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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. I’ve 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.
 

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Charleeann, I use Nature's Variety foods.

They have grain-free (Instinct line) but their Be Instinct line, which used to be called Prairie, includes some grains.

I feed NV Raw for breakfast and Kibble for dinner. Mochi had such runny poos for months when she came home on her old food, but when I switched her to NV, it stopped immediately.
 

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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.
 

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Oops, I should add that my youngest poodle has food allergies. I had him tested and now know what to avoid to keep him happy.
 

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I changed Poppy to Purina Pro Plan Sport a year ago. She is CRAZY about the food, maintains a good weight, she free feeds, and her coat is AMAZING.

I have since discovered that her breeder, Betty Brown of Donnchada Poodles, also feeds this to all of her poodles, show dogs, breeding adults as well a puppies.

I am comfortable with how Purina formulates, tests and makes the food and Poppy tries to break open the Chewy box when her food arrives. That's good enough for me.

Also, when I mixed her old food with the Purina to "slowly transition" to the Purina, Poppy would take a mouth full of the food, spit it out and pick out the Purina to eat, leaving her previous food all over the floor. After a couple of days of cleaning up food left on the floor I just gave her the Pro Plan....so it works for us!
 

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Yes, based on research I've done and in talking with my vet, who felt there is merit to the nutritional DCM issue, I switched my dogs to grain inclusive food about 9 or 10 months ago. The older one (12) is eating Stella & Chewy's Raw Coated Wholesome Grains (very expensive but she is very picky and she seems to really like this) and the younger (6) is eating PPP SSS Salmon. Both are doing fine on them.
 

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I also moved from grain free. Have given my two spoos Fromms and then Orijen for most of their lives (6 and 5) and then recently switched to Acana, since one of them seemed to struggle with the richness of Fromms and Orijen, so moved to Acana Singles at the suggestion of customer service at Orijen/Acana.

When the news started breaking on DCM and grain free, we switched to Fromm's grain inclusive large breed.

We just got a cute new red SPOO from Tabatha at Nola Standard Poodles and I'm leaving her on the Purina Pro Plan Savor Puppy that Tabatha had her on.

I think we have all been quick to jump to the boutique providers thinking they provided better quality ingredients and formulations, but the fact is that companies like Purina, Hills and a few other giants have been making food for many, many decades that have resulted in dogs that led long, healthy lives.

My primary motivation for originally moving to Fromms, was they hadn't had a recall and were using mostly local ingredients and nothing from China. The number of manufacturers that had melamine in their food was eye opening. Then, when I started following recalls more closely, it was also eye opening how many times one recall hit multiple manufacturers, which clearly shows they either use the same ingredient suppliers or private labelers.

Also, many of the boutique brands are just marketing companies. You will see many of them say "manufactured for ________" on the labels, which indicates they aren't the manufacturer.

We may all have some reservations about giants like Purina, but right now I feel it's the safest choice for my new puppy.
 

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I am not surprised. Who ever thought dogs could be fed peas, etc instead of the meat they were intended to eat?

I cannot even eat the pea protein supplements myself! They give me major indigestion.
The peas didn't replace meat, they replaced the grains. I don't think you see wild dogs, wolves or coyotes eating wheat, corn, etc. any more than you see them eating peas and other legumes.
 

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I decided to switch Asta from grain free to grain inclusive. The 1st food we tried was Purina Pro Sport - he had terrible constipation. Then tried Pro Plan Savor. Same problem with constipation - poor boy.

My vet recommended Hills Science diet (he was not pushing the food as he only carries the prescription formulas)

Asta loves Science diet - we have tried several of their formulations -Ate well (Asta is a picky eater) No problem with constipation or any sort of pooping problems. So glad that we found a food that he will eat. As a bonus, his coat is much improved too.
 

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I have seen that list. Thanks for posting it though. I agree that sometimes the studies or tests aren't done well. However, these are associations only...observations. It's still something I perk my ears up and think about and watch. There are some foods on that list I wouldn't feed for other reasons as well.

