Grain Free Diets
A few weeks ago, the FDA came forward and made a statement that they were “concerned about reports of heart disease in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients.”
In that same press release, they went on to clarify that they are investigating the potential association between reports of heart disease and the consumption of certain foods.
Don’t worry! We are watching this one very carefully and will be updating you all as we learn more information.
So what do we know right now?
Honestly, not much, but let’s go over it and lay out the things we do know!
The FDA has not established a link between heart disease and anything else.
Data was provided to the FDA that shows that some breeds of dog are being diagnosed with a specific type of heart disease when historically those breeds have been relatively immune to heart disease. The specific heart disease here is canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM for short. DCM is typically seen in large or very large breeds (think Newfies, Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes, etc) and is less common in most smaller to medium sized breeds. The data provided to the FDA apparently shows that some of these smaller/medium breeds are now suffering from DCM but shows no clear indicators as to why.
Dogs are a subspecies of Canis Lupis, the Grey Wolf.
This simple fact lays out a number of things. So, while the canine digestive system is significantly more flexible than the feline one, the fact remains that they do not require grains to sustain normal, healthy, bodily function.
Canine Journal goes on to say that “Dogs have little natural digestive support for breaking down and metabolizing complex carbohydrates and cereal grains. These difficult-to-digest fibers and grains remain undigested, with the body relying mainly on fermentation to break them down. Over a long period of time, this can damage the lining of the digestive system, resulting in bowel inflammation disorders, food sensitivities, food allergies, leaky gut and obesity.”
So are dogs the same as wolves? Well, no, they aren’t but we have changed in the last few millennia too! Wolves started hanging around with people about 30,000 years ago, which was before we transitioned from hunters to farmers. At some point during the domestication of the dog, they evolved to be able to handle grains because that’s what people were eating and dogs were getting the scraps. The sticky point here is while dogs can handle grains, they still don’t thrive on them.
Ok…So Now What?
Hang tight. We don’t know enough at this time to really make a call one way or the other. Like everything else we do here at BPE, we will take a fact based approach to any guidance or options we provide to you. We are following along daily and will help give some context to the headlines in the news.
If you do want to jump off the grain free ship, we have some great options here in the stores. As always, we don’t carry any foods with corn, wheat or soy in them. We are available 7 days a week in the stores or via FB/IG or 5 days a week via online chat.
We are here for you, just like we have been for the past 25 years.