Grain Free Diets and Heart Disease

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Grain Free Diets and Heart Disease

Viewing 31 posts - 51 through 81 (of 81 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #119945 Report Abuse

    Sarah M
    Member

    This news is very relevant for me and my 32 pound labradoodle who is three years old. A year ago she was diagnosed with DCM and I was told that this was atypical. The report seems to be addressing her very situation and I am hoping that changing her diet could have very good results. If the disease does not reverse, at least it shouldn’t get any worse. Since birth, she has been eating Earthborn kibble at the recommendation of the breeder. Now I am so confused about what food to switch to. It seems that every food that I look at has some legumes. I am looking for advice. Help!

    #119950 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Sarah,

    Make sure the first 5-6 ingredients have a Meat as 1st ingredient, a meat meal as 2nd ingredient, another meat meal as 3rd ingredient then a carb, no more then 20% Legumes.
    eg: Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, this is “Canidae” All Life Stages – https://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products/canidae-all-life-stages-dry-formula/

    – also rotate with different brands, do not fed the same dry food 24/7, change with the season or change when your big kibble bag or 2nd big bag of kibble is about to run out buy another brand & start introducing new kibble & mix with the old kibble, then once you’ve try a few different brands, see which brands your dog does best on then Rotate with those different brands..

    Have a look at “Farmina”
    Farmina looks like a very GOOD quality dog food
    Farmina has a few different formula’s, grain free, Legume free & formula’s with Grains, Vet Life, Grain Free with egg, pumkin, pomegranate, dehydrated apple, dehydrated spinach, Sweet Orange, Quinoa, whole spelt, whole oats, etc
    https://www.farmina.com/us/eshop-d-Dog-food.html

    * “Wellness” Complete Health Large Breed –
    Deboned Chicken, Deboned Whitefish, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Peas, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice,
    https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/natural-dog-food/product-catalog/complete-health-large-breed-adult

    * “Canidae” Pure Sky –
    Duck, duck meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chicken fat,
    https://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products/canidae-grain-free-pure-sky-dry-formula

    #119951 Report Abuse

    Ana C
    Member

    Hi Susan,

    Any suggestions on low fat senior dog food for my schnauzer with pancreatitis history? They currently are taking Annamaet Grain Free Lean Recuced Fat kibbles. I also add some chicken, vegetables, salmon oil, and sometimes sardines in the water to the kibbles.

    Thank you in the advance!

    #119968 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Sarah C-

    I sure hope that your dog’s DCM diagnosis is due to her diet. There is a FaceBook page called Taurine-Deficient Dilated Cardiomyopathy that is very informative. They seem to be in contact with John Stern from UC Davis who is conducting a study on the issue right now. They might be interested in data that you have to offer.

    Have you talked to your vet about your pup’s situation yet? The dogs that are participating in the study are being fed Royal Canin’s GR recipe and seem to be doing well.

    Good luck to you!

    #119971 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    I never liked grain free foods. I can see why chickpeas, peas and lentils is a problem:
    number 1, they are high in protein, and this protein does not contain taurine. These companies are taking grain free to their advantage, which means they can up the protein level with these ingredients with using less meat which equals less taurine! Now a bag may read meat as the first couple ingredients, however it follows a lot of peas. Furthermore, these peas and lentils contain a lot of fiber which in turn can cause more stools or loose stools. Also making it hard for the dog to absorb the nutrients! They may even have it listed 3 times. NO GOOD! Grains are much better. The old school is better than the new school. Most dogs don’t have a problem with grains it is usually the protein. I hope to see more grain in diets please!!!

    #119973 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi joanne l-
    This author shares the same thoughts!

    https://thebestdogtreats.com/taurine-deficiency-in-dogs-diseases-caused-by-amino-acid-deficiency#

    I’m not sure what her credentials are, but I thought it was interesting.

