I’ve been feeding my dog Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural based on reviews here and its availability locally. What are people’s thoughts on this article?
If the FDA is on the news than it is important, however check with your vet and see if he wants you to switch diets. Did your dog have a check up? It is up to you if you want to err on the side of caution.
Thanks for the replies. I can certainly ask my vet, however I was just curious what Dog Food Advisor and its members think, which is why I asked for people’s thoughts.
Well, my thought on this is I would rather feed a grain in food b/c it is tried and true, plus I think legumes and peas have too much fiber and possibly can prohibit a dog from absorbing their nutrients. Plus some dogs poop a lot more on grain free which is not good either. Mine did and he couldn’t gain weight. And I don’t like that some companies use pea protein, to increase protein percentages that is not good. Zignatures is one of them that use it. Plus I don’t think dogs should eat such legumes anyway. I think the grains absorb easier, this is my opinion. Good luck. And I think grain free is a fad. And it is revealing it self possibly not to be a good diet.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by joanne l.
I’m as confused as you and would also like other’s perspectives. I feed my Siberian Husky Blue Buffalo Wilderness puppy formula based on the Dog Food Advisor recommendations.
There are no veterinarians or veterinary nutritionists affiliated with this site. Therefore it may be best to go by the latest FDA recommendations.
Basically , vets are advising to go with a grain-inclusive dog food for now.
Avoid legumes, peas, potatoes at least for the first 10 ingredients.
17. What’s the safest diet for my dog?
Different dogs have different nutritional needs based on a number of factors, so nutrition advice is not one-size-fits-all. The FDA recommends asking your veterinarian, who may consult a board-certified or veterinary nutritionist, for advice about what to feed your dog.
It’s important to note that the reports include dogs that have eaten grain-free and grain containing foods and also include vegetarian or vegan formulations. They also include all forms of diets: kibble, canned, raw and home-cooked. Therefore, we do not think these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer.
To put this issue into proper context, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. As of April 30, 2019, the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM. If you are concerned about the diet you are currently feeding your dog, FDA recommends working with your veterinarian, who may consult a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to determine the best diet for your dog’s need.
Although the reports are on about 500 to 600 dogs with DCM what about the ones we don’t know about? There are probably more cases of DCM that we don’t know of. Some owners dogs die and the owner might not know if it was DCM, and there are others that maybe don’t know their dog has it. So even though the numbers are not extremely high that doesn’t mean anything, those are the ones that were caught with DCM. What about the ones that were not caught? I believe there are more cases involved that we are not aware of. Also not everyone reports issues.
I wrote to the SF SPCA, where I often bring my dog, and this was their reply:
“Grain Free diets and DCM. There has been more in the press about how the FDA is exploring a link between grain free diets, DCM, and taurine levels. There really isn’t a lot more new information, other than the fact they are deep into exploring the association. There is a lot more we don’t know than what we know, and that has not changed substantially. A high percentage of dogs reported to the FDA with DCM were on grain free diets, but this could represent reporting bias.
At this point, we don’t really understand the association between grain free, DCM, taurine, breed, but if there is no reason for their pet to be on a grain free diet (usually the case), a more conventional diet is recommended. In general, Royal Canin, Purina, and Hills/Science Diet are leaders in pet nutrition, and their quality control processes are more likely be reliable than those of smaller, boutique brands.
I just found out that one of my neighbors dog, small poodle, has DCM she is 8 years old and been eating grain free. Than my mother told me that her friends dog, chuwawa,, had DCM and was eating grain free. There goes 2 I found out about that the FDA don’t know about. I wonder how many other dogs have that the FDA don’t know about?
How about all the dogs that die of cancer that were never diagnosed?
Do you think everyone takes their pet to the vet for diagnosis and treatment?
Consider “over diagnosis” many pets are diagnosed or misdiagnosed and sometimes there are no treatment options no matter how much you spend for the tests (100s, 1000s)
Something to think about and discuss with a veterinarian, someone that has actually examined your pets and knows their history.
