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Author Topic : Grain-Free Dog Food?
 Hearts Ablaze
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1/8/2019 6:17:26 PM reply with quote send message to Hearts Ablaze Object to Post   

Okay so...lately, I've been hearing a lot of bad news associated with Grain Free dog food. That it causes things like Heart Disease and Cardiomyopathy in even young dogs. So, I got my twelve year old Golden Retriever off of it (who has a persistent cough, I don't know if his heart is failing the vet says he's fine but I'd rather be safe than sorry). Anyways, I also have two Border Collies, one who has sever allergies and has been doing very poorly since I put him regular Purina Pro Plan. Could this be an allergy to the grain? His coat was always very pretty when was on a grain-free diet...and I would really like to put both of them back on it. I want opinions, and not just veterinarian opinions. Because we already know that most vets advocate the traditional diets and brands that have been used for years But anyways, I would love to know what you all think of this.


Thanks in advance,
Cassie
 gaylanstudio
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1/9/2019 12:37:09 PM reply with quote send message to gaylanstudio Object to Post

this post has been edited 1 time(s)

I home cook but it can be a lot of work.

Extra lean ground beef
- Canned Tomato (added to beef cooking pot)
- Rice and oatmeal to the beef pot too.
Turkey/Chicken
Carrots
Parsnips
Green Beans, whatever
Canned yellow beans
Occasionally chicken hearts,liver
I also make bone broth from all the various bones that come into the house. They get a teaspoon of this jelly in each meal.

If you dog shows signs of a grain allergy and does better on no-grain I'd put it back on the no grain version. If you make your own, hold off on the rice and oats until you see how it works out, then add a bit.

I feed 2 parts beef/tomato/oatmeal mix, 1 part chicken/turkey and 2 parts veggies. I swap the veggies around.

I use kibble occasionally but not a grocery store brand (Acana/Origen - think that's how they're spelled).

I also occasionally substitute a half can of salmon/tuna (I have 2 cockers) or 1&1/2 hard boiled eggs for a meal (3 per day now). I'm testing this for one of them who may have a fish/dairy (ice cream/cheeze) intolerance. Yes, I give my dogs people food in moderation.

I have gone away from commercial feed for about 15 years now, ever since the contaminated Chinese gluten or whatever it was - I think it killed my cat - an early victim who was never checked. The only commercial edibles my dogs get are "Breathbusters" cookies. I tried making my own but quit when previous dog started turning his nose up at them - apparently I am a doggy baking failure. They were a lot of work for a few biscuits,

Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with grains, in moderation, unless there is a specific problem. As for all things in life - all things in moderation. The more natural and unprocessed the better. (I don't do raw.)

Good luck





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Last edited by gaylanstudio on 1/9/2019 12:42:24 PM
 ambertal
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1/11/2019 10:32:18 AM reply with quote send message to ambertal Object to Post

Add pure pumpkin or a whole raw egg to the food.
 gaylanstudio
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1/11/2019 3:15:10 PM reply with quote send message to gaylanstudio Object to Post

Thanks - yes I have heard about adding pumpkin but never seem to remember it when I'm shopping - lol.

I give eggs but not raw. Seems I've read that raw whites are indigestible but pretty much pure protein cooked.
 
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1/12/2019 9:04:12 AM reply with quote send message to Object to Post edit post

Nope. Raw egg is much better for skin & coat. If the dog can't handle it raw -slightly scrambled, but never cooked.
 Wordsmith
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5/20/2019 10:20:16 PM reply with quote send message to Wordsmith Object to Post

Just an FYI, the big dog food companies have already adjusted their formulas to address the issue. Only time will tell if it was fully corrected or if the cure might cause other issues.

I have one girl with pretty bad allergies and I was frantic after the news came out about the heart issues. I talked to a bunch of the companies and they are all talking about how it is corrected. SO looking at current problems versus potential problems later, I've switched my girl back onto the food that works for her (4Health whitefish). She's once more doing great.