    #119993 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    @ Joanne,

    click on the link Crazy4cats has posted above, read thru & scroll down to-

    “Dogs And Taurine”
    Studies are showing that there are likely dietary factors associated with the taurine deficiency in dogs such as dogs that eat rice, lamb, high-fiber, and/or very low meat protein diets. This can point back to the preparation and/or processing methods used, or that many dog foods include meat byproducts, rice, legumes, and soy which are not sources of good meat proteins or any meat protein at all, which means they are not good sources of taurine.

    “Why is Taurine Missing”?
    In addition, meat byproducts, rice, and plant-based proteins are not good sources of taurine. If your pet food has high quantities of these types of items, it likely means your dog is not getting the taurine it needs to be healthy.
    With so many foods going grain free, manufacturers are substituting the grain with things like lentils, soy protein, and chickpeas. These types of foods do not provide taurine to sustain good health.

    “Taurine Naturally in Foods”
    Muscle meats contain higher levels taurine; the more work the muscles do, the higher the taurine level. Dark meat of chicken and turkey are naturally high in taurine.
    Shellfish, white fish, and cold water fish such as salmon or sardines are also very high in natural taurine.
    Taurine is not found in fruits, vegetables, rice, corn, oatmeal, rye, wheat, or barley

    * You have to remember a dog has a short digestive tract made to digest meat, not heap of grains & legumes…

    Patches IBD Vet Specialist told me this.
    A dog has a short digestive tract, made to digest meat & when a dog eats any off meat it’s quickly passed thru the stomach into small bowel then large bowel so no bacteria can start to breed……. On 1 of our visits to see Patches IBD vet, Patch had vomited a few times in 1 week, I was worried but Patches IBD vet told me,
    When a dog vomits it’s not a bad thing Susan, it’s very common with wild dogs they regurgitate their food, it’s very easy for a dog to have a vomit, due to the short digestive tract, especially if he is feeling unwell in the stomach also when the dog eats something thats bad & doesnt agree with the dog then the dog can bring it back up himself…

    Meat Protein is easier for a dog to digest then any grains….DFA post this in the Food Review section…
    Raw meat is easier for a dog or cat to digest, then cooked meat, when you cook meat you kill the digestive enzymes, cooking kills lots of good things..

    #120014 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    Hi Susan, I understand what you are saying about grains. However, grains been around for a long long time, and there is not really many complaints about them. I personally feel that a little bit of grains is not a bad thing, they don’t have as much protein as peas and such and they balance the food nicely. In my personal experience with grain in and grain out, my dog does better with grains I have noticed. His stool is firmer and not as frequent. Also there is another problem with peas and lentils. These beans bind with other minerals, making it harder for the dog to absorb nutrients. Now that’s a little science behind it. Grains on the other hand don’t seem to have that affect. And as you know dog food needs some kind of binder to make the food. Me, I would rather see the grains. There’s always an up side and down side to all things, however this grain free seems to be more of a problem than grain in. Just my opinion.

    #120015 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member
    #120018 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    Thanks a lot for the info, I just read it. I guess for people that use grain free might want to talk to their vet about it. Or check the ingredients and make sure peas and such are not listed to many times in a row.

    #120020 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    @ Joanne
    You’re welcome. You can request to be on the FDA’s e-mail list and they will notify you with updates.

    #120021 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    I have a unrelated question. I am not sure if my dog can eat chicken, I boil chicken for him and he is fine, but I noticed chicken in dry food causes digestive issues. I have him on pro plan lamb and rice and he is doing fine. I am surprised b/c there is chicken by products and he is okay with that. I usually rotate his diet but I haven’t did it in awhile. I guess since he is going better I hate to switch. Should I try another brand chicken recipe? By the way the chicken recipes I have tried in the past also contained duck or turkey or fish. I am wondering if I should try something with just chicken as the protein instead of a mixture?