Btw: I think you meant to say Chihuahua
Hi joanne l,
You bring up a very good point. Most cases of DCM have not been reported to the FDA. If DCM follows other types of adverse event reporting the percentage of cases reported is really quite low. In reality the 560 cases that have been reported are likely the tip of the iceberg. Please encourage your neighbor and mothers friend to take the time to report
Hi Aimee I will let them know and if I hear of any others I will tell them to report it.
I’ve read people who feed Grain free kibble, raw, wet, cook have done the DCM tests, their dog results came back good but these results aren’t being reported, some vets are just reporting the bad results.
FDA wants people who have feed grain free, raw, cooked etc & had the tests for DCM done & their dogs test have come back “GOOD” to make sure these results are being reported as well…
“Additionally, any reports of illness thought to be connected to food products are voluntary. We rely on pet owners and veterinarians to provide reports of illness, as well as clinical evidence to help document the case. Unlike in human health, there is no centralized reporting system comparable to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which utilizes reports through medical professionals, consumers, and state, local and tribal health agencies.”
Susan I understand your point, however I believe if the FDA puts something on the news it is not to be taken with a grain of salt. But that is just what I think about it. If the FDA says something maybe causing this with our food I won’t eat it that is just an example. Once it is clear than I would go back to eating it. I feel as though if I gave my dog grain free right now, knowing what the FDA said and something should happen to my dog I would feel terrible. Things happen with all dog food, that is out of our reach, but if I could prevent it I will. So I am just listening to the FDA right now and not feeding grain free.
They say heart disease and red meat consumption is correlated. And lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema are caused by smoking. And yet ppl still over eat red meat and smoke everyday. It literally says on the fda article don’t switch foods. Cus there’s no reason to. Not sure how much clearer it can get.
Btw the fda allows bugs, rodents, and certain known cancer causing preservatives to be put in human foods. Not sure what to make of that. 🤔
- This reply was modified 4 days, 19 hours ago by haleycookie.
Well everyone is entitle to their own opinion. And do what you feel is comfortable to you.
- This reply was modified 4 days, 15 hours ago by joanne l.
IMO with this grain free thing, even if they find out nothing still why would anyone want to use a dog food with pea protein, knowing that it is a concentrated protein to cheapen the food. I know grains are fillers but they are not a concentrated protein. I really like that this FDA thing is going on for the reason that it will stop these companies from taking advantage of people with their cleaver way to up the protein with pea protein. I HATE that they use this ingredient and charge people a lot of money. I know it can be the whole formula that is a problem but still I hate pea protein. Since they know everyone wanted grain free they always find a smart way to cheapen the food and they thought they hit a gold mind when they found pea protein to increase the protein %. Now they can eat it them selves when no one buys it. Sorry I just hate that ingredient.
joanne I agreee that the dog food manufactors
couldn’t have been any happier when everyone got on the band wagon of grain free. I just bought a bag of Stella and Chewys new grain inclusive chicken recipe. Very strange that it’s showing crude protein as 25%. since their grain free kibble chicken recipe shows a whopping 35%. Hmmm could all that protein have come from possibly the peas and NOT animal protein???? A big YES. I’ll be posting this observation on their f/b page and see what they have to say.
- This reply was modified 3 days, 19 hours ago by Patricia A.
Good idea Patricia and yes that is why grain free is higher in protein couldn’t agree more. As you know they can’t do that with grains. Even corn is better than peas.
- This reply was modified 3 days, 17 hours ago by joanne l.
Patricia I just seen the ingredients in the chicken grain free and the chicken grain in. Yes the protein is high in the grain free due to the peas and pea protein high on the list. Then out of curiosity I looked at blue buffalo chicken grain free and it has 34% protein and the chicken grain in has 25% protein. There grain free is also high b/c peas and pea protein is very high on the list. So these poor customers think that high protein in the grain free is great when they are simply getting pea protein what a cheap way to do it. These companies know they can’t boost the protein that much with grain in. You are right they are taking full advantage of this. I hope some of them go out of business. So now we know for sure why the protein is so high in grain free. What a BIG BIG gimmick. And I see some grain in recipes that have peas sneaking in there also, these companies won’t let go of those peas. So keep an eye out and look at some of the grain in diets and see if you find pea or pea protein in it. Since they know how much they can boost the protein with them they are going to add it to the grain in recipes.
