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Thread: DCM and 'Grain Free Foods' and FDA Warning Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-06-2019 11:17 PM
DOBBILEO So sorry
07-05-2019 06:52 PM
MeadowCat I'm not much of a fan of Whole Dog Journal anymore, but again, as I've said throughout the thread, to each their own.
07-05-2019 02:27 PM
melbrod Some good points are made in the article linked to...some others that I consider not so good.

One thing I do want to point out, though; in the discussion of ingredient lists, the author suggests that we notice whether there are one or several of the problematic ingredients in the top five listed.

One thing to be wary of with ingredient lists...the ingredients are listed in order of decreasing % in the food, but the amount of an ingredient is measured by weight. Unprocessed or unrendered meats contain a lot of water (approximately 70%) compared to the same meat as meal. A meat source may show up first on the list, but the food may not contain as much of that ingredient as you might think because a lot of its weight is due to the water it contains.

You can argue the merits of fresh meat vs meat meal in your dog food, and meat by-products are pretty much invariably nasty...but make sure you know how an ingredient list is drawn up when you read it to see whether it is likely to be a good food or not.
07-05-2019 01:47 PM
Kudobe The truth is the jury is still out on this.

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/bl...joxTxtiix9KjGE
05-01-2019 12:41 PM
stevenroberto I did the same. a base of good quality dog food then add all kinds of fun things for them. Salmon skin, carrot juice, blueberries (they loved to eat those frozen, ha ha), bananas, fried eggs, apples, coconut, blueberry buckwheat pancakes, sweet potatoes, you name it. Dobes are such chowhounds!


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
Hi zori...

Maybe I am missing something. I do feed my boys primarily a grain free very high protein kibble.... But that never stops me from adding what ever I want to each meal. It's not too difficult. In fact I enjoy making my boys' meals "complete".

Personally, I can't remember the last time I just laid down a bowl of Acana or Orijen, which is their main source of nutrition.

One can "customize" any meal, whether it is more fiber, more probiotics, grain, fruit, vegetables, rice, potatoes, fresh meat or fish, etc.



I get a kick out of customizing my boys' meals.

I like it... They like it too.

John
Portland OR
05-01-2019 11:35 AM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenroberto View Post
My thoughts exactly. This study does not show a link between grain free food and DCM, it suggest a correlation from a very limited sample population. The study clearly says no causal relationship has been established, more study is needed. But the way it was reported by the corporate media I immediately had the cynical thought this is propaganda by the major cheap dog food manufacturers, who sell feed grain based feeds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenroberto View Post
Grain free dog food IS a marketing gold mine for many dog food manufacturers in response to skin problems from food allergies. It seems logical that wild dogs did not evolve eating grains, its not a food they are adapted to. On the other hand, they did not eat sweet potatoes and peas in the ancient past either, and these are the carbohydrate base of many grain free dog foods.

I spent a fortune over the past years on Earthborn Coastal Catch and Primitive grain free dog food for my dobes. Their skin itching was not, as it turns out, from food allergies but from living in a tropical climate the first four years of their lives. Their 'allergies" went away completely when we moved to a drier climate.

I don’t think that grain free or grain based is the issue. What matters is the quality of the food in the bag. Remember, dog food began as a marketing solution to the costs imposed on multinational corporations by the prohibition against selling moldy, expired, and spoiled vegetables and meat for human consumption. Instead they created dog food and marketed it as something good for your dog. Nothing has changed. In fact, it has gotten worse. Nowadays all those vitamins and supplemental goodies in the dog food, which the manufacturers claim is there to help your dog grow and live a healthier life, are synthetic. Many, like vitamin E, are actually produced from petrochemicals, they are not natural. These synthetic supplements are now coming under suspicion of being carcinogenic, too. And this on top of the carcinogenic properties of moldy grains due to aflatoxin.

A whole industry has been built around perceived differences in dog food quality. For example, look at:
Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com
You will see that Eukanuba has a very bad reputation among those who evaluate dog food its quality. But I don’t believe the brand of dog food really matters except, perhaps at the extreme end of the quality scale. The real question is, does feeding your dog processed food with a three year shelf life improve or diminish the health of your dog? (Or you, for that matter, in the case of people food). I think we all know the answer to this on an intuitive level, at least. Yet we continue buying processed dog food because it is convenient. We like the reassurance given to us by marketers that we are feeding our dogs healthfully right out of a bag. But is it true?

