By Anonymous - 30/8/2019 16:01
Today, I've been on the verge of throwing up all day. Why? My dog is intolerant to grain, but grain-free dog food causes heart problems so she can't have that. Now our lives are filled with nasty farts and Hershey squirts with no end in sight. It's a rough time for us both. FML
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By  fishyrael  |  27

Hi! I work in a specialty pet food store and we have to go through 20+ hours of specifically nutrition training/certification from a veterinary school for your pet. There is actually no link at all between grain free dog food and heart problems. In fact, the particular heart issue the FDA is looking into (dilated cardiomyopathy) as a possible link is incredibly rare. There have been less than 250 cases of it since 2014, and there are 89.7 million dogs in the USA. The FDA report about grain free food wasn't actually a report at all, or even a study, but rather an announcement of intent to investigate the possibility of a link. Also, the investigation isn't into grain free food itself, but rather the grain replacements, particularly lentils. It's really sad that they weren't upfront with that information, and it's even sadder that a lot of vets seem to be jumping the gun and telling people that grain free food will hurt their dog when a dog's natural diet in the wild is in fact a grain free one. Don't worry, you're not alone in this fear, I deal with it at work all the time. Go back to your dog's old food if she did well on it, and if you're still concerned, look for a grain free food without lentils. Your dog is probably feeling pretty sick eating a food she has an intolerance to, and there has been no proven studies saying that grain free will be harmful to her! My personal recommendation is Earthborn. Good luck! I hope your dog lives a long and healthy fart-free life! :)

By  rotflqtms_  |  13

Down Jamaica my grandma used to make dog food from table scraps and other things. You can try making your own dog food that has no grains, but is healthy for the dog. You can do some research into what type of diet a dog requires and prepare the food while preparing your own food or do it in bulk.
When you do find a recipe you think you can stick with, talk to your vet and see if they approve of it. You can mix it up and don't have to feed your dog the same thing every day. Do make sure to check with them though to make sure you find a substitute for whatever your dog is intolerant/allergic to. After a while, you'll find that it's not as much of a nuisance as you thought cooking for your dog especially if you cook for your family. Stay away from spicy foods and all that grease. Hey maybe you'll even start eating healthier too. Just make sure you don't feed your dog from the table. Any food you do, make sure it's in their bowl.

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By  rotflqtms_  |  13

Down Jamaica my grandma used to make dog food from table scraps and other things. You can try making your own dog food that has no grains, but is healthy for the dog. You can do some research into what type of diet a dog requires and prepare the food while preparing your own food or do it in bulk.
When you do find a recipe you think you can stick with, talk to your vet and see if they approve of it. You can mix it up and don't have to feed your dog the same thing every day. Do make sure to check with them though to make sure you find a substitute for whatever your dog is intolerant/allergic to. After a while, you'll find that it's not as much of a nuisance as you thought cooking for your dog especially if you cook for your family. Stay away from spicy foods and all that grease. Hey maybe you'll even start eating healthier too. Just make sure you don't feed your dog from the table. Any food you do, make sure it's in their bowl.

By  fishyrael  |  27

Hi! I work in a specialty pet food store and we have to go through 20+ hours of specifically nutrition training/certification from a veterinary school for your pet. There is actually no link at all between grain free dog food and heart problems. In fact, the particular heart issue the FDA is looking into (dilated cardiomyopathy) as a possible link is incredibly rare. There have been less than 250 cases of it since 2014, and there are 89.7 million dogs in the USA. The FDA report about grain free food wasn't actually a report at all, or even a study, but rather an announcement of intent to investigate the possibility of a link. Also, the investigation isn't into grain free food itself, but rather the grain replacements, particularly lentils. It's really sad that they weren't upfront with that information, and it's even sadder that a lot of vets seem to be jumping the gun and telling people that grain free food will hurt their dog when a dog's natural diet in the wild is in fact a grain free one. Don't worry, you're not alone in this fear, I deal with it at work all the time. Go back to your dog's old food if she did well on it, and if you're still concerned, look for a grain free food without lentils. Your dog is probably feeling pretty sick eating a food she has an intolerance to, and there has been no proven studies saying that grain free will be harmful to her! My personal recommendation is Earthborn. Good luck! I hope your dog lives a long and healthy fart-free life! :)

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  nrvanagrl  |  6

Came here to say the same. I've been working a lot with Nulo Pet Food (grain-free) and there's nothing wrong with grain-free food. If you're worried about it, I had a woman tell me she buys grain-free but then adds oats.

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  fishyrael  |  27

No offense, but vets are sponsored by those foods. The Royal Canin rep at my company looked me in the eye and said "Oh, we don't use human grade so as not to take away from humans. By-product is good enough for dogs." Science Diet is *okay* at best, but I will never recommend Royal Canin. Not to mention, neither one of those is grain free.

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  sarianna  |  10

@fishyrael That is exactly why I make my cat's food (yes, with appropriate taurine supplementation, from a recipe!). If nothing else, poultry graded for human consumption is better quality than anything from a can with a picture of a cat on it.

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  Bibliovore  |  26

This is good information, but OP, please do consult with your vet -- or a different vet -- before changing foods, in case your dog has a known condition that makes the grain-free food (or some specific ingredients) more likely to be harmful. Regardless, your vet -- or a different one -- should be able to help come up with a healthy solution for your dog that doesn't involve foods she cannot tolerate.

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My dog was on grain free for the nine years we had her. She was healthy as can be no heart problem. Only reason we don’t have her is our house
Caught fire and we became homeless

By  Lacuna LiaVim  |  4

There is no definitive link between grain free dog kibbles and DCM. The fda report was a collection of personal and vet anecdotes that have no correlation nor causative link between the two.

By  mekiswrite  |  19

The only issue that I've heard of linking heart disease and grain free diets is due to a taurine deficiency. Taurine is a supplement you can buy to give to your pet.

By  LostSoul  |  18

Make your own food. BTW. I had a black lab that lived a very healthy 18 years. For years I had people tell me about all.this expensive food I should feed my dog. She hated it. She liked the cheap stuff and table scraps. BTW, not that I would suggest it, she loved chocolate. The only reason I put her to sleep at 18 was arthritis. She was a big dog and old. Never had any health issues until the arthritis at the end. Was still catching crows until a few months before the end.

By  alycion  |  38

The grain free study was a small sampling. Talk with your vet about your options. If he’s allergic to the grain, and you are feeding it, there will be more issues down the road. But dehydration from the squirts isn’t good for the heart either.