5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
I’m sure many of you have heard about FDA investigation about grain-free dog food by now, and even if you haven’t, it might sound concerning to you. Molly and I have been asked so many questions regarding this situation, and with some new information we’ve learned, we’d like to attempt to put some rumors to rest.
I have been eating Fromm’s grain-free food for nearly my whole life and I’ve never had issues, so of course, I’ve been skeptical about this investigation all along. This food is delicious and I don’t really like the options with grains, so why should I have to switch?
So, Molly recently came across an article by Daniel Schulof, the founder of KetoNatural Pet Foods and the author of “Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma.” While his post is likely trying to promote his own food, he actually makes a lot of great points that we want to further discuss.
What is the Investigation About?
So, before I get into what his article addressed, I just want to briefly mention what the investigation is for those of you that are unfamiliar with it. The FDA is currently investigating potential links between grain-free diets and canine heart disease.
Specifically, the investigation is about canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM for short. This is a condition where the heart’s ability to pump blood is decreased and the main pumping chamber inside the heart is enlarged.
It is suggested that the ingredients that could be causing this are the ingredients that are commonly used to replace grains in dog foods. These ingredients include peas, lentils, and potatoes.
However, it is important to note that nothing has been confirmed and there is still a lot of information that is not being discussed by the FDA. Therefore, that is why Molly and I have decided to research it further.
So, here is what we learned about this investigation…
1.) There is No Actual Evidence
There are so many articles out there claiming that grain-free diets have a potential link to DCM, but when you search for evidence, nothing comes up. How can a claim be made with no tests and no solid evidence? Sure, there have been some reports, but you can’t come to an official conclusion without acknowledging all of the factors and looking at dogs that have had DCM that weren’t on grain-free diets.
Also, there aren’t even any official studies proving that DCM has increased recently. When we searched it trying to find a chart of evidence for this claim, there wasn’t any proof of the number of cases each year.
2.) The Veterinarians Making These Claims are Associated with Brands that Have Grain
Dr. Lisa Freeman, Dr. Josh Stern, and Dr. Darcy Adin are all vets that have been involved with this investigation. Each one of them has a financial tie to either Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare, or Nestle-Purina Pet Care. All three of these companies are focused heavily on grains, so if anything were to happen to the grain-free options, they would gain a lot.
It could just be a coincidence, but also, these brands that vets recommend are actually not the best options out there. Many of them are full of filler ingredients and they often consist of a lot of items that are considered controversial.
3.) DCM is Actually Rare
Yes, DCM is a very serious disease, but it actually does not happen as often as everyone is making it sound. Fewer than 1 in 100,000 dogs will be diagnosed with DCM, regardless of what they eat. Therefore, over 99.9% of dogs on a grain-free diet will be completely fine. Therefore, you are more likely to get struck by lightning!
So, why is everyone discussing the very small number of dogs that get DCM? What about the incredibly large number of dogs that eat grain-free food and are completely healthy?
4.) No Dog Food is Perfect
Of course, every dog parent wants what’s best for their furry friend. However, the sad truth is that every dog food has it’s flaws. Every dog food will have certain issues for certain dogs while other dogs will eat it with no problems at all. That’s just how it is.
So, if someone is feeding their dog a grain-free diet, please don’t judge them. Grain-free dog food makes up about 44% of the pet food market and many dogs are allergic to grains, so just because you don’t think your dog would do well on grain-free doesn’t mean that every dog is the same way.
5.) There are so Many Other Factors That Go into it
Even if grain-free dog food did have a connection to DCM, it is not the only factor that should be discussed. For example, a lot of the reports I heard about were for dogs that recently switched to grain-free food. Suddenly switching your dog to a different food can always cause problems, so what about the dogs that have been eating grain-free their whole life?
Also, there are other ingredients besides grains in food, so do those have an impact? In fact, I also heard that chicken was the primary protein in most of the formulas reported, so why aren’t humans worried about chicken? After all, many dogs have reactions to chicken like they do with grains. The point is, there are so many other factors to research besides just grains or no grains.
Of course, we did not create this article to start a fight. We just wanted to share this information before many dog parents got worried about what they’re feeding their dogs. What I hope you can take away from this information is that there is always more than one side to a story. Claims can be made, but that doesn’t always mean they’re true.
So, if you decide that it’s better to be safe than sorry, then of course, you can keep your dog on a grain diet. However, if you want to continue feeding your dog a grain-free diet, that’s okay too! I’m not planning to stop eating Fromm anytime soon. All humans just want what’s best for their dogs, so please don’t be too judgmental about what others feed their furry friends.
I hope this article helped clear some of the uncertainties about grain-free dog food! Molly and I will continue to do more research as more information is released.
Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!