What do I feed my dog???????????? Is “grain-free” good or bad?

Have you heard of "Nutritional DCM"? This is a heart disease that is being caused by the food the dog is eating! We have seen dogs as young as 1.5 years old in heart failure because of this.  

We still don't know EXACTLY why this is happening, but the veterinary cardiology community has narrowed it down to being a combination of genetic factors along with certain ingredients in pet foods. This issue has been so major that even the FDA has been involved!

FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy | FDA

Because of this, here are our recommendations based on the latest data.

We do not recommend boutique diets, pet foods with exotic ingredients, and grain-free diets. The reason is that these diets are the most likely to carry some of the ingredients that are linked with this heart disease.  

Even MORE important than staying away from "BEG” diets (boutique, exotic, and grain free) is examining the ingredient list of your pet's food, even if they are on a more traditional diet. Make sure there is NOT MORE THAN ONE of the following: peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. Also - we don't want any of these ingredients in the first five.  

If your dog is eating a grain-free diet that DOES NOT carry the above ingredients – your food is OK! Yes, we know that some dogs have valid food allergies, making this even more complicated!

Well, you ask - what foods DO YOU recommend??????????

We follow the WSAVA (World Animal Health Organization) guidelines. Their guidelines say those pet food companies should:

  • employ a veterinary nutritionist 
  • control their own production lines 
  • conduct AAFCO food trials.  

Because of the above, we recommend the five major brands of food:  Purina, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, and Iams because they meet the WSAVA guidelines.  

Link to the WSAVA website

What about home-cooked diets??

If you are feeding a homecooked diet, go to balanceit.com to have it balanced by a veterinary nutritionist.   

Can dogs have raw meat?

See this WSAVA link:

RawMeatBasedDiets_Jan2021 (wsava.org)