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Hi all,

I have been thinking about switching from Acana recently. My boy has been happy on the Duck singles line for a long time. However, with them selling in Petco and rumors of selling the company, it has made me nervous to keep him on it. I was thinking of maybe Stella and Chewys as a better alternative? He tried Zignature before he was on Acana and was not a fan, so that is not an option.

Am I just being a paranoid pet parent, or is this a warranted concern? Just like everyone here, I'm constantly searching for the healthiest and safest food option for him!

Thanks for you input,

~Alyssa and Theo 

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks, Karen, for your very thorough and well-explained response. We are sticking with Acana's Regionals line, rotating proteins, as usual. When our vet asks about why we are continuing to feed them a grain-free diet, I will present your defense. Would you mind sharing how you know that there is a 1 out of more than 200,000 chance of DCM happening from their food? I'd love to be able to share that with my dogs' doctor. 

When I asked the customer-service department at Champion Foods about the legume content of their Grasslands food, this is what they said: 70% of the total food makeup is meat, 30% is fruit and vegetables. Of the fruit and vegetables, 25% is legumes. 

To date there have been fewer than 350 diagnosed cases of diet-related DCM. Out of 77 million pet dogs in this country. You do the math, lol. Better yet, ask your vet to do it. 

With 70% of a diet being made up of animal proteins, and 7.5% being made up of legumes, common sense would tell us that there is little to no danger of there being an amino acid deficiency in such a diet. 

Every decision we make about our dogs' health involves a risk/benefit ratio, In this case, it seems pretty clear that the risk is very very very small, and doesn't come anywhere near equaling the benefits.
There were more than 3000 dogs who died or became permanently ill during the 2007 recalls. All of the brands the vets sell were involved. For me, the risk of feeding any food made by one of these companies that outsource the purchasing of ingredients is way too high, and the benefits non-existent. Yet the vets continue to sell them. To me, that speaks volumes about their knowledge of this subject, and it makes it kind of ironic that they are warning people about grain-free diets. Are they also warning people against Nexgard & Bravecto? Because the FDA issued a warning about those products as well. Any vet who is still selling those but urging clients to stop feeding grain free diets.....well, I think it speaks for itself. 

But I'll tell you, Charlotte, I would not let my vet put me on the defensive. Rather than having to explain why I choose to continue feeding a grain-free diet, I would ask for any tangible proof that doing so is in any way harmful. The thing is, to date the research has still not shown any clear evidence that these cases are caused by grain-free diets, or diets with legumes, or any other specific dietary factor. They simply don't know what is causing this. It is entirely possible that these very few individual dogs whose DCM seems to be related to their diets have something in their genetic makeup that causes them not to process their food normally. At any rate, I would ask my vet to give me the exact (verifiable, clinically proven, non-anecdotal) information upon which he/she is basing the recommendation. 

Sorry for calling you Charlotte, Laurie. Sometimes I have a senior moment, lol. 

Hi Laurie....I did switch from Acana as soon as I started hearing that Nestle may purchase.  I decided to go with Fromm because they are a family owned company and they own and operate their manufacturing facilities.  I have been feeding Beef Frittata Veg and have been thinking of switching to their new Highland Beef Oats and Barley.  I have to researching and following the discussions here on DCM and have total faith in Karen's advice but since Fromm just came out with the new recipe, I thought I would give it a try. 

 

This is the first I've heard of a new recipe in the Four Star line. It looks pretty good; protein content is 27% which is higher than most of their healthy-grain formulas.

So if you want to try it, there's no reason not to. 

But the thing is, these people who are urging everyone to stop feeding grain-free foods are not just saying, switch to a food that contains grains instead of legumes. They are saying that the ONLY "safe" foods are Purina, Hill's and Royal Canin....you know, the ones the vets sell? In fact, they are going so far as to say that even grain-free foods are okay IF they are made by one of the big three. That's how blatant this whole thing has gotten. 

And of course we know for an absolute fact- I mean, with 2 + 2 = 4 certainty, that grains contain no taurine nor the amino acids that are required to produce taurine, and therefore cannot possibly protect any dog from developing taurine deficient DCM. 

Yet I hear of vets who are telling their clients, "Well, if you don't want to switch from his current food, that's okay. Just add some oatmeal to his diet."
The vets themselves have no clue what is going on with this, and who can blame them? They are not nutritionists. They are just trying to cover their bases. 

I totally agree Karen!  It is definitely a continuation of the marketing ploy to promote the big box companies, who in fact support them.  The other reason I decided to give Fromm's new recipe a try is because my 4 year old dog, Ivy has such a tiny appetite.  I'm lucky if she eats 3/4 of a cup of kibble a day.  She maintains her weight but lately, she has been a bit sluggish on walks and playing ball.  About 1/2 way into our walk, she will lag behind and after throwing her ball about 5 times, she frequently will stop and lay down.  This started while we were wintering in Florida so I was thinking it was just the hot and humid weather tiring her out, however, she has continued it since returning to MA. My thought was that maybe she needed some carbs to boost her energy.  When I brought both dogs to the Vet this week for their well checks, I mentioned it to the Vet and she asked what I was feeding.  I immediately thought "Oh boy here we go with the push to feed one of their foods".  To my surprise, she mentioned the new Fromm recipe, saying that because Ivy appears to be active and fit with a light appetite, maybe some carbs will boost her energy.   She also suggested bloodwork (ProBNP), just to be safe.  I agreed and that was the end of the conversation.  Ivy's bloodwork came back completely normal so I am just going to watch her to see if she continues. 

We are lucky that we are now on our 2nd vet (Luna's and now Riley's) that are not pushy about food.  They just ask what we are feeding and if it's going well and help us make sure we are feeding an appropriate amount and that's it.  

And that's how it should be.

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