I'm still nervous but hopeful.
 Star Shiine
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5/22/2019 4:20:27 AM reply with quote send message to Star Shiine Object to Post

A regular diet of raw eggs can cause Biotin deficiency as well as the small possibility of an egg containing salmonella. Just saying happy :)
 Dream Castle Kennels
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5/22/2019 1:58:40 PM reply with quote send message to Dream Castle Kennels Object to Post

My beagle,Bailey,has eaten grain free for most of her nearly 10 years. Other then a grade 2 heart murmur that is congenital,and does not cause her problems,she has done great on the foods. I agree with an above poster that dog food companies have corrected any deficiencies out there. there are many dogs out there that eat grain in their foods,and still develop cardiomypathy(sp?) Think Dobermans,Cavaliers and Boxers
 BeauBlanc
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5/22/2019 3:58:47 PM reply with quote send message to BeauBlanc Object to Post

The biggest study (which is far from conclusive) literally says that cardiomyopathy was shown in dogs on every type of diet; grain free, grain inclusive, raw, and homemade. For some reason people have decided that grain free should entirely take the blame, but as of yet there is no justification for it. Even the people who argue it don’t seem to know what they are arguing - in one conversation it will go from “it’s the fact that there is no grain” to “it’s the ‘boutique’ protein” to “it’s a taurine deficiency caused by boutique meats” to “its the legumes used to replace grains.”

Until there seems to be actual evidence to support this I’ll continue to feed my dogs whatever food they do well on, which sometimes is grain free and sometimes is not. If you’re really worried about it and your dog is okay with it feed a high quality grain inclusive food. Never hurts to be safe, but there is no conclusive evidence or anything resembling a complete understanding of what is causing increased occurrences of cardiomyopathy as of yet.
 
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5/22/2019 7:43:46 PM reply with quote send message to Object to Post edit post

The studies specifically outline dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) which is a specific condition- cardiomyopathy is an umbrella term and simply means disease of the cardiac muscle.

Nothing is certain, it is known that DCM is multifactorial- including having a genetic component- note the propensity of DCM in certain lines of dogs particularly Dobermans, Danes etc. It is also known historically that DCM is linked to nutritional deficiencies- such as taurine & carnitine. There is no established link between DCM & grain free diets- whether it be causing taurine deficiencies or causes an effect by other nutritional / metabolic means. It has simply been noted that an increasing portion of DCM affect dogs have been on GF diets. There is also a study that compares DCM dogs on GF & grain based diets- all dogs had DCM but the GF dogs had more severe dilation of the heart.

I think what is most important & the take away from all this news coming out is that the dog food industry is not well regulated. Veterinarians back the foods they back because they have the research & evidence that these foods are nutritionally adequate as well as have a desired effect on disease states in the case of prescription diets. That being said many dog food studies are done on Beagles solely- thus differences in nutritional needs, metabolism, & absorption in different breeds has not been studied in depth.

Back to the food industry not being well regulated - pet food is BOOMING ( >$90billion industry ) and that attracts a lot of companies trying to make a profit by attempting to cater to demands of the consumer by marketing novel diets- grain free, exotic meats, vegetarian, organic etc. There is no way to quality control these companies. Not everyone is as invested in seeing how their dog actually reacts to foods (looking for subtle signs & linking it to diet), or researching companies like people here on SD, many just buy into the marketing on the label trying to buy what looks best for their pet. I feel this will lead to an increase in cases of nutritional deficiencies just because boutique dogs foods are becoming so popular yet remain unregulated.

If you have a dog food that works for you and your dog from a company/manufacturer you trust then stick to it! If you feed home cooked just make sure you're meeting all your dogs nutritional needs. Same goes for raw- just also watch out for salmonella- your dog likely wont show clinical signs but once infected with salmonella can become carriers & shed it in their feces- unlikely to cause a problem in a healthy adult but elderly, children, & immunocompromised individuals are at risk.



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