This is from june 2019, so nothing new. What some of us have done following this announcement is stay clear of grain-free foods and foods with legumes. Iíve switched to Purina Pro Plan (Salmon, for sensitive stomach since my dog is sensitive) until we know further.
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I work at a vet clinic so this has been a common topic for us. I've discussed with the senior vets and read the available studies, and I do know a vet that has seen a couple cases of diet- related dcm. There are a couple things to keep in mind:
It's technically not the grain-free that seems to be a problem, but due to the process of making kibbles (extrusion) the grain needs to be replaced by something else, and pulses/legumes are typically used which seem to be the issue. If you need to restrict grains for your dog, you are better off feeding canned, cooked, or raw.
The number of cases for each brand is meaningless, given that they are not compared to how many dogs eat each brand, or differentiate between whether the brand also carries grain-included diets and if those were also connected to DCM. So the brands with top numbers are not necessarily 'worse'.
The only actual study (versus collecting reports of cases) was done on a group of Golden's (they might even have been related? Can't remember), which makes it hard to apply to broader populations. In those cases, the dogs had a gene variant that caused them to be susceptible to diet-related DCM. What we don't know I'd whether that was true for all the other cases, and how common that gene variant is. What is likely, is that some dogs are not susceptible and will do perfectly well on grain-free. Hence the many personal stories of 'my dog did great on that diet for 10 years!'
What we decided was, we'd rather be safe than sorry. So we recommend to avoid grain-free unless there is a specific, valid reason; and if so then go with a safer option
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Thank you! Sooooo what are some NOT grain free diets? Only raw, canned or cooked?
If you must feed grain-free, raw, canned , or cooked seem to be the best options.
But if there is no reason to restrict grains, and you are looking for a kibble diet, there are lots of options. What's available does depend on where you are, but my dogs have done well on Royal Canin, Science Diet, and versions of Fromm and Wellness that do contain grains. I hear lots of people recommend Victor but haven't tried it myself.
Since my dogs eat Honest Kitchen, I just rotate between grain and grainfree varieties. I also rotate between a few kibbles, and Stella and Chewys just because I do not want to have an issue with a brand becoming difficult to find. My German Shepherd lived 16 years, my girl Standard Poodle was 15 when she went, the beagles were 15 and 17. No heart conditions or any other food related illnesses. I would like to go to raw or homemade, but until I can do it properly I will not make the transition.