Personally, going forward, I just replicate the ingredients in the “healthy” dog food in real, fresh form, which will reduce my cost by 60%, and the dog will be happier and I hope healthier. Throw in some bones once in awhile, and all should be good. It’s more work, but isn’t a Dobe worth it?
Are you a qualified dog food nutritionist? PhD? Veterinarian?
05-01-2019 10:44 AM
stevenroberto Grain free dog food IS a marketing gold mine for many dog food manufacturers in response to skin problems from food allergies. It seems logical that wild dogs did not evolve eating grains, its not a food they are adapted to. On the other hand, they did not eat sweet potatoes and peas in the ancient past either, and these are the carbohydrate base of many grain free dog foods.

I spent a fortune over the past years on Earthborn Coastal Catch and Primitive grain free dog food for my dobes. Their skin itching was not, as it turns out, from food allergies but from living in a tropical climate the first four years of their lives. Their 'allergies" went away completely when we moved to a drier climate.

I don’t think that grain free or grain based is the issue. What matters is the quality of the food in the bag. Remember, dog food began as a marketing solution to the costs imposed on multinational corporations by the prohibition against selling moldy, expired, and spoiled vegetables and meat for human consumption. Instead they created dog food and marketed it as something good for your dog. Nothing has changed. In fact, it has gotten worse. Nowadays all those vitamins and supplemental goodies in the dog food, which the manufacturers claim is there to help your dog grow and live a healthier life, are synthetic. Many, like vitamin E, are actually produced from petrochemicals, they are not natural. These synthetic supplements are now coming under suspicion of being carcinogenic, too. And this on top of the carcinogenic properties of moldy grains due to aflatoxin.

A whole industry has been built around perceived differences in dog food quality. For example, look at:
Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com
You will see that Eukanuba has a very bad reputation among those who evaluate dog food its quality. But I don’t believe the brand of dog food really matters except, perhaps at the extreme end of the quality scale. The real question is, does feeding your dog processed food with a three year shelf life improve or diminish the health of your dog? (Or you, for that matter, in the case of people food). I think we all know the answer to this on an intuitive level, at least. Yet we continue buying processed dog food because it is convenient. We like the reassurance given to us by marketers that we are feeding our dogs healthfully right out of a bag. But is it true?

Personally, going forward, I just replicate the ingredients in the “healthy” dog food in real, fresh form, which will reduce my cost by 60%, and the dog will be happier and I hope healthier. Throw in some bones once in awhile, and all should be good. It’s more work, but isn’t a Dobe worth it?
05-01-2019 10:42 AM
stevenroberto My thoughts exactly. This study does not show a link between grain free food and DCM, it suggest a correlation from a very limited sample population. The study clearly says no causal relationship has been established, more study is needed. But the way it was reported by the corporate media I immediately had the cynical thought this is propaganda by the major cheap dog food manufacturers, who sell feed grain based feeds.
10-07-2018 09:43 AM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorianak View Post
Insert grumbling about how hard it is to find a limited ingredient food that isn't grain free - that's what we're working on right now with Jaina (she's *very* allergic to chicken, and has a few other sensitivities). Definitely looks like I'll be finding her "something else." I know Pro Plan's not the most amazing food, but it looks like I can get a fish or lamb-based food for her that shouldn't aggravate the allergies. Might even help her coat (she's always had a patchy coat, and it's gotten worse because of the tumor she has over her thyroid. Benign, but we're going to go ahead and get it removed this winter when she has her next dental).

At least it'll help me pick out what food to transition Sora to.
I know tons of dogs that do great on Proplan. I wouldn't hesitate to feed it.
10-06-2018 08:36 PM
4x4bike ped Hi zori...

Maybe I am missing something. I do feed my boys primarily a grain free very high protein kibble.... But that never stops me from adding what ever I want to each meal. It's not too difficult. In fact I enjoy making my boys' meals "complete".

Personally, I can't remember the last time I just laid down a bowl of Acana or Orijen, which is their main source of nutrition.

One can "customize" any meal, whether it is more fiber, more probiotics, grain, fruit, vegetables, rice, potatoes, fresh meat or fish, etc.



I get a kick out of customizing my boys' meals.

I like it... They like it too.

John
Portland OR
10-06-2018 07:48 PM
zorianak Insert grumbling about how hard it is to find a limited ingredient food that isn't grain free - that's what we're working on right now with Jaina (she's *very* allergic to chicken, and has a few other sensitivities). Definitely looks like I'll be finding her "something else." I know Pro Plan's not the most amazing food, but it looks like I can get a fish or lamb-based food for her that shouldn't aggravate the allergies. Might even help her coat (she's always had a patchy coat, and it's gotten worse because of the tumor she has over her thyroid. Benign, but we're going to go ahead and get it removed this winter when she has her next dental).