I do believe from all the stuff I've read on the subject, which is a lot, is that the peas, other legumes, pulses (plant protein) is replacing some of the meat protein and this is what's very much associated with dcm. Only meat protein has the amino acids and other nutrients that they need for good cardio health. I don't think grain in itself has much to do with it probably. However, indigestible stuff like corn has it's place. What can be digested from it is healthy...there are some great nutrients. What can not be digested helps with stools. They need fiber and in "nature" they'd be getting some hair which is not fiber, but acts like fiber on the digestion. They'd be eating some grasses and berries it has been shown. Our own dogs typically chow down on some grass sometimes. I think they do crave a certain amount of roughage.

I like the ingredients in Victor. One of my dogs has a sensitive stomach, the other has had a little trouble with itchy skin...not extreme but I switched to Purina Proplan for sensitive stomachs and skin and I've noticed a definite improvement in both. My tiny, wee Maurice has the best poops he ever had. However, I'm not all that impressed with the ingredient list. Go figure, huh? And Matisse doesn't itch much lately.

They have two formulas for this salmon formula for sensitive stomachs and skin. One is for toy breeds, which I like the size of the kibble better and one just says for adults...doesn't specify what size dog. Well, the one for toys has pea protein in it. And since I don't know how much of that there is and how much protein from meat there is, I have switched to the one that's for adults, which does not list pea protein at all. The kibble size is pretty small, just not as small as the toy kibble size.

I think a little grain is fine...I think that's what's helping Maurice's poops. He had the worst colitis off and on since he was a young. I use to feed a homemade raw diet after looking into it for over a year. The other dogs did okay. He had a time getting regular. And many of the foods I tried irritated his stomach. So, if my dogs didn't have these sensitivities, I'd be feeding Victor hi pro. https://victorpetfood.com/products/hi-pro-plus
 

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By the bye...(don't you just love that expression?) :act-up: There are some canned Merrick foods (Merrick is mentioned as one of the "bad" foods) that derive 96% of their protein from meat. Or the can is 96% of meat. (not sure which) Anyhow, they do not have pea protein and they do have lots of meat. They're grain free. This is just some of their formulas. I will use one of those sometimes, adding just a little with their kibble. But also use Proplan for sensitive tummies from the can. I also have that Orijen dehydrated raw that I'll crumble on top. They love that. But it has some pea protein so I only use it like a treat. I realize that some peas aren't a bad thing but it's just that I don't know what % there is. And I do not want that to be the main source of protein. I want meat to be the whole source of protein. I don't know that because it's down the list that that means anything. I've read stuff about that too....that the order listed isn't necessarily what it is.

I always hated commercial food of almost any kind. I don't trust them. It made me uneasy to feed any of these things. That's why I fed raw made from home. It was when I was packing up to move, selling my house, buying this house that it became too much work. And also Maurice never seemed to be quite right or hardly ever. It's hard to get 10% of bone into these little dogs unless it's over time like they say you can do. Well...they didn't do well that way. So each meal was balanced. That means they can't chew on a nice big bone or have even more than the tiniest, choking size piece, which I risked and they did okay....unless that was what was irritating Maurice. Anyhow, I just don't have it in me to do that anymore...so busy with other things.

So, of course, we all try to feed the best thing we can without having it take over our lives. I remember all the time I spent chopping up big legs of lamb into small packages to freeze, going to Asian supermarkets for things. (don't have any of those in my new area) And ordering things from across the country. About once a week or every other week, I was working on this for hours and hours. So, I guess the dogs will just have to get along. I've had dogs all my life and they've all eaten commercial food and some lived very long lives.
 

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Throughout the years (1966-present) I have probably fed most of the foods out there, and some that no longer exist. All dogs have lived fairly long lives from my 1st mpoo in the 60's who was 17, IWs were 11-12 (nearly unheard of, at least in the 80's), most of the whippets were 13-17..I think variety is the key. Remember some breeds are predisposed to DCM, as well. I can no longer be comfortable with feeding Purina,Iams, SD,or the other mostly commercially manufactured foods from big companies, but I stick to grain inclusive (wild canids eat the stomach contents from herbivores.do they not?) with raw toppings.I do not have the time or room to feed full raw,but that would be my ideal.
 
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