Dogs and Grain-Free Diet

Somewhere around the time that Scout came into my life, 2009, I heard rapturous things about the grain-free diet. It wasn’t just for dogs with allergies. It was for all dogs so they could go back to their roots to what they used to eat when they were wild. (Kind of like that paleo diet, I suppose.) Since I’m always trying to do what’s best for my guys, I started feeding them grain-free.

In the past eight months, there has been a rising clamor against grain-free diets as they have been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that once only affected a handful of breeds but now seemed to involve many breeds not typically associated with the disease. Last July, the US FDA released a newsbrief indicating that they had become aware of the association of legumes and potatoes in grain-free diets with DCM and were looking into it.

When I asked my vet about it months ago, information was still vague so I didn’t switch Scout from the diet and then proceeded to sweep it out of my mind until this past week. On Monday, a friend of this blog posted her fears in a group on FB that the grain-free diet she fed her guys may have been responsible for their deaths.

I quickly logged off FB and started to Google, as you do. Since the last time I looked at the information, much more has come up especially the linking of DCM to boutique diets rather than just grain-free.

I have immediately started feeding Scout and Sophie Stella a new grain-included diet that is low on exotic ingredients.

Today was Scout’s 6-month senior evaluation. My vet paid special attention to his heart to make sure that he doesn’t have DCM. He’s good and we are relieved. He has to have his teeth cleaned and maybe one pulled, but this is another story.

If you are a dog-owner and still feeding your dog boutique grain-free food because you were unaware of the situation, please look at the links above, Google for more info, and make sure to talk to your vet. We all try to do the best we can for our furry pals, so it’s frustrating and disheartening when we find out that the best might have been the worst.



24 replies »

  1. A lot of legumes are not good for canines. Grain-free should mean more like cat food, higher protein, and without the addition of starches of any kind. Cats are true carnivores, so the biscuits with starches make cats fat and unhealthy in myriad ways. I always check the ingredients, and if they’re not listed, the product isn’t purchased.
    Dogs are more omnivores, but grains, nuts, seeds, beans, etc. shouldn’t be in the bikkies. Potatoes, pumpkin, carrot, etc. I’m not sure about, but I will be checking them out today! Pepsi likes roast pumpkin …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read the article (thank you) and it specifically says dogs shouldn’t be fed peas, lentils, legumes “as the main ingredient.” I think we have the responsibility to read labels to ensure what we’re feeding our pups. Woof.

    Liked by 1 person

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