New York Times Article

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health New York Times Article

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  • #125404 Report Abuse
    David A
    Member

    Hi Mike,

    I just read this article in the New York Times focusing on the growing skepticism about grain-free foods.
    I feed Mack, our rescue Beagle, grain-free Honest Kitchen, and he is doing very well. But now I am worried about him contracting dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Have you looked into this issue at all? I now am very concerned.

    Please advise.

    Thanks so much.

    #125411 Report Abuse
    haleycookie
    Member

    This is being discussed all over the forums in other threads. Don’t let it scare you too much though. Many people will make you terrified on this forum and suggest you start feeding proplan hills Royal Canin etc, however I wouldn’t do anything drastic at this point. Still too little is know about the topic. If you are really concern you can visit the vet and ask them to do a taurine blood test and send it off to be tested. Then act accordingly if your dog does have low levels. I don’t advicate for putting grains back into a diet. Dogs don’t need grains or carbs in general. Carbs = fat dogs, more shedding, and larger poops. I would recommend switching (or rotating with honest) other high meat content foods, adding in fresh meat, canned foods, bone + meat broths etc to the dogs diet to maximize nutrition if you can’t simply switch to raw.

    #125412 Report Abuse
    anonymous
    Member

    If your dog is doing well I would discuss with your vet before making any changes.

    I have never used Honest Kitchen so I have no opinion on it.

    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2018/08/grain-free-diets-and-heart-disease-in-dogs/
    (excerpt below)
    Bottom Line
    Nutrition and metabolism are complicated, and the exact relationship between dietary composition, breed genetics, and other factors leading to DCM is not yet clear. It is too early to say with certainty whether the diets are the primary cause of DCM in these dogs or whether other breeds may also be at risk. However, it is clear that the idea behind the health claims for grain-free diets is speculative at best and very likely untrue. Extreme diet fads hardly ever turn out to be a good idea in people, and the same is probably true for pets.
    If you are feeding a grain-free diet, there is no need to panic. If you own a golden retriever or other breed that has been shown to be develop DCM in the past, it makes sense to talk to your vet and potentially have taurine levels tested or other diagnostics done depending on the circumstances. The diet you are feeding may be perfectly fine, but it is also probable not any better than any other diet with more conventional ingredients, and there is now some small indication that it may place some dogs at greater risk for this preventable disease.
    The links above to the FDA and UC Davis Vet School will provide more information.

    More: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/category/nutrition/

    #125413 Report Abuse
    anonymous
    Member

    I would discuss your concerns with your vet before making any changes.

    Lot’s of science based information here: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2018/08/grain-free-diets-and-heart-disease-in-dogs/ (excerpt below)

    Bottom Line
    Nutrition and metabolism are complicated, and the exact relationship between dietary composition, breed genetics, and other factors leading to DCM is not yet clear. It is too early to say with certainty whether the diets are the primary cause of DCM in these dogs or whether other breeds may also be at risk. However, it is clear that the idea behind the health claims for grain-free diets is speculative at best and very likely untrue. Extreme diet fads hardly ever turn out to be a good idea in people, and the same is probably true for pets.
    If you are feeding a grain-free diet, there is no need to panic. If you own a golden retriever or other breed that has been shown to be develop DCM in the past, it makes sense to talk to your vet and potentially have taurine levels tested or other diagnostics done depending on the circumstances. The diet you are feeding may be perfectly fine, but it is also probable not any better than any other diet with more conventional ingredients, and there is now some small indication that it may place some dogs at greater risk for this preventable disease.
    The links above to the FDA and UC Davis Vet School will provide more information.

    More: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/category/nutrition/

    #125417 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog
    Member

    FYI – VERY IMPORTANT, not all dogs have low taurine levels that have been diagnosed with dietary DCM!!!! A single blood test may not be a conclusive diagnosis. Echo’s are recommended as a snapshot in time to determine if the heart is healthy. Discuss your concerns with your Vet.

    Although grain free seems to be an all inclusive term used for this alert, IMO it is more important to focus on suspect ingredients rather than “grain free.” The suspect ingredients can be found in GF and grain inclusive diets. There are also GF and grain inclusive diets that don’t have any or very few listed on the ingredient panel well after the first mineral/vitamin if you find a diet change necessary. 🙂

    #125420 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hi David A-
    I am probably one of the posters that HC is referring to and I’m not afraid to admit it! Here is a link that I think will be helpful to you:
    http://taurinedcm.org/taurine-dcm-faq/?fbclid=IwAR0_Dg1_8xYsghSeOXLYeDgIN_YMU_0w8eAHxQXUs4JSTlQ7f4rDdvnd1ck
    I believe it is something to take seriously at least until they find out what the actual issue is. I’d certainly rather be safe than sorry. You could always switch back later if whatever your feeding is found out to be safe.

    I have been feeding mostly grain free for the last four years and have now switched to Purina Pro Plan. My dogs are doing great. I have joined the taurine-deficient DCM FB group and there are some very informative vets, including one of the cardiologists from UCDavis that is performing the investigation, moderating the group. However, there are over 9,000 members in the group now and the site is getting more messy. But, there is a files section with some good info and a taurine data table where people are volunteering the results of their dogs taurine and echo cardiogram results. If I remember correctly, Honest Kitchen is not one that is doing very well on the table. I personally wouldn’t feed it. There is a very informative poster on this site who has debated that THK does not provide complete and balanced diets.

    If you want to feed a balanced homemade diet, check out http://www.balanceit.com.

    I have learned a lot in the last couple of months about dog nutrition. It is much more complicated than I realized. Ingredients that look good to humans are not necessarily good for dogs. You can’t look at the ingredients separately. They all need to work together for a complete nutrient package for your dog. DCM is labeled the silent killer. There usually are not any symptoms until it’s too late to be reversed.

    I was never one to feed any of the “Big Three or Four” brands, but now will not feed anything but. They all employ veterinarian nutritionists with Phd’s, do research, feeding trials and own their own manufacturing factories.

    I hope this helps and I wish you well!

    (Please check out the link!)

    Edit: I just realized all the documents form the FB page are on this link as well! Good luck!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by crazy4cats.
    #125434 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog
    Member

    c4c, it’s Halloween after all…’tis the season to be terrifying!!!!! Queue the eerie haunted house music and Vincent Price laughter!!!!!

    #125459 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Member

    Hee Hee! I’m such a terrifying fear monger!!!!!

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