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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After the recent study detailing how grain free dog fod is linked to dilated cardiomyopathy, I was concerned about what to feed my new boy. The list of bramds associated with the link includes some of the better brands - acana, zignature, taste of the wild, 4health, earth bound holistic, blue buffalo, natures domain, fromm, merrick, calironia natural, natural balance, orijen, natures variety, natures source, nutro, and rachel ray nurish.I was also told me corn was bad for dogs,but it turns out corn provides nutritional values important to a dog, its just hard to digest and used as a filler.

I seems it is the potatoes, lentils, and starch fillers hat cause the issue. Is there a dog food you can recommend? Is anyone a board certified animal nutritionakkist or knows inw that can recommend a brand? I want my boy to have a great start but diint want to make a decision based on just opinions.
 

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Even before the link to dilated cardiomyopathy was discovered, there has been huge debates over what is the best food for a dog.
Your not going to get a large group of people to agree on what food is best. Each of us have had different experiences, on what worked well for our dogs.
 

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Oscar
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The debate is so polarized that I am pretty sure it would be though to get a clear verdict on the matter, like @texasred points out. Yes, grain free has been linked to cardiomyopathy and it seemed to be linked to peas. However, half of the brands enumerated there are super premium brands (that does not mean they are completely clean, or even safe - price tag does not guarantee that), but it is strange that there were still no recalls, or adjustments in the recipe.

When I tested raw feeding a while ago, my vet was scandalized. Also, they strongly recommended me to stop giving him raw bones (oxtail and marrow bones) because that is very dangerous and dogs should not be eating raw meat :rolleyes:. I could not disagree more, but just to note the level of polarization in this debate.

To some, BARF is the way to go, to others that is a big no-no (like my current vet told me). To some, cooked food is the way to go for adult dogs, others will tell you it is not. Some will swear by certain brands of kibble, while others will say those were no good for their dog. All, professionals or otherwise, seem to be making valid points.

If the studies worry you, you should get in contact with a dog nutritionist. However, just like human nutritionists, they all have different opinions and different approaches. Also, like in the case of vets, I would be careful if they work with certain brands of food (raw, kibble or otherwise). I am not sure if that is a case in the US, but here most healthcare professionals have deals with certain brands of food and medicine or supplements and they will keep pushing for those (in human and pet healthcare) - this makes me not trust them, because I know they keep pushing where they get a cut from sales.

The best diet is also a diet that your dog tolerates. So, if there is a premium service in the US that does for dogs what some top nutritionists do for people (check blood, hormone levels, organ functions etc.) and recommend a completely personalized diet and diversified meal plan that suits one's specific needs, probably that would be the safest bet. It also depends the extent you are willing to go, the time and the money you are willing (able) to invest - if the above is available, I do believe it would be ridiculously expensive, and probably the meal plan you will get will mean extensive time for preparation, weighting the ingredients, running all over town to farmer's markets to find the best meat etc.

Will such a diet result in your dog living a looong healthy life and die of old age at 16, pain free, in his sleep? We all wish and hope for that, but I do fear nothing can guarantee that, not even the most expensive and personalized diet...
 

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Ellie
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I have not seen information that potato or potato starch being linked to the same issues as legumes (lentils, peas, etc). I also find it odd how many of these fancy premium "grain-free" foods use legumes even with the new information out there. Also, I question who/how/why it was determined that all grains are bad for dogs? The fact is that dogs evolved with humans for thousands of years and for many of them lived off human scraps including grain products. Their digestive capabilities have evolved much since the domestication of their wild ancestors.

Here's my 2cents on how I pick food. Everyone has their own thoughts so take it with a grain of salt!

Guidelines that I follow is that the primary protein ingredient in kibble that I choose is the one that is advertised on the label, such as "Chicken", after that they usually have a "meal" portion which is basically all other parts of that type of protein including bones, skin, etc ground up, cooked, and rendered turned into a powder. The "meal" is not very nutritious and really just serves as a protein booster/filler. Some higher end foods won't have a protein meal, but the costs goes way up and it is debatable whether it is worth it or not. I then make sure there are no legumes or corn. Rice, grains, potatoes, veggies are good ingredients and should be after the proteins. Any respectable food will have a good vitamin and mineral profile. Added bonuses are things like probiotics and add-ons like Omegas and Glucosamine.

Sometimes I augment kibble with things like a raw egg, plain greek yogurt, cooked meat. I also add Nupro , a nutrition powder to each meal and a few pumps of quality salmon oil (remember to keep in the fridge).

In my book, if the dog is healthy, good shape, has a good coat/skin, bright eyes, lots of energy, etc, then the food routine is working well. If there are problems in any of the above, the current food routine may be lacking or other problems are amiss. Nothing is foolproof. Some dogs may not digest kibble all that well and may need either a full raw or augmented raw/cooked meat added to kibble to be healthy. Or maybe that particular kibble doesn't sit well, etc.

In all a diet that avoids ingredients generally undestood to be unhealthy for dogs, is nutritious, keeps them healthy, and that you feel good about is the one that works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Dan, Marra, and Texasred. I appreciate the information. I had a beautiful reply typed up but lost it during send so here is short version. I freaked a little after resewrching some quality brands then seeing some of the top tier brands listed in the study. I realise it was the ingrediants used to replsce the grains in the grain free foods and not the lack of grains causing the issue.
I do not have the time nor am I confident I could make a healthy recipre for my dogs. I would prefer to leave it to the professionals. I will look at Acana, Taste of the Wild, Dr. Tim., and Victor to replace the food my new puppy started on -purina pro plan. Unless someone tells me these are bad choices. Both my dogs seem healthy and happy with the Pro Plan, but I think I want something better. I do supplement their kibble once in a while with Honest Kitchen - they eat fish but prefer chicken.
 
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