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FDA names dog-food brands with potential link to canine heart disease (fda.gov)
166 points by colinprince on July 4, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 99 comments

My purebreed english bulldog 9 years old ate zignature kangaroo for past 2 years

Zignature has the top most dcm cases from this report.

He was diagnosed with DCM 2 nights ago.

We had to put him down last night.

Not sure if there is a relation, we never got a chance to validate his taurine levels but put him on taurine supplement, but there wasn't enough time to see the effect as he got worse with breathing and bloating do to the DCM and myocardial arithmia, was in severe cardiac arrest.

I read on the possible link and the vet mentioned it could be related yesterday.

He was born with an enlarged heart, so dont know if that's related.

Who knows... we will miss him, I wish there was more we could have done.

Also want to point out we did do 50% BARF diet, my dog had alot of allergy and supposedly did have gluten intolerance. Barf was not always feasible to give being on the road alot, so we also fed him zignature.

Since he was on it, alot of his conditions cleared up and I would say he was doing better overall health than on other brands (royal canine) till recently.

More work needs to be done before I would blame the brand.

I'm saddened that you are going through this now, it is a hard time.


I'm very sorry for your loss. As I read it, the report does not provide any evidence that some brands are better or worse than others. There's not much data, and what we have is subject to reporting bias. Both larger and more expensive brands are likely to be highly represented in these self reports.

That sucks big time. Sorry for your loss.


Sorry for your loss. I know it sucks but ~10 years is a pretty normal lifespan for a dog. I expect purebreds would be on the shorter side too.

A very good friend of mine who is a laboratory veterinarian once told me that the most important difference between niche brands like these and major players like Purina is that Purina actually dedicates massive resources to longitudinal testing of their products for things like all cause mortality, and hippie brands can't or don't.

I can confirm the same happens with Mars products (Whiskas, Pedigree, Royal Canin, etc). They have impressive facilities for that kind of testing.

Disclosure: worked at Mars a few years ago.

Yeah, I didn't mean to put Purina specifically on a pedestal as the only company doing it (originally I had this long list and then went ugh they'll probably know what I mean if I just put one).

Just that these "your pet is a wild animal!" emotional insecurity brands slap an AAFCO tag on and call it a day or haven't been around for long enough to have any meaningful data.

Like...animals in the wild don't live very long, yo! Maybe pretending that your Boston Terrier is the king of the jungle isn't so good for him.

How many people who feed their pets the cheapest food out there would take their pets to a vet?

Just because the expensive brands get reported more doesn't mean the cheap brands are better.

Most? Recognizing that a cheap food is fine for a dog has no bearing on healthcare.

Feeding your child chicken and rice instead of caviar and brie doesn’t mean you wouldn’t take your child to the hospital for treatments.

> Most? Recognizing that a cheap food is fine for a dog has no bearing on healthcare.

it's not always the recognition; in some cases it's an indicator of economic capability.

In other words : some people choose to feed their pets with cheap food because it is not economically feasible for them not to.

>Feeding your child chicken and rice instead of caviar and brie doesn’t mean you wouldn’t take your child to the hospital for treatments.

No, but the example can be made significant if you consider an extreme example.

If a family is incapable of providing a constant supply of food to their children and themselves due to economic hardship they're also less likely to pursue healthcare options due to the intrinsic costs of doing so. Travel, copays, time discussing social welfare options, etc. It all costs something.

In other words : the poor are in worse health than those that make more money.

Our family vet said the same thing. At the time she was personally tracking seven cases of unexplained bladder problems, all of them in dogs who ate Blue Buffalo. This was at a small local practice, not a huge patient base.

There are still the big pet food issues like melamine contamination, but those seem to affect both large and small brands.

I also have a good friend who is a vet who laughs at people spending 5x as much on hippie dog food brands that either don’t do anything good or make things worse. He has had 4 dogs all live past 15 and only fed them the cheapest big brand name pet foods.

