, its an important one if your dog has a gluten sensitivity or allergy. Foods cant be labeled as gluten-free unless theyre manufactured in a facility thats gluten-free. Nutrish is our pick as the best grain-free dog food for the money.
There are not too many negative things to say about this dog food, other than the fact that its over-packaged. If youre concerned about your environmental impact, this might affect your choice.
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.
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Is Your Dog Deficient In Taurine
If your dog has been eating a grain-free kibble, he wont necessarily develop DCM.
With that said, theres no better time to switch your dog to an animal-protein-rich diet than today!
But if youre concerned your dog is deficient in taurine, especially if you have one of the breeds most frequently affected, theres hope
You can ask your vet to check your dogs taurine levels and even get an echocardiogram to be sure.
For now, the best way to avoid taurine deficiency is to feed your dog a fresh, whole food, meat-based diet including organs like heart, liver, kidney and lung.
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Should You Be Concerned About Grain
In the , they examined labels of dog food products reported in DCM cases to determine whether the foods were grain-free , and whether the foods contained peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans, or potatoes . Their report states that more than 90 percent of foods reported in DCM cases were grain-free, 93 percent of reported foods contained peas and/or lentils, and 42 percent contained potatoes/sweet potatoes.
According to Dr. Klein, At this time, there is no proof that these ingredients are the cause of DCM in a broader range of dogs, but dog owners should be aware of this alert from the FDA. The FDA continues to work with veterinary cardiologists and veterinary nutritionists to better understand the effect, if any, of grain-free diets on dogs.
The FDAs July 2019 update includes the names of dog food brands that were named 10 times or more in reports submitted through April 30, 2019. Most reports were for dry dog food, but raw, semi-moist and wet foods were all represented.
- Taste of the Wild
- Natures Domain
- Natures Variety
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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.
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.
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
It Is A Little Bit More Expensive
A grain-free diet will cost you more than a grain-based one. It is not sustainable without an expansive budget. This is partly because of their rising popularity and increasing demand which also affected availability. Local pet stores and supermarkets often run out of stock for grain-free dog foods, but Good Doggy Treats has grain free dog treats that your dog will love! Not bring able to find no grain dog food can make it difficult for you to completely switch to a grain-free diet.
But because they are rich in proteins, grain-free foods are more filling and therefore your dog will eat less.
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What Dog Food Do Most Vets Recommend
How Should You Select A Food For Your Pet
When selecting a diet for your pet, the best advice is to ask your veterinarian. Veterinarians receive training in animal nutrition while in school and at educational conferences throughout their career they are much better suited to advise you about proper diets than a pet store employee. It is worth noting that there have been no reported cases of dogs developing nutritionally mediated DCM while eating a food that meets the World Small Animal Veterinary Association guidelines, so that is a good place to start.
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Why Some Dogs Need Grain
While grain allergies in dogs are rare, they do happen, which is why there are grain-free dog foods. Some people choose to feed grain-free diets based on the idea that dogs are obligate carnivores, but this is untrue. Dogs are actually omnivores and left to their own devices, would eat a mixture of animal- and plant-based foods.
There are also cases where dogs develop food sensitivities that cause stomach upset. Most often, this is related to the protein source in your dogs food, but it can happen from grain. Grain-free food can solve stomach issues in some cases.
Who Regulates Dog Food Its Complicated
Looking at our survey results, it seems pet owners dont have a clear information source on what is the best and healthiest food for their dogs. Some think its more expensive food, some think its grain-free and some are happy to admit theyre well, basically clueless when it comes to their pets dietary needs.
The AAFCO works with feed ingredients. When we reached out to the organization for comment, they told us, AAFCO does not certify animal feed or pet food, including dog food. We work with ingredients and not formulations. Our focus is on the safety of the ingredient for the intended use in the intended species.
So, AAFCO doesnt certify or approve dog foods, it details what dog-food manufacturers need to put on the label as well as creating nutrient profiles. Veterinarian Leslie Brooks provided further context on the role of AAFCO, explaining that they dont specifically regulate grain-free food. They set the basic minimum and maximum standards for minerals and nutrients in dog food and based on life stage, she said.
While there isnt a list of AAFCO-certified pet food, you can check legal food product lists per state via the state feed program.
But if the AAFCO isnt regulating dog food, who is? How do we know if the food we are feeding our pets is safe?
the labels and jargon don’t make shopping any easier
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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
With so many unknowns, its hard to pin down the exact cause of or contributor to these cases. But, as Dr. Patton shares, we should consider how these foods impact our dogs health, and we shouldnt limit our concerns to the risk of DCM. There are other problems that can result from some dog foods that have been labeled grain free but actually just replace the grains with similar ingredients.
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.
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What Should I Feed Instead Of Grain
The FDA hasnt reported any DCM cases from pets fed a raw diet. Taurine is found in all fresh meat diets, especially those with organ meat. If you want to feed a grain-free dog diet without having to worry about risks that come from the alternatives to grain, a fresh, whole food meat-based diet is the simplest and best solution.