    #120022 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    Have you tried the pro plan salmon? I would maybe try a small bag (as a base) and see if it makes a difference. https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult/dp/128666?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=f&utm_content=Purina%20Pro%20Plan&utm_term=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiP20r6vj3AIVhISzCh0QfwlYEAQYASABEgLgk_D_BwE
    I don’t see chicken meal listed as an ingredient.
    Otherwise the most accurate way to rule out food sensitivities would be a prescription/therapeutic diet via your vet. But, the vet will tell you not to add anything, no treats, etc
    It’s very hard to stick to.
    PS add a little water to the kibble, makes it easier to digest.

    #120032 Report Abuse

    Susan
    Member

    Hi Joanne,
    Im not against grain pet foods, I believe you should rotate with 1 good grain free dry kibble then rotate with a grain kibble or I like the dry kibbles that will have a few good grains instead of Legumes & have sweet potatoes, veggies & fruits a variety….

    Whenever Patch eats a grain kibble that has Barley, Oats & Brown Rice he does big smelly sloppy yellow poos, but when he eats a grain kibble that has White Rice & Sorghum he does nice firm poo’s so he must be sensitive to Barley, Oats & the Brown rice is probably too high in fiber put them all together & we have bad poo’s, so it may not be 1 ingredient it might be when they are all together?…. alot of these grain formula’s have replaced their corn with peas & barley. I prefered corn instead of the peas & barley, corn firms up poos, most intestinal health vet diets use corn in their vet diets for this reason..

    Chicken: I don’t think your dog is sensitive to chicken, it could have another ingredient or it may have been the Fish or the Duck but read what were the common ingredients besides meat proteins?
    My Patch does excellent on Chicken with his IBD, BUT when he eats cooked or raw chicken his paws go red within 20mins of eating the cooked or raw chicken when I did a elimination diet BUT when he eats a kibble that has chicken in it he doesnt get his red paws sometimes or not as bad?? so I’d say its cause the chicken in a kibble gets broken down while being cooked at such high temperatures & Patch isnt reactionthe the chicken as bad aswhen he eats fresh raw or cooked chicken?..
    I asked a Hills Vet Nutritionist, why does Hill’s wet & dry formula’s all have chicken in them?, she said, it’s cause chicken is the easiest meat to digest, this is probably why Patch does well with his IBD…

    Have a look at “Farmina” grain formula’s.. they look very good for a dry kibble..
    https://www.farmina.com/us/eshop-dog/dog-food/11-n&d-ancestral-grain-canine.html

    Be careful the Purina Pro Plan Salmon & Rice formula was tested again & did really bad again, it keeps coming back high in Heavy Metals, By-Product Contamines – Poor & Ingredient Quality – Poor…
    If your dog does well Purina, the last test were just done, the testing gets done every 3 months…But certain Brands formula’s are staying on the bad heavy metals & contaminates list & are not moving when they are re tested, so these pet food companies are still using the same bad suppliers.
    These Purina Formula’s did really well got 5 stars
    Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult Turkey & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
    Purina One Smart Blend, Lamb & Rice, Healthy Weight, True Instinct Turkey and Venison, Chicken and Rice & Small Bites Beef & Rice Formula’s are cleaner kibbles also Purina Beyond Superfood Blend Salmon, Egg and Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food, Purina Beyond Simply 9 White Meat Chicken and Whole Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food…

    #120037 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    Hi Susan, you are right the corn does produce a firmer stool. I have him on pro plan lamb and rice, thanks for the heads up about the salmon one, I don’t use it b/c my dog hates salmon. I think the barley and brown rice maybe the culprit like you said. I know my dog does very well with oatmeal and white rice. I just bought a bag of Merrick chicken with grains here are the first few ingredients:
    Chicken, chicken meal, peas, turkey meal, brown rice, barley. I wonder since brown rice and barley are lower on the list should I try it? It is hard to find one with oatmeal high on the list which I would prefer. I know peas are on the list but it is only listed once maybe not a problem.