At least it'll help me pick out what food to transition Sora to.
10-04-2018 12:26 PM
MeadowCat Bumping this thread...

I personally know of a non-Doberman that just got diagnosed with extremely low taurine levels. He was fed a properly balanced raw diet (owner is a very long time raw feeder and it was definitely appropriate). It was found because they found a heart murmur, did the taurine testing, found the very low taurine levels. He has been switched to kibble and supplemented with taurine and is doing well.

So...very, very interesting.
09-05-2018 02:22 PM
loveforpaws So very interesting. I never understand why something things are more important to the FDA than others. It must be a money thing. I definitely say just watch your own dogs and make sure they are living their best lives.
09-02-2018 10:31 AM
danacc Here is the FDA warning: http://https://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/newsevents/cvmupdates/ucm613305.htm.

A few observations:
  • The alert is about “pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients”
    • It is not directly about “grain-free” kibble, although most grain-free kibbles have one or more of these items as a main ingredient, and for whatever reason, the media has latched onto “grain-free” in most of their headlines.
    • To be prudent, check the ingredient list on your dog’s food; don’t assume something based on whether it has grains or not. It’s not directly about the presence or absence of grains.
  • Not all dogs fed with one or more of these as a main ingredient are affected.
    • There are many, many dogs who have been and are being fed this way. Only about 180 of these maybe-diet-based DCM cases were reported to the FDA as of August 10, 2018.
    • Therefore, there are many, many stories of dogs doing well on grain-free diets where these ingredients are common.
    • But even one case of diet-based DCM (if it turns out diet is a fctor in these) is too many. And diet may be a factor (again, inclusion of peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients).
  • Dogs of various breeds are affected.
    • It is possible that a Doberman can be affected by whatever this is, too. But this breed is sadly greatly affected by DCM caused by hereditary factors. And that far, far overshadows the few that might be affected by whatever this is.
    • Still again, one is too many. I don’t think this should be ignored by any breed. Even though DCM in a Doberman is almost always (if not always) caused by genetics, it is possible very, very, VERY few cases are / were not.

My take: if your dog has no issue with grains, finding a good food without the potentially problematic ingredients is relatively easy. It may be worth switching until this is all sorted out. And if your dog needs grain-free, researching choices and whether the potentially problematic ingredients are listed early on the label is a good idea. You can also ask about taurine levels in the food since low levels were found in the blood of many of the dogs affected.
09-02-2018 07:45 AM
dax0402
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
For those on Facebook, there's a discussion on the Fromm page where Fromm has answered some questions about their food (both grain free and not). They supplement their foods with additional taurine, while many companies do not. It's interesting reading, some good questions asked (among the usual FB clutter).

Check it out if you're interested: https://www.facebook.com/frommfamily...type=3&theater
Just catching up on this thread. Thanks for this link MC. I missed this. Anyway, I have a lengthy discussion with Baron's cardiologist on this subject on our last visit. Baron has been on grain free since we got him. Yes, he has DCM but the grain did not cause him to have DCM. In Dobermans it is genetics! His cardiologist suggested we switch just as a precaution but he feels the main concern in the vet community is that they are seeing more and more DCM in breeds that are not prone to getting DCM and that is why they are looking into the grain free food thing.
09-01-2018 01:38 PM
Fitzmar Dobermans
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelsMom View Post
Eggs, cooked or raw?. What food do you feed?. Thanks, Susan

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk
I feed Annamaet Aqualuk - which is a fish based grain free, and have been feeding it for probably 8ish years now. My Jezebel has copper storage disease and it has the lowest amount of copper you can find outside of the RX kibbles for liver disease (you do have to contact the manufacturer for the copper amount). I do cook my eggs till the whites are not runny, they get plain yogurt in the am, and cottage cheese at night..... fruit in the morning (usually berries) and veggies at night. Jezebel gets 4 eggs a day, the other two each get one. I also give fish oil, and have done coconut oil.... but switched back to fish oil.
My husband is also known to give them all kinds of crap - haha. They like caesar salad and anything left over from breakfast or dinner.
08-29-2018 10:09 PM
MelsMom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzmar Dobermans View Post
I've been feeding grain free for years with no issues. I do however supplement what I feed with fresh foods such as berries, bananas, yogurt, cottage cheese, veggies, and eggs everyday. My Harvard is currently 10 1/2 and his mother lived to 11.
Eggs, cooked or raw?. What food do you feed?. Thanks, Susan

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk
07-23-2018 04:10 PM
MeadowCat For those on Facebook, there's a discussion on the Fromm page where Fromm has answered some questions about their food (both grain free and not). They supplement their foods with additional taurine, while many companies do not. It's interesting reading, some good questions asked (among the usual FB clutter).

