What’s your take on this from the FDA

Dog Food Advisor Forums Dog Food Ingredients What’s your take on this from the FDA

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  • #118711 Report Abuse

    Mark C

    I just received this email a short while ago from the food and drug administration. I would love to hear some other dog owners take on what the FDA is saying. I understand they’re going to investigate a possible Link between heart disease and some ingredients in, I guess primarily grain free foods. What will you do now that you have this information?

    “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. These reports are unusual because DCM is occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease.”

    The entire press release can be found here:


    #118712 Report Abuse


    Hmm, not sure what to make of it?

    I would go here http://skeptvet.com/Blog/ and ask your question.

    There are no veterinarians affiliated with DFA. Any responses you receive will be opinions, not facts.

    #118713 Report Abuse

    Mark C

    Thanks anon101. I will do that. Obviously as a dog owner of four great dogs who eat grain free with peas lentils and potatoes I find this a little alarming so hopefully the website you directed me to can clear some cobwebs out of my mind. Thanks again

    #118714 Report Abuse


    I hope that you find the site helpful.
    My dogs have been on Zignature (as a base) for a few years now, excellent results.
    So, I am not concerned.
    Also, I have been consuming a lot of legumes myself, for the past few years, I am a vegetarian.
    My cholesterol level has dropped, my blood pressure has gone down (no meds).
    I am not making any changes for my pets or myself, for the time being 🙂

    #118715 Report Abuse


    Wow! I think that I am going to continue rotating between foods that are grain free and ones that include grains. Maybe even discontinue grain free all together? I never thought that grain free food was all that spectacular like many others do to begin with. But I have found it a way to feed my dogs a variety. Since I have lab/golden mixes, this is a very real concern to me. Btw, this is the first report that I’ve seen that has included potatoes. Hmmm?

    Also, I would contact your vet that has examined your dog. Mine were in to see their vet last week and she was aware of the concern. She said that her and her partners thought and hoped that the grain free craze would pass. She recommends Purina, Royal Canin and Hill’s, of course! I do feed some Purina in their rotation. Definitely something to think about!

    #118716 Report Abuse


    @ Mark C
    PS: If you are new over there (skeptvet) it may take a day or two for your post to show up
    They screen posts and don’t tolerate inappropriate comments,

    #118717 Report Abuse


    Having grain in the food isn’t the saving grace here. Taurine is found in meat. Not grains. Legumes and taurine in meat don’t mix well. Especially when cooked at high temps. Substituting the legumes for grains is better for taurine absorption, but not so great for a dogs digestive system which is meant for meat and low carb. So upping the carbs in the form of grain inclusive foods isn’t exactly the answer. Unless one wants fat diabetic dogs. I think rotating meat based foods and quality in grain foods (think canidae, Victor, etc) in once in awhile would be the better answer. Sadly grain free does not = higher meat content and I think that’s where the grain free trend originates. And that’s where grain free dog foods are going wrong at this point. I think one should be more interested in low carb levels in general then just “grain free” foods. unfortunately most grains free foods coming to the market these days are mostly full of carbs sourced from legumes and potatoes.

    #118718 Report Abuse


    My dogs digest grains just fine, especially oatmeal and corn. You just have to make sure you are buying a brand that uses grade 1 ingredients. It’s real tough, actually impossible to tell by the label the quality of the ingredients. Not all chicken meal, beef meal, corn, etc. are created equal. You have to go with a company that you trust.

    I, for one, am taking this report seriously. Especially, since it is the third or fourth institution that has announced this concern. I wish picking a dog food could be easier. Good luck everyone!

    #118727 Report Abuse


    I agree with c4C. My dogs have literally zero issue digesting grains. In fact we have to use a grain inclusive food as I’ve stated multiple times because of Bentleys stomach. Peas will send him to the vet instantly.

    We recently switched from Pro Plan to Victor (not because Pro Plan wasn’t working, but to cut cost) and are very happy. I’ll continue to use Victor as long as they continue to do well on it and the price at our local feed store stays lower than chewy.com. We even switched the cats to Victor too!

    #118728 Report Abuse

    Stacy H

    I saw that and I am concerned. I disliked “grain free” for years – nobody is allergic to all grains – but then tried a grain-free food for my 1-year-old pup and he is doing fantastic on it. (Simply Nourish Source)

    I noted it said “certain pet foods containing legumes or potatoes as their MAIN ingredients.” (My emphasis) My question is, which foods contain peas and potatoes as the main ingredients?

    #118730 Report Abuse



    Many of the grain free foods on the market now are majority protein from legumes. If the legumes are even remotely high up on the ingredient list (the food you’re feeding has them in the first 5 ingredients) are going to be considered to have legumes as the main ingredients.

    Companies making and pushing grain free foods are now realizing they can cut corners with their foods since the grain free craze has taken off so much to the point that many people believe that if the food says grain free its by default better than a grain inclusive. They don’t even bother to check how much of the food is peas, chickpeas, lentils etc.

    #118736 Report Abuse

    Mark C

    Stacy H: I picked up on that wording in the Press release too. That confused me. Are some foods laden with pea products better than others? Personally I think I would rather not wait for the outcome of the study. I’ll find grain inclusive foods or grain free without potatoes and bogged down with peas. Right now I have 2 of my 4 on Merrick Weight control. Potato and peas 🙁 I may switch to Natures Variety weight control. Although it’s a bit pricy. Anyway something tells me this could shake up the dog food industry. Maybe for the better?

