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10 year old mini-poodle started pushing his bowl up to 10 feet from where it's been for most of his life. He started this about a month ago after I began experimenting with changing his food. Obviously it has something to do with the food change, but I'm adding a small amount to his regular food to ease him into the change. I feed him Taste of the Wild "Salmon mix" and have for most of his life. I'm changing because it is one of 16 identified by the FDA as causing heart problems. Has anyone else had this problem?
 

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And what's the new food? Does he love it?

If he's trying to relocate his bowl before he eats, he could be trying to protect it. Those instincts can show up at funny times.

Peggy started putting her big stuffed pillow toy on her full food bowl. We reduced her serving size and she stopped. I think she wasn't hungry enough to eat, but wanted to protect her kibble from "predators" so she'd have it for later.
 

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He pushes his bowl while it's full. I've tried several foods, but he has only liked one which I would rather not give him (very small kibble). He still likes his old food and if I hold a new one in my hand he appears interested but after smelling walks away. This could get expensive. :cool:
 

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Peeves pushes his bowl around to tell us he wants us to serve his meal.

As to changing foods ask for samples at where ever you want to purchase your food routinely or ask the manufacturers to send you samples. Also it is often possible to return to point of purchase or donate to a shelter for some nice coupons.
 
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He pushes his bowl while it's full. I've tried several foods, but he has only liked one which I would rather not give him (very small kibble). He still likes his old food and if I hold a new one in my hand he appears interested but after smelling walks away. This could get expensive. :cool:
I'd stick to the old food, but that's just me. If it ain't broke...
 

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I didn't want to change his food but as I mentioned the FDA had flagged it for potential heart problems. I had heard that you should change his food periodically. He has been eating it most of his life and it's kept him trim and healthy.
 

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I'd stick to the old food, but that's just me. If it ain't broke...
Peggy the Parti...
There has been extensive discussion about grain-free food and nutritional driven DCM. I have done a lot of research and spoken to several vets who believe there is merit to the issue and so switched mine from grain-free (incidentally they had been eating TOTW) to grain inclusive about a year ago. "If it ain't broke" doesn't necessarily work with DCM since you often don't know the dog has serious heart issues until it is quite advanced and you have major problems. I have always supplemented the kibble I fed with a huge variety of home-cooked foods, and still do, a number of which are taurine rich, but the issue is that the ingredients added to grain-free to bulk it up in place of grains, such as types of legumes, appear to block the absorption of taurine, so even supplementing with it in cooked food is not the answer.....

Shipper...
I have one dog on Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach and the other on Stella and Chewys Raw Coated Wholesome Grains. I like both, but since the one on PPP will eat anything and the one on S&C is hugely picky and hard to keep weight on but really loves it and is doing well on it, I am going to move the other dog over to it. The S&C is VERY expensive compared to the majority of other kibble. They only offer in 3.5 lb. and 22 lb. bags which is crazy (I've commented to their CS several times that they need to offer a mid-size bag). I could never use the 22 lb. bag up on my older dog who is 12 before I would be concerned about freshness each time, but the cost to buy the same equivalent in 3.5 bags is insane. So I'm moving my other dog over to it gradually now as I use up the last bag of PPP. The S&C is a really nice kibble and I'm happy with it, a mini should have no issue with the size, just as noted, much more expensive than many other brands....
 

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Peggy the Parti...
There has been extensive discussion about grain-free food and nutritional driven DCM. I have done a lot of research and spoken to several vets who believe there is merit to the issue and so switched mine from grain-free (incidentally they had been eating TOTW) to grain inclusive about a year ago. "If it ain't broke" doesn't necessarily work with DCM since you often don't know the dog has serious heart issues until it is quite advanced and you have major problems. I have always supplemented the kibble I fed with a huge variety of home-cooked foods, and still do, a number of which are taurine rich, but the issue is that the ingredients added to grain-free to bulk it up in place of grains, such as types of legumes, appear to block the absorption of taurine, so even supplementing with it in cooked food is not the answer.....