You can easily avoid deficiencies in all amino acids, including taurine, by feeding your dog the diet he evolved to eat. And dont forget to include organs like heart, liver, kidney, and lung. And then your dog will be getting plenty of amino acids and you wont have to worry about the poor quality proteins in commercial grain-free dog foods.
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Are Grain Free Dog Foods Healthier
Over the past couple of decades, grain free dog foods have become tremendously popular. Today they are often preferred to other kinds of kibbles, even for dogs that do not have any food allergies or sensitivities.
People often believe that these foods have better quality ingredients that they are lower in carbohydrates/starches than other dog foods and that they have more protein. Not all of these things are true. It always depends on the particular dog food or brand.
Veterinarians tells us that true food allergies are not common in dogs, accounting for about 10 percent of all the allergies diagnosed in dogs. They are only the third most common cause of allergies in dogs, behind flea bite allergies and inhalant allergies. However, if youve ever had a dog with a food allergy or a food sensitivity, you know just how awful they can be.
And, if youve ever spent any time on a dog food message board, you would probably doubt that low percentage. There is never a shortage of dog owners with itchy dogs or dogs with gastrointestinal problems.
Some people even some veterinarians and alternative health practitioners seem to believe that grain free dog foods are healthier for dogs because, by definition, they do not contain the glutens found in some foods with grains.
Actual gluten only comes from wheat and related grains such as barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids . This means that corn and some other grains and cereals do not really have gluten.
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We Surveyed 234 Dog Owners About Their Pet’s Diet
According to betterpets survey results, 43.6% of 234 random dog owners are currently feeding their pets grain-free food. A further 14.5% did at one point, but no longer do. 40.2% feed their dog food with grain, and 1.7% preferred not to say.
52% of survey participants said they were aware that grain-free dog food was potentially connected to heart disease. 40% were unaware, while 7% were unsure.
Almost 50% of dog owners continue to feed their pets grain-free food despite evidence of health issues
The 43.6% who are feeding their dogs grain-free food had varying responses as to why. Some said that their pets had allergies or stomach sensitivity to grain. Others mentioned they thought it was healthier. One participant stated it was a suggestion from their breeder another, a suggestion from their groomer. A few felt grain-free was more in line with what a dogs diet should be carnivorous, and not using grain as a filler food. A few felt that the fewer ingredients dog food has, the better, so cutting out grain seemed like a good idea.
We were curious to find out why 14.5% of the survey participants had fed their dogs grain-free food, but then changed back to regular food. Almost all explained that it was because they had either seen the FDAs reporting connecting it to DCM, or at the suggestion of their vet who told them about the possible grain-free food and heart problems link.
Orijen Six Fish Grain
The Best Dog Food with Low CarbsCheck Price
However, I am aware that no two dogs are exactly alike. Your dog may be in an entirely different stage of life or may have unique needs like allergies or obesity. So, Ive created an alphabetized list of the best low-cost dog foods that can address these common issues.
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Grain Free Pet Food Cancer Risk
As well as an obesity epidemic, the media report an increase in cancer rates for pets . We know from our own diets that food can either protect against or make us vulnerable to cancer. One watch-out ingredient is potato, commonly found in grain-free dry dog food. Potatoes are incredibly starchy, which as well as being difficult to digest for some dogs, also means it has a significantly high acrylamide risk. Studies in rodents have linked acrylamide exposure to cancer. Acrylamide forms during high temperatures, above 120 degrees. To be safe opt for foods that are gently cooked and have low levels of potato or avoid it completely.
What You Should Know About Grain Free Dog Food
Grain-free dog food has become popular with many pet owners in the last several years. There are several reasons for its popularity which Ill look at below. But is it necessary to feed your dog a grain-free dog food? Or is it a fad? Can your dog be healthy eating a dog food that contains some grains? Keep reading.
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Getting Your Dog To Adapt To A New Diet
Over time, your dog adapts to a given diet. Getting them to like a new diet isnt an easy job. If your dog is used to a grain-based diet, it might take time to get them used to grain-free dog foods. They may never even eat it at all. If they keep avoiding grain-free foods, it is best to just abandon your grain-free diet experiment.
What Are The Pros Of Grains For Your Dog
Dogs can enjoy the taste and nutritional benefit of a number of grains, just like us. But, like everything else we feed our dogs, its important to make healthy choices and not just opt for the same grains you or I would enjoy. Dogs are different. For example human toothpaste is a no no when it comes to brushing your dogs teeth.
Whole grains are our favourite type of grain for your pooch, providing the most nutrients and goodness. By definition, these are grains that have 100% of the natural kernel, meaning nothing has been removed during production. Brown rice and oats are whole grains that avoid gluten and offer an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
High in fibre
Whole grains, particularly brown rice, are full of fibre and a great source of magnesium and selenium, helping to ease digestion and keep your dogs gut healthy.
Many whole grains are packed with antioxidants the superhero of nutrients! They can help your dog in a number of ways, including aiding weight loss, stabilising blood sugar and promoting good heart health.
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