When it comes to our beloved dog (or dogs!), we all have the same thought: we want what’s best for him or her. It’s why we take them to the park, on road trips, hiking adventures and feed them the best diet we know possible.
But sometimes it’s difficult toreally know what’s best for your four-legged best friend. This is especially true when it comes to nutrition. Nutrition is a complex topic (one that we aim to keepdigestible and easy to understand).
One of the biggest conversations happening in the dog food space is the debate between grain and grain-free dog food. Socially, it’s becoming more popular to feed your pup a grain-free diet, even though most dogs aren’t required (from having an allergy or a digestion issue) to do so.
But now, a recent report from the FDA highlights an alert on grain-free dog foods, claiming it may be connected to Canine Heart Disease or Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). This has left many dog parents who’ve always searched the dog food isle for grain-free questioning if their choice was the right one...
In more than 90% of cases reported since 2014 a grain-free diet was claimed to be their main source of food intake. However, it’s still unclear if there’s a connection between a gluten-free diet and heart disease.
Dr. Lisa Freeman of Tufts University, who is one of the authors from a previous published article on what we know of DCM and who currently is working with FDA veterinarians on their most recent findings, gives a possible explanation:
“The apparent link between BEG diets and DCM may be due to ingredients used to replace grains in grain-free diets, such as lentils or chickpeas, but also may be due to other common ingredients commonly found in BEG diets, such as exotic meats, vegetables, and fruits.”
This isn’t a cause to raise alarm if you’ve fed your dog a grain-free diet for any amount of time. In no way does this mean he or she will develop a heart condition. (We don’t want anyone’s heart breaking after reading this post.)
The important thing to remember is that every dog is different and every dog reacts differently to different foods. It’s always best to ask a veterinarian before making any drastic changes to your dog’s diet.
Regardless in choice of grain, grain-free and gluten-free (typically uses rice or corn instead of wheat) dog food, the one common trait is that they provide needed carbohydrates for fuel and also supply fiber to aid healthy digestion.
Despite any debate or choice in what food to feed your dog, the one point that’s hard to argue is that carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet. Simply put, carbohydrates are an excellent source of fuel and nutrition.
If you scan to the back of one of our containers, you’ll notice rice listed in the ingredients. After exploring alternative carbohydrates sources, like chickpea flour and other legume-based options, we landed on rice for a handful of reasons.
Rice bran is stable, easily digestible for most dogs, and has a great texture. There are no added concerns (like estrogen in chickpea flour), which is attractive for many dog lovers. Rice bran contains vital nutrients, and it is a great source of fuel.
No matter your dog's diet, there's always an extra "kick" you can provide.
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