Check it out if you're interested: https://www.facebook.com/frommfamily...type=3&theater
07-23-2018 09:26 AM
MeadowCat I'm pretty much a "feed what your dog does well on, and what you feel comfortable feeding" person. I don't get bent out of shape by what people recommend online, nor by what other people feed, try to keep myself educated by trustworthy people, hope not to be too influenced by food "trends" while still keeping abreast of good information. It's tough! We want to do what's best for our best friends. We all make the best decisions we can and I'm certainly not going to tell anyone else what to do...I personally won't feed something like Kibble's n Bits, but, that said, there are plenty of dogs who live long lives on stuff like that, and do just fine. Truly, I do think people get a bit too worked up about pet food, NOT worked up enough about keeping their dogs at a healthy weight, getting a reasonable amount of exercise, etc.

Like I said, I personally feel this is something that bears watching. There's not any conclusive info yet. My dogs do fine on grain inclusive food, so that's what I feed, out of an abundance of caution. It's an interesting topic.
07-23-2018 08:25 AM
ECIN Question here - lol Is the No grain vs grain - like the GMO vs Non GMO in people food ?

Just some --- " Food " for thought
07-22-2018 05:41 PM
4x4bike ped What Fitzmar said. ^^^^. I feed a grain free 5 star kibble, with pretty much the identical added food that Fitz mentioned plus a few more. I also add fish oil and Vitamin E.

McCoy had a full Cardio work up at a little over 3 yo by a very well respected canine cardiologist. His results were golden. I will have him tested again (Echocariagram, 24 hour Holter moniter. and I'll toss in a full blood panel for good measure.

John
Portland OR
07-22-2018 02:10 PM
Fitzmar Dobermans I've been feeding grain free for years with no issues. I do however supplement what I feed with fresh foods such as berries, bananas, yogurt, cottage cheese, veggies, and eggs everyday. My Harvard is currently 10 1/2 and his mother lived to 11.
07-22-2018 01:39 PM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
There are actually three ways a food can be labeled for nutritional adequacy. https://talkspetfood.aafco.org/readinglabels#Adequacy The first two are the most common.

1. “___________ is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (or cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for ___________.”

2. “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that ______________ provides complete and balanced nutrition for _____________.”

3. “_____________ provides complete and balanced nutrition for ___________ and is comparable to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests”

This is some information from AAFCO on how to read pet food labels. https://talkspetfood.aafco.org/readinglabels
Thanks, Rosemary! I didn't have time to look that up

I do encourage you to know which of those your dog's food is. It's generally not easily understood by reading labels.
07-22-2018 11:47 AM
Rosemary
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post

There are standards, which is what AAFCO has set as the standard diet - when you see on dog food bags "this meets the AAFCO standard" (I'm not getting the exact wording correct, but you know what statement I mean?). HOWEVER - this could mean a couple of things - some dog foods are formulated by scientists (to meet the standards and needs of a dogs), go through lab analysis, and then *further* tested through feeding trials. Many foods are simply formulated and tested by lab analysis - most do not do feeding trials with animals anymore (as in, smaller "boutique" companies), so they don't see how they perform in actual dogs over time. The scoffed at Purina, for example, is a company that has done feeding trials - Proplan is a food that's been tested and analyzed in ways that some of the smaller food companies just haven't been.
There are actually three ways a food can be labeled for nutritional adequacy. https://talkspetfood.aafco.org/readinglabels#Adequacy The first two are the most common.

1. “___________ is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (or cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for ___________.”

2. “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that ______________ provides complete and balanced nutrition for _____________.”

3. “_____________ provides complete and balanced nutrition for ___________ and is comparable to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests”

This is some information from AAFCO on how to read pet food labels. https://talkspetfood.aafco.org/readinglabels
07-22-2018 10:38 AM
ECIN Thanks MC for your reply - always good to read your stuff ! But - I think I really need to read the book first before I can draw a opinion -

Remember back years ago - they said eating egg's was bad for yeah - killed the egg market - then they cam back out and said - now after different studies they are good for yeah - lol

I know - it's not the same thing - yet - it needs more study to narrow it down - sometimes - the most obvious turn's out to be a non factor .

...Ken
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