The grain free/DCM issue

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum The grain free/DCM issue

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  • #141818 Report Abuse
    Rachel J

    Purina Proplan is the only food I’ve seen recommended in light of the DCM issue, yet it has a pretty bad rating here. There’s got to be more options- it’s not like Purina has been a shining light of dog nutrition in the past (remember the Beneful debacle?). I’m not a conspiracy buff, but I sure hope Purina hasn’t had a hand in the media frenzy on DCM. Also makes me wonder when these “high quality” companies are going to come out with a statement on DCM, and provide new grain inclusive formulas??

    #141943 Report Abuse
    Nadia K

    I was feeding Proplan to my puppy only because that is what the breeder was giving her. But about a month ago she just refused to eat it. I switched her over to the Farmina low ancestral grain lamb. She absolutely loves it. I am planning on trying the cod flavor next as she loves anything with fish.

    #141968 Report Abuse
    Judy K

    In Dog Advisor’s release today you wrote “The Food and Drug Administration has named 16 dog food brands with an
    increased risk of a type of canine heart disease known as
    dilated cardiomyopathy… or DCM.”
    This is not an accurate statement. The recent FDA update did NOT say the 16 named brands had “increased risk”…. Dogs within this limited and inconclusive study were reported as having eaten raw.. home cooked.. grain.. no grain.. canned. Of course some of the top popular brands would be among those.
    What is especially unfair about the naming of brands is several of the top most reputable brands known for consistency of quality in all aspects. Most of which also
    Produce multiple blends, several without peas, lentils or potatoes in the top ten ingredients. Ppl need only select a blend they feel most comfortable feeding.
    Whether intended or not, naming the brands will likely do great harm to some of the best companies with the best track record right here named as such on Dog Food Advisors.
    But again to be clear… FDA did NOT state the brands had increased risk for causing DCM.
    Perhaps a retraction is warranted.

    #141971 Report Abuse



    #142023 Report Abuse
    Theresa O

    I just put my 15 year old Llasa down this year. He was very ill with congestive heart disease. I had been feeding him Rachael Rays grain free because of his allergies for years. I just discovered this may have been the cause or contributed to his disease. Stay away from this food. I know he was old but he was still a puppy to the day I had to put him down.
    So sad food like this is allowed on the market.

    #144882 Report Abuse

    I asked my vet about grain free food. She said I should switch to a good not grain free. She feeds her dogs Purina and so do the other vets. She said stick to the following : Purina, Hills Science Diet, Royal Canine and two others I can’t remember. Shocked to find vet recommend Purina, but bad reviews on here.

    #144900 Report Abuse
    Jennifer M

    I used to feed my dogs Purina Proplan 20 yrs ago and when I noticed my Cocker Spaniel started to itch around the time that grain-free food b/c popular, I switched her over to them. In 2013, she was 11 and we had a new lab puppy and I did research and fed them them, the best food I thought at the time which was Orijen and Acana. Because it was so high protein, I then switched my Cocker over to Fromm. My Cocker did develop a heart murmur in the last 2 yrs of her life, so not sure if it was from having been fed grain free or of her age, but I have read the studies and there definitely is something going on. For me, having had a Dane with DCM, I don’t wish that on any dog, so I switched my lab and new Cocker puppy off grain free completely. Ironically, thinking of going back to Purina Proplan. What I do notice is that chicken usually causes itchiness, while fish based does not in many dog foods. Lamb i usually a good choice as well, but many dogs don’t always like it.

    #145040 Report Abuse
    Amy G

    Before you make decisions on what brand pet foods are best – especially concerning the recent DCM scare, you might look in to the history of commercial foods and their ties to veterinary education – quite a financial conflict. I have spent years and years researching dog foods and I can say this with conviction: Please, do your own research, do not let the news media and the big-pet food companies make decisions for you. I’ve always based my pet food choices on quality, where it’s manufactured, ingredient SOURCES, and most importantly RECALLS. Dig a little deeper – you might be surprised.

    #145580 Report Abuse
    Michael H

    Amy and Rachel, thanks. The DCM issue is really gotten me upset. I think we are seeing some of the political issues with dog food marketing here. Purina has been using their dog food to get rid of food byproducts for many years, and been very successful doing it. Any vet I would consider using would not have Purina product in their office or promote it. Same with the other really bad foods, Royal Canin and Science diet. All will never be in my house. No one has taken a stand on the DCM issue as far as setting a minimum standard for dog food. Every time you hear about it, oh, here is another list of recommendations but not a list of what is good and what is bad. And everyone with dog food crammed with fillers like rice, grain, alfalfa, oatmeal, are just making hay while the sun shines. I’ll tell you what the standards are. No fillers. No peas, pea parts, legumes, rice, oats, grains, corn, alfalfa, canola oil, flax, white potato, brewers yeast, tomato pomace, beets, yet includes minerals and probiotics. With an actual protein content of 30% or more, dry matter basis. Try to find that dog food. It’s Sport Dog Food Elite Sporting or Working. The other two Elite choices are poultry free and contain white potato.

    #146550 Report Abuse
    Sharon P

    I might be adopting a 2.5 yr. old Pit/Bull Mastiff mix. I have always owned labs. I was looking over the dog Food Advisor’s latest reviews/recommendations for large breed dogs and most all of them listed were “grain-free.” Why? So much press on the dangers with a dog’s heart.

    #146552 Report Abuse


    It isn’t necessary to feed a large breed formula to an adult dog.

    I would look through the latest list of grain inclusive recommendations, since that is what you’re seeking.

    Remember, DFA has a very limited scope. DFA ranks and creates lists on a very limited list of criteria and has never presented these lists of brands/formulas as considering EVERY relevant indicator of quality.

    That’s why, for example, you’ll see brands with 4 or 5 stars that have some serious negative history or a relatively unknown, new and unproven brand. The lists don’t include evaluation of the grades of specific ingredients (ingredients that appear the same of a dog food label vary greatly in quality) and other indicators of ingredient quality, or a formula’s digestibility, or the research and testing that went into creating a particular formula (or the absence of this), or safety screens on finished batches (or lack thereof), and so on.

    I think this is a great site for collection of valuable information on numerous brands and different voices in dialogue. I’m really grateful for all that Mike and DFA do on this site. It represents lot of work. But I think it’s a mistake to get too hung up on trying to just feed a DFA 5 (or 4) star food.

    I have my own personal criteria for evaluating foods and my own experiences. Don’t you? My selections of what I deem best may or may not appear on DFA’s 4 or 5 star list. And some foods on the 5 star list I would never feed.

    DFA would likely not remove all grain-free or legume heavy (or potato) formulas from high ranking and recommendations without conclusive evidence of DCM in dogs caused by these diets. It’s not that DFA is unaware of the news, FDA notices, commentary from some vet schools and vet specialists working on the research/treating dogs.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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