What do you think corn gluten and wheat gluten are? They’re cheap protein upping ingredients the big companies use. Use meat based foods with the carb ingredient 3 or more ingredients down. Those are the companies that are spending buckets on quality meat sources in their foods. Purina is crap, blue is crap, Royal Canin are all cheaply made crap for insane prices. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Dogs DO NOT need carbs. of any kind. Most dog food brands that have a kibble formula make their foods to be 40-50-60%+ carbs, you know why? Because they’re cheap. And dog owners are busy and want the cheapest food they can find so they can pour it in their dogs bowls and leave. If the big three actually used real non bias science they would recommend making a fresh lean meat diet low in carbs for your dogs NOT kibble. Kibble is over processed crap no matter what kind of “science” is behind it. There is no other argument against it and for some reason people have been so blindly guided by these companies that claim “science” it’s almost sickening to me. Feed your dog meat, not corn, not wheat, not peas, not potatoes, seems like a pretty easy answer to me.
The dcm “scare” has less and less meaning to me everyday as I read more and more people misinterpreting the fdas warning, and people who are buying into the big threes bias science so blindly. Its really a shame people don’t ask more questions before jumping to conclusions.
Check out this link about corn gluten: https://taurinedcm.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Debunking-Myths-around-Corn-Gluten-Meal_FINAL.pdf
I also agree that meat and bones are the best diet for a dog, however some of us can not afford to feed it solely especially when some own big dogs. And yes corn and wheat are protein but pea protein contains 2 times the amount more than corn. We are just discussing how grain free contains a lot more protein without a lot more meat. Even the food made with corn and wheat are not extremely high in the protein % on the bag. Don’t get me wrong your feedback is very valid but not affordably for some.
Joanne true about affordability is a big reason for feeding kibble especially to larger dogs. But I can see no reason why kibble can’t be supplemented with some whole meat food.I’ve posted this so many times I’m sick of myself writing it. How hard or costly is it to buy a little extra chicken breasts or lean beef etc. and add at times to a little less kibble? I have small dogs so the freeze dried such as Primal isn’t breaking the bank but I can understand it would be very costly for larger dogs. The raw is less costly though and doesn’t contain peas, potatoes etc.
People looking for a healthy diet for their dog will never find it in any kibble. It’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Patricia that is what I do, I feed raw red meat and dry food. So I do give less dry food b/c it is not the only thing he eats. He is a GSD so I can’t do just homemade. I also cook chicken and I rotate with tuna. So I kind of do both fresh food and dry food. But as far as grains go it is still not high in protein like legumes and peas. I feel like a broken record myself. LOL I stress so much how grain free is nothing but a boost of pea protein. I looked up protein in legumes and peas and chickpeas vereses barley, wheat, corn, rice, oatmeal. And the finding was that legumes, peas and chickpeas have higher protein content. This is not just an opinion it is a fact. It is not that hard to figure out why the protein in grain free is higher. I know you know this when you seen the ingredients on the foods you mentioned. So I think some good fresh meat and a good grain in dry food is a good choice. But if people can feed just fresh of course that is the best way to go.
You know I was just thinking about how the FDA doesn’t say you have to change diets just yet. But what about that time when the chicken jerky’s were killing dogs and the FDA got involved, but could not recall it b/c they could not find out why is was killing dogs. So they stated buy at your own risk. They warned people about it but they could not say “don’t buy it” I never feed my dog those jerky’s, but I will not buy it at all knowing what it could do. So even if the FDA can’t recall something that doesn’t mean it is okay for sure. So when something is uncertain than I would not feed it until it is certain and if they can not pin point it, well I still would be leery about using it. I believe that those jerky’s from china killed a lot of dogs and the FDA thinks so too, but without finding what is was they can’t recall it. That was a couple of years ago. I still to this day will not buy jerky’s.
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