    • This reply was modified 6 days, 1 hour ago by  joanne l.
    #120044 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member
    #120046 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Joann-
    Whole Earth Farms adult recipe lists oatmeal as its first ingredient after chicken meal and turkey meal. I’m considering it as well.

    #120047 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    I was looking at that one too. I may give that a try seems more simple than the merrick classic. Thanks and thank you all for your help. By the way what dog food were you feeding?

    #120049 Report Abuse

    pitlove
    Member

    Joanne-

    I too havent been a fan of grain free diets for a while now. I used to be, but I’ve learned grain free doesn’t equal better quality.

    We used Purina Pro Plan for 2 1/2 years with my dogs and they did excellent on it. I recently switched to Victor (grain inclusive) due to the price being better and they are doing just as well on it as Pro Plan. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either brand from my personal experiences with them.

    Since your dog already has DCM, stay FAR away from grain free foods until this whole thing can be cleared up.

    #120053 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    My dog doesn’t have DCM thank God. I just don’t like grain free diets, it made him poop too much. I am using pro plan now and I was telling others about chicken if my dog can tolerate it still not sure. However, I was going to try whole earth farm chicken with grain, but I wonder if I should get the pro plan chicken since he is already eating pro plan lamb and rice and see that way first before going to new brand? I try to tune in on all the dog food things because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So even though I don’t use grain free food now I try to keep up with updates and if I know anything I like helping others if I can.

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 16 hours ago by  joanne l.
    #120056 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    For anyone that is interested in grain in I found another one castor and pollack chicken and oatmeal. Looks very good. I think it does have peas but not high on the list.

    #120060 Report Abuse

    pitlove
    Member

    Oh Joanne, sorry! I thought you were the person that made this thread!

    #120076 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    Hi Sarah, sorry to hear that about your dog. Try a good grain in diet and choose the same protein your dog been eating. I don’t know how you feel about pro plan but you could try it. Or maybe merrick with grains and nutrisource has ones with grains.

    #120078 Report Abuse

    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi Joanne-
    I have fed a lot of grain free WEF, Victor and TOTW along with some Purina, Fromm, Eagle Pack, Iams and Authority with grains. I’ve never thought grain free was necessarily better, but my dogs seem to do better poop wise with a little higher fiber. They had a rough start with parasites when they were pups and tend to have loose stools ever since.

    Fromm Gold weight control is not grain free, but is fairly high in fiber and now am wondering if that is an issue now too. I am planning on switching to their reduced activity recipe instead which is a little lower in fiber.

    It’s hard to know if there truly is a grain free concern since there is such a small sample of dogs so far. But having two lab/golden mix dogs, I’m going to play it safe. Both breeds are mentioned often in the different reports I’ve read.

    I feed my cats about half Royal Canin kibble and half various canned food. RC is a little too expensive for our pet budget for two large dogs, however.

    It doesn’t sound like your dog is sensitive to chicken. It’s so hard to tell with kibble because there are so many ingredients. Also, if your dog is anything like mine, they get into things they shouldn’t. Also, environmental allergies can also be an issue. The only way to know for sure is to do a true elimination diet with a hypoallergenic Rx dog food.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

    #120093 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    Thanks, for the info. I just bought a bag of pro plan chicken and rice just to see if it is the chicken before I switch brands. I figured if I bought a different brand with chicken I really won’t know if it is the chicken or the brand if it didn’t work out. I hope I am going the right way to find out. because chicken has been eliminated in his dry food for a while now, so we’ll see what happens when I interduce it, I will do it slowly. About the fiber you mentioned, some dogs do well with more and some don’t. If your dogs do good with it then I would think it is okay. But some may poop more which probably is not good b/c they loose nutrients. Well I guess we will have to wait for awhile with this FDA outcome and see what’s what. Hopefully some of these grain free companies will lay off on putting too many peas in their recipe, that will be better for the dogs. So it is a good thing that the FDA steps in on these things. These companies are out for the buck, and peas are cheap protein boosters and it is not fair that people spend a lot of money and get too many cheap ingredients.