    #118739 Report Abuse


    Legumes, are Lentils, Beans, Peas, adzuki beans, black beans, soybeans, anasazi beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans and lima beans, legumes also include alfalfa, clover, lupin bean, mesquite, carob, peanuts and tamarind.

    I never read or saw anything on the net about potatoes being involved??
    maybe it’s cause grain free diets have PEAS & ingredients like Potatoes & Peas or Sweet Potatoes & Peas, so the FDA have mentioned Potatoes cause of the high amount of “peas” ??
    Beans are a legume, Potatoes are tubers, and Cucumbers are gourds…
    Potatoes always get a bad wrap, in the beginning most grainfree foods had Potatoes & Sweet potatoes & people started saying potatoes cause yeast in dogs, which is untrue. People seem to think starchy carbs cause yeast in dogs when it’s the protein in the carb that the dog is sensitive too that causes yeasty ears, skin & paws or its environment allegies causing the dogs yeast problems, this is when Lentils started to replace the healthy Sweet Potato, Sweet potatos are low Gi, easy to digest & great for dogs with stomach & bowel problems… I like pet foods that have Sweet Potato, Potato, Brown Rice, Sorghum, Millet, fruit & veggies etc…
    Here’s “EarthBorn Holistic” formula’s, Ocean Fusion & Adult Vintage both these formula have NO Peas, No Legumes, these formula’s have grains & Sweet potato & Potato…..

    also “Canidae” make their all Life Stages formula’s, there’s “Platinum” for Less Active dogs, weight loss or there’s Canidae’s other ALS formula’s Chicken Meal & Rice and Lamb Meal & Rice have peas but the peas are 6th ingredient..

    It’s best to Rotate between a few different brands this way your dog isn’t eating the same dog food 24/7 & if something is wrong with 1 of the brands you’re feeding then your rotating between different brands hopefully avoiding long term health problems…..

    I think these pet food companies read Legumes are healthy (for Humans) mainly eaten by vegetarians for the high protein %, so Pet Food companies thought this is GREAT the meat protein % will also go up when we add Lentils & Chickpeas & we won’t have to use as much meat protein, pet food companies know people will read Lentils, Chickpea’s are healthy for humans & will buy these pet foods for their dogs thinking that Lentils are healthy for their dogs & cats aswell & now we are seeing the results…. It’s not good

    About 1-2 yrs ago in the DFA Reviews” section people were posting in the “Zignature” section saying their dogs were having Urinary Tract problems, it was the Lentils causing these problems, 1 lady posted all 4 of her rescued dogs where also having Urinary Tract Problems (UTI’s) & the only food she was feeding them all was Zignature that is very high in Legumes…

    #118869 Report Abuse

    Christine W

    I took this VERY seriously when i read it,and contacted my vet.I feed my Pugs Wellness grain free & Science Diet weight control ( eye roll) which they went on strike when i took it away,BUT may be a good thing now? This is only part of what she replied:

    One thing that may come to light in the future is the exact percentage of meat that composes these diets. DCM has been linked to a low level of taurine, which is an amino acid that is found in certain meats or animal proteins. Dogs can also synthesize taurine from a precursor called cysteine that is often found in ingredients besides protein eg grains. If there truly is a causation, we may also find that certain grain free starches may actually prevent absorption of taurine or prevent it from being synthesized from the precursor cysteine (this is just a hypothesis-I am not aware of any science that has proven this theory yet).

    One common misconception is that grain free diets actually help pets with allergies. This may be true in some cases, but in studies, we have found that most pets are actually allergic or sensitive to the protein and not the grain in diets. Unfortunately, through advertising, many pet food companies have pushed owners to believe that ‘grain free’ means healthier and less allergies, and we have seen many owners opt for more expensive grain free food because of this. The majority of pets do great on diets containing grain.

    #118966 Report Abuse


    Just when, all I had to research, for my food allergic doodle, something else comes up throwing a “wrench” in the mix. Right now I have her on Instinct Limited Diet Lamb dry, and a topper of Instinct Lamb wet alternating with Whole Earth Hearty Lamb Stew. I look for a food that has at least two meats at the beginning and hopefully without peas, potatoes, green beans etc. That’s hard to find.
    I have no idea if she is getting enough taurine or not. I just wish dog food manufactures didn’t have to “fill” their foods with potatoes, peas, beans etc.

    #118981 Report Abuse


    Hi Blkdoodle,

    Buy tin sardines in spring water/olive oil from supermarket, check that the salt % isn’t too high, (compare with all the different sardine brands) drain out all the spring water/olive oil, put the tin sardines in a air tight glass container put in fridge, then add 1-2 spoons sardines a day to 1 of your girl meals & the Sardines will balance her diet with EPA,DHA, Vitamin, minerals, calcium, taurine etc…
    I’ve been posting Steven Browns recommendations for years now, add 1-2 spoons of sardines to 1 of your dog daily meals…
    Steve Brown posted for kibble feeders who were worried the Omega oils had gone rancid in kibble after it had been opened.
    Steve posted
    Add to 1 kibble meal a day 2 spoons of Sardines in spring water or Olive Oil, for raw feeders also add 1-2 mussels & a pinch of kelp…
    for a 40lb dog add 1/4 can of sardines 1 serving a day.

    Sardines contain some of the highest concentrations of EPA and DHA omega-3s of all fish, making them an excellent dietary addition, and they also contain taurine and vitamin E, another potent antioxidant.

    #119001 Report Abuse


    Thanks for the information Susan. Callie also is allergic to fish, especially salmon but other fish mixes as well. So said the results of her allergy test. I hate to try the sardines and find she has a reaction. She is taking Apoquel for the allergies.
    I appreciate your response and interest, thank you.

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