Shipper...
I have one dog on Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach and the other on Stella and Chewys Raw Coated Wholesome Grains. I like both, but since the one on PPP will eat anything and the one on S&C is hugely picky and hard to keep weight on but really loves it and is doing well on it, I am going to move the other dog over to it. The S&C is VERY expensive compared to the majority of other kibble. They only offer in 3.5 lb. and 22 lb. bags which is crazy (I've commented to their CS several times that they need to offer a mid-size bag). I could never use the 22 lb. bag up on my older dog who is 12 before I would be concerned about freshness each time, but the cost to buy the same equivalent in 3.5 bags is insane. So I'm moving my other dog over to it gradually now as I use up the last bag of PPP. The S&C is a really nice kibble and I'm happy with it, a mini should have no issue with the size, just as noted, much more expensive than many other brands....
I got the opposite advice from a vet and a reputable local pet food store, so I don't know what (or who) to believe these days. If you have links to some helpful resources, I'd really appreciate it.

(I didn't mean to be flippant with that comment, by the way. It just sounded like the OP's dog was thriving on the food and really liked it. I battled digestive and picky eating issues for so long with my last dog. Finding a food that addressed those issues felt like such a win for me. It would have taken a lot for me to take her off it.)
 

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Something worth knowing is that the FDA is not actually doing lab studies on this or most of the things on which they send out alerts. They are gathering reported data on diet and DCM, in this case primarily from vets, clinics, and owners. This is not to say there isn't a correlation between DCM and the foods listed in the reports but these reports are simply data.


This is the FDA spreadsheet of collected data:
https://www.fda.gov/media/128303/download


From Questions & Answers: FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Investigation into a Possible Connection Between Diet and Canine Heart Disease

"Does the FDA know what it is about these foods that may be connected to canine DCM?
At this time, it is not clear what it is about these diets that may be connected to DCM in dogs. There are multiple possible causes of DCM. Taurine deficiency is well-documented as a potential cause of DCM, but it is not the only cause of DCM. Nutritional makeup of the main ingredients or how dogs process them, main ingredient sourcing, processing, amount used, or other factors could be involved.""

FDA Investigates Potential Link Between Diet & Heart Disease in Dogs

"Although the FDA first received a few sporadic reports of DCM as early as 2014, the vast majority of the reports were submitted after the agency notified the public about the potential DCM/diet issue in July 2018."

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This is a link to an article and a study by UC Davis on Taurine deficient DCM :


The article:

"University of California, Davis, veterinarians led a team that has found a link between some popular grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and a type of nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy. The study was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.


Researchers found dogs eating some of these “boutique” diets are not making or maintaining enough taurine, an amino acid important for heart health. Taurine deficiency has been known for many years to lead to dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, a heart muscle disorder that can lead to congestive heart failure and death.


“I was surprised by how similar the diets being fed to the affected dogs were,” says lead author Joshua Stern, a veterinary cardiologist and geneticist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “I was shocked to see so many cases with this condition in such a short period of time.”


Stern says the research was prompted by the surge in cases at UC Davis. “This is a condition that was previously rarely seen in our busy clinic,” he says. “What we would really like to do is spread awareness of this issue. We have seen a great number of affected animals. Given that this is a reversible form of this devastating disease, we really want to ensure that veterinarians can recognize the risk and treat it expediently when needed.”


Stern says choosing “a well-researched dog food that has a healthy nutrient profile backed by expert formulation and research is of paramount importance.” "

The Culprit: “Boutique” Pet Foods

Pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients, are what’s being linked to DCM, which leads to reduced heart pumping function and increased heart size. The alterations in heart function and structure can result in severe consequences such as congestive heart failure or sudden cardiac death. While the most common cause of DCM is genetic, on rare occasions other factors can also result in the condition, particularly in breeds that are not frequently affected.


Stern says the disease is now showing up unexpectedly in other breeds, such as the golden retriever. The common link unifying these cases is their diets. He began noticing the trend two years ago — while treating many dogs with nutritionally mediated DCM he realized that they were all eating similar diets. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to pet owners and veterinarians about the potential association between the diets, which have become quite trendy, and DCM. The FDA continues to research this issue in an effort to help identify the exact dietary factor causing the problem.

Study Looked at Golden Retrievers

Stern’s research involved 24 golden retrievers with dilated cardiomyopathy and a documented taurine deficiency. Twenty-three of the 24 dogs diagnosed with DCM had also been fed diets that were either grain-free, legume-rich or a combination.


“The study was a clinical study looking at affected dogs and their response to therapy,” explains Stern. “The published study included 24 golden retrievers, which represents the largest collection of taurine-deficient DCM cases in the literature.”


Stern prescribed the dogs a diet change and added a taurine supplement to their diet. All but one dog showed improvement. Nine of 11 dogs in this group — including Suva pictured above — had the most advanced stage of the disease, congestive heart failure. These dogs also showed dramatic improvements or no longer had congestion, says Stern.

Recommendations to Give Clients

Stern said veterinarians should educate clients about their dogs’ diet. He also cautions that dogs can develop DCM from nutritional origins and not be taurine-deficient. Taurine supplements can also mask the problem and lead to a delay of an important diagnosis.


But when the problem is related to taurine deficiency, says Stern, it may not be that the diet is “grain-free” or “legume-heavy” but that ingredients are interacting to reduce availability of taurine or that other nutrients are missing or interacting in the formulation.


For example, while a lot of pet owners may not want to see “byproducts” in their dog’s food, often the byproducts contain organ meat like heart and kidney, which are good sources of taurine.



For more information on selecting foods for your pet, Stern recommends that clients consider using the recommendations set by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association for selecting a healthy dog food.


Stern says the UC Davis clinic continues to treat patients with DCM. “Since the study, we have collected many many more cases and we continue to diagnose and treat these patients today.”


Co-authors of the study include Andrea Fascetti and Jennifer Larsen, veterinary nutritionists with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and Joanna Kaplan, a veterinary cardiology resident in the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

====================

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I got the opposite advice from a vet and a reputable local pet food store, so I don't know what (or who) to believe these days. If you have links to some helpful resources, I'd really appreciate it.

(I didn't mean to be flippant with that comment, by the way. It just sounded like the OP's dog was thriving on the food and really liked it. I battled digestive and picky eating issues for so long with my last dog. Finding a food that addressed those issues felt like such a win for me. It would have taken a lot for me to take her off it.)
Peggy,
I'm sure you didn't mean to be flippant. I couldn't post the links to all the sites I've researched, but as noted, I spoke to several vets as well as my own, who felt there was merit to the issue and advised that if I could switch my dogs, they would recommend doing so. In addition, many of my friends (who are all knowledgeable dog people involved in showing, training, etc. as am I and who in general have more in-depth discussions of nutrition, etc. than the average pet owner) in consultation with their vets also switched back to grain inclusive. I know several had taurine testing done and some had echos as well. There is a facebook group called Taurine Deficient (Nutritional) Dilated Cardiomyopathy which I find very informative. Not saying you should switch over based on my experiences, everyone needs to do their own research, draw their own conclusions, and do what is best for them. Just putting another point of view out there.
 
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Peggy,
I'm sure you didn't mean to be flippant. I couldn't post the links to all the sites I've researched, but as noted, I spoke to several vets as well as my own, who felt there was merit to the issue and advised that if I could switch my dogs, they would recommend doing so. In addition, many of my friends (who are all knowledgeable dog people involved in showing, training, etc. as am I and who in general have more in-depth discussions of nutrition, etc. than the average pet owner) in consultation with their vets also switched back to grain inclusive. I know several had taurine testing done and some had echos as well. There is a facebook group called Taurine Deficient (Nutritional) Dilated Cardiomyopathy which I find very informative. Not saying you should switch over based on my experiences, everyone needs to do their own research, draw their own conclusions, and do what is best for them. Just putting another point of view out there.
Thank you! I've not researched this particular angle further, but the owner of the pet food store did mention to me that grain-free foods were developed specifically for dogs with grain intolerances, and weren't intended for the general dog population. But...they caught on. And people believed they were doing the best thing for their dogs because mainstream grain-free food sounds better than it is, thanks to good marketing.

I've always fed grain-inclusive, so am admittedly not at all knowledgable on the subject. I always assumed grain-free meant no carby fillers and was surprised to learn the grains had merely been replaced with other starches....starches that, as was explained to me, are even more problematic for dogs that aren't grain-intolerant than the starches they replaced. (Because again, they were only intended to be fed to dogs who couldn't handle grains.)

I've fed Nutro Ultra to multiple dogs now, with good luck.

Shipper, you might want to give it a try. I sometimes use other kibbles as toppers, and, if samples aren't available, the smallest bags are generally quite affordable so you can figure out if your dog likes it before taking the plunge. Good luck!
 

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If this was a puppy I would look for ways to stop a dog from pushing their food bowl to stop a bad habit From forming.

However this is an adult dog who is unhappy about having its food switched and doesn’t understand the reason. In his case this is a form of communication about his unhappiness, I would allow him to express himself by pushing the bowl and assume once he has adjusted to and is content with the new food, he will stop.
 
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