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 15 hours ago by  joanne l.
    • This reply was modified 4 days, 15 hours ago by  joanne l.
    #120191 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    This is so sad, some of these dogs were young with heart problems and some very serious. There is a few brands I think pointing to this: Zignatures, pure vita and Acana.

    #120193 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2018/08/grain-free-diets-and-heart-disease-in-dogs/ excerpt below, click on link for full article and comments:

    Dr. Jennifer Larsen, a nutritionist at UC Davis, has written an excellent summary of the nuances of this issue, and she has agreed to let me share some of it here:
    Taurine is not required to be present in dog foods. Taurine is an amino acid that is not nutritionally essential for dogs; however, there are dietary factors (such as protein source, fiber type and concentration, and cooking or processing methods) and individual dog characteristics (such as breed and calorie needs) that impact how efficiently taurine may be made and used by the body. The sulfur amino acid content and bioavailability in food is important though. The problem with dietary deficiency-related cardiac disease is multifactorial and is not just seen in goldens.
    1- in many grain free diets, legumes are used to provide the carb (starch) but also protein and fiber – you cannot tell which ingredients are providing various proportions of nutrients from an ingredient list
    2- legume protein is low in sulfur amino acids (methionine and cystine- the precursors for taurine synthesis)
    3- some fiber types/concentrations increase fecal taurine content and promotes bacterial degradation of taurine (dogs and cats must use taurine to conjugate bile acids) so taurine recycling is not as efficient and more is lost
    4- dogs need an adequate supply of precursors and to be able to make taurine fast enough to replace obligatory as well as excessive losses. When Newfoundlands and beagles were compared (during the Investigation into the lamb and rice issue with DCM in the 90s), it was found that Newfoundlands made taurine more slowly, so there are differences among breeds and probably individuals
    5- dogs with lower than predicted calorie needs (“easy keepers”) also might not eat enough food and therefore enough protein to supply adequate precursors
    6- some grain free diets (and other types of diets), are not high in protein (and therefore sulfur amino acids) since they use more expensive exotic or uncommon sources.
    Any of these or a combination may impact taurine status in the dog.
    There have been recent cases seen in our hospital and elsewhere of dilated cardiomyopathy secondary to taurine deficiency in dogs that have been associated with commercial diets containing certain ingredients (such as legumes – beans, lentils, and peas – and root vegetables – white and sweet potatoes). Data collection and interpretation is ongoing for these recent cases.
    In the past we have also seen cases of dilated cardiomyopathy and taurine deficiency in dogs eating home-prepared diets (with either cooked and raw ingredients and those with and without meat), and other commercial diets with various ingredients and nutritional profiles. Some of those cases and investigations have been published (others can be found on PubMed):

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 23 hours ago by  anon101.
    #120197 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    Thanks for the info pretty interesting. I have found some info to and I want to share it. But sorry I can say where I got it b/c it is confidential. Anyway I found out that a good amount of dogs with this condition were eating Zignature dog food among a few other brands. Does anyone think that these exotic proteins are maybe not good quality? like kangaroo, it is not from here and I don’t think they are killing good kangaroo’s for food, I bet they are diseased and something wrong with them, but I guess that can be any food. Just a thought.

    #120198 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    No specific brands of dog food have been mentioned per the FDA alert.
    Only in the rumor mill are specific brands being mentioned.

    #120210 Report Abuse

    Reese B
    Member

    Hi Joanne,
    I heard from somewhere about Zignature being one of the brands dogs were eating too.(Nothing official, just the rumor mill.) I also read an article about a dog eating a “pork and squash recipe” who got DCM too. To me, that sounded like Acana.

    I know it’s not definite prove of what brands are part of the investigation, but it’s enough for me to stay away from them until this is cleared up.

    #120244 Report Abuse

    joanne l
    Member

    me too I agree.

Viewing 31 posts - 51 through 81 (of 81 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.