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Mutts and Cats
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Hi Aimee. Yes I acknowledge that my dog food protein philosophy (obsession even?) is not shared by all. Many company reps have tried to convince me that it is not important that dogs get their protein from meat. Other ingredients in the right combination are just as good . . . etc. I think it was because I got so angry when I first started researching the DCM vs diet issue (just after my dog died) when I realized that the fairly expensive brands I had been feeding appeared to be very guilty of ingredient splitting and almost certainly most of their protein was coming from peas and other legumes. So I have really dug in my heels on the issue. But I do respect your point that there is a big difference between one company who may be producing a food by looking at combinations of plant based amino acids to meet a dog’s protein needs vs. another who says “hey – we could make a lot more money if we just start using less meat and more peas”.

I wish that I could get comfortable with the idea that my dogs could thrive on less meat. I personally am such an animal lover that I don’t like to eat them. But because I have a soy allergy I decided years ago that I just wasn’t getting enough protein while eating vegetarian. So now I draw the line at fish, and do eat that regularly. But, despite how much it grosses me out, I cut up turkey and steak for my dogs because I strongly believe that they need it.

And although you have made good points about the value of transparency, I feel that given my time constraints for thorough research of companies, transparency is one of the best indicators I have for evaluating a company. My conclusion that the company appears to be transparent from their website, packaging, my correspondence with reps, and product reviews – not their claims. And if they are not willing to disclose the percent protein from meat, or percent meat ingredients, then that’s just a non-starter for me. Why would they not want to disclose it if they are producing a good product?

I wasn’t suggesting that FDA claimed a link between grain free and DCM. I was just typing quickly and I guess it came across that way. I’m certainly glad that FDA started releasing information pretty quickly and probably even before they had a theory as to what was going on. I’ve read articles by conspiracy theorists who think FDA was trying to do damage to the small companies that were promoting grain free, and given my slight conspiracy-theory-distrust-of-Gov’t-agencies outlook, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some truth to that (ironically, I’m a retired fed.) Maybe FDA had nothing to do with that issue getting spun into a connection between grain-free foods and DCM, but somehow that is what happened.

On the subject of “… strong correlation between foods high in pulse ingredients and possible potato and DCM.” – what are your thoughts on the why? At the point that I mostly stopped reading on the topic, well over a year ago, there was still much speculation about whether peas/legumes might be acting as an anti-nutrient, or if it was just a case of the dogs not getting enough quality protein, or some other reason. At that point it was looking like potatoes were become an ingredient of less concern. No?