Sometimes it’s an enterprising vet at fault: oh, your pet has ______ and needs a special diet containing _____, which we just happen to sell and you can’t find at a big box store.

Now the vet has turned your pet into a recurring revenue source beyond labour-intensive checkups.

It’s kinda like Luxxottica: a lot of their brands are only available through brick and mortal clinics. You can’t buy them through an online provider because they won’t sell to them.

Every vet will tell you that Hill's Science Diet is an excellent brand that they don't give to their own pets because it's too expensive.

The "prescription" version is even worse. You need a "prescription" from your vet to buy it for authorized retailers, but it doesn't actually have any drugs in it that are regulated in a way requiring a prescription. They've been sued over this (but I think they won).

My vet told me to put my cat on it after he had stress-related urinary problems. The problems went away, but the food is stupid-expensive, I'm a little peeved at how the system is taking advantage of me, but I don't know what to switch to other than starting to give my cat tryptophan.

Take your pet to a different veterinarian for a second opinion. There has to be at least one that doesn't shill for corporate product and can give you grounded, practical advice.

That sounds like a really shitty vet. I would stop going to one who is peddling products to me that I can’t find anywhere else.

There are quite a few online shops selling Luxottica, it is that they use their brick-and-mortar presence as a front for their online business.

I've got a lab mix who used to have horribly itchy dry skin. Since his coat is black, this also led to visible dandruff in his coat.

I tried several different types of shampoo (and a lack of shampoo), along with a spay on solutions. None of those helped. My vet suggested Iams, but that didn't seem to change anything, so I started using grain free dog food (at first Diamond Naturals) and he quickly improved.

Of course this was nearly 6 years ago, maybe now that he's older he'll be less sensitive.

Did mostly the same, went to Taste of the Wild and the food helped but not entirely. Vet recommended Apoquel and it does a much better job of controlling itching. It does have a usual list of major and minor side effects but so far, so good.

Our dog had wildly differing faeces, in color and consistency. It wasn't healthy. Switched to grain-free feed that's just a tad more expensive than normal feed and she has been healthy ever since, more energetic too.

I have a friend who has done the "just get the cheapest thing" for the past few years. Unfortunately, the cheapest has been Rachel Ray Nutrish in the clearance bin, which is on the list.

Our vet has been just fine with us feeding our cats Friskies wet food and I believe uses that himself, which while not quite the cheapest thing out there is half the price of a lot of other brands. Interestingly a lot of the formerly considered-expensive or medical-suggestion brands are now actually cheaper than the bulk of the available foods, just because their prices didn't change as new brands came into the market.

Following up a bit for context and using Petsmart as an example, in 5.5-6oz cans there's a store brand at $0.46, Friskies at $0.56, the gourmet version of the store brand at $0.56, Simply Nourish and Authority (another store brand) at $0.89, Evolve at $0.95, some Simply Nourish grain-free options at $0.95 (which likely contain the pea protein that's part of the article's coverage), then you're headed up towards the $1.20 and higher range for the larger cans. Notable at $1.25-1.29 is Science Diet.

If you're looking at the 3oz cans instead, they start around the same $0.45-0.55 range then migrate upwards quickly, so you're typically paying the same as Science Diet for anything except the cheapest of wet foods. At both sizes there are plenty of options that move up into the $2+ range.

It's remarkable to think about the profit margin there has to be on these, particularly when you look at the ingredient lists and find all the "meat by-products," "chicken by-products," "turkey by-products," "fish meal" and the like. For the price per pound of this stuff I might as well be buying them fresh fish, boneless/skinless chicken and the occasional New York strip steak or even a nice filet.

Better link, with links to more specific studies and updates (including the June 2019 update): https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-invest...

I guess it is good that they are being transparent with the data, but it is largely useless at this point as it isn't normalized at all and is in a way self-reported. You obviously can't conclude that chicken is bad and goat is good, but you can't really conclude anything else either. One potential mechanism is the taurine levels but the set of DCM cases contain low, normal, and high levels of taurine at similar rates. I think they are doing a reasonably good job, though. There are a number of controlled (though small sample size) studies ongoing.

OK, we've changed to that from https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/dog-food-dcm-fda-1.5199186. Thanks!

I wonder if this might’ve be explained by owner income, high income being correlated with both grain free food and expensive pathology reports on dogs that suddenly passed away.

Very possible. e.g.:

FDA has observed a reporting bias for breeds like Golden Retrievers due to breed-specific social media groups and activities that have raised awareness of the issue in these communities and urged owners and vets to submit reports to FDA.


Very possible

A dog can suddenly die from dcm, most dog owners dont perform an autopsy and there isn't much post mortem services available altogether.

I had the chance to get it diagnosed, the work put into the initial analysis ran up to nearly $5000(the treatment plan was for 10k, not including the potential 6 medicines and weekly blood analysis/vet visits, ecg if he did make it)

Not everyone has this option to afford it, nor does every pet have the time to reach diagnosis based on their condition.

I have a friend who fed his dog the cheapest kibble from grocery store, the dog suddenly passed. He seeked an autopsy, nothing much could be done post-mortem. That was the end of it.

The dog could have had dcm, or something else, but not enough work done in this field of dog cardiology. He definitely was not feeding it grain free legumes diet food.

Zignature is one of the most expensive brands($110 a month worth of food i was paying), I would think owners purchasing this would be enabled to also afford expensive services to diagnose DCM more than others


Yes, very much so. Golden Retrievers being the number one reported case, indicates to me that is at least partly the case here.

Golden Retriever owners are a cult. (I'm a member.)

This makes no sense ... first they say:

"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."

Then at the end of the article ...

"Another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases is that they have occurred just in the last few years. "

It's not puzzling, it's because that's when the public was notified and more people reported cases!

Did the FDA account for sales volumes? Their release only mentions frequency of reports. It would be natural for more popular brands to show up more: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-issu...

This is particularly interesting to me, as I became aware dogs can eat legumes shortly after I got my two rescues.

Their typical died consists of a mixture of green or yellow split peas, pressure cooked for 43 minutes, then blended to a medium-thickness liquid, and cooked brown rice. This then gets mixed with raw mince (typically kangaroo or chicken), and grated / finely chopped raw vegetables consisting of one or more of the following: carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage. They also get raw meat bones (lamb, kangaroo, chicken), as well as raw eggs. Oh yeah, they also low apples, particularly fujis, and berries. So the mixed food I make often contains chopped apples or frozen mixed berries.

I generally never feed them the same ratio, or same things consistently. Some weeks the mix I make them will have no peas, another week no rice, another week no meat. They often skip meals, or have fast days where they get no food only water and exercise, as I believe dogs are opportunistic scavengers well suited to gorging and fasting.

I rarely feed them any off the shelf dog food.

I can see the difference when I feed them off the shelf food, as their poops turn to, shall I say, shit. Whereas the mixture of cooked peas and rice, plus raw veg and meat and bones, makes their poop easy to pass, and well formed.

With regards to dry dog food, canned dog food, and those dog-roll things... Can you imagine eating nothing but dry dog food most your life? Or nothing but canned food most of your life? Or nothing but luncheon meat / devon most your life? Tell me that isn't going to have long term health consequences.

The problem being that this data points in the exact opposite direction: animals developing fatal diseases after being fed more “natural” diets.

I used to be a proponent of raw diets for dogs, but I can’t pick a natural fallacy over clinical reality. Poop quality being whatever it is.

I disagree.

Have a look at the chart in the article ( https://www.fda.gov/files/dog_food_formulations_in_dcm_repor... ) where it says Review of the canine reports shows that most reports were for dry dog food formulations, but raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were also represented.

Edit to add: also