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Is it ok to feed "Grain-free" diet for my dog ?

Grain free diet is a hot topic in the veterinary field now and here's something we can share.


I'm not a good cook but I still do my best to search for organic, non-GMO food as much as I can.


Finding good quality food is fundamental for your pets health . How can we expect good health when we are feeding our pets food that lacks the proper balanced nutrition for them to thrive?


More and more people want to feed their pet good quality food and it has led food companies to advertise " Organic " " Grain - free " and " RAW " diets. There are so many boutique and exotic meat raw food without grain diets nowadays.

However, there have been some concerns about grain free diets.

In 2018, anecdotal reports emerged that some grain-free diets, or diets containing legumes as the main non-meat component, were resulting in taurine deficiency and potentially contributing to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)


So some companies put ingredients containing " Legumes" instead of grain and it has risk of " Taurine deficiency " which can contribute to heart disease.

Which diets have been implicated so far?

Multiple diets have been implicated. The June 2019 FDA report provides a list of pet food brands that have been implicated. Almost 50% of the cases reported to the FDA were being fed Acana, Zignature or Taste-of-the-Wild diets. However, 13 other companies' diets were also listed.



So if it's a grain-free and legume-based, then it is considered as a suspect diet.

It is important to note that no prescription diets that are nutrient-restricted have been implicated or reported in sufficient numbers to warrant listing by the FDA.


At this point, no one can say for sure grain free diets cause DCM disease.

However, I don't think we need to take risks of life threatening heart disease by feeding grain a free diet. If your pet only likes the grain free diets or should be on grain free diet, check with us or your veterinarian what options you're looking for to compensate for it.

I know I need to eat less carbohydrates and more unprocessed food for my health.

But we should remember, pets are different then us humans.

Pet's are our family members but don't assume our lovely pets will get the same benefits if we feed them like our family members. A vegan cat is probably a very sad cat.


Check this web site if you want to get more information in detail.

https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/06/a-broken-heart-risk-of-heart-disease-in-boutique-or-grain-free-diets-and-exotic-ingredients/



References

Proceedings

1. Adin D, DeFrancesco T, Keene B, Tou SB, Meurs K, Atkins CB, Aona BB, Kurtz KB, Barron LB. Echocardiographic Phenotype of Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy Differs Based on Diet. ACVIM Forum 2018.

Rounds and Other Resources

1. Olsen J. Taurine Deficiency Induced Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Golden Retrievers. 2018

2. Morris Animal Foundation. Researchers getting closer to understanding dietary taurine and heart disease in dogs. 2017

3. Measuring Taurine — VIN Medical FAQ

4. How to report a pet food complaint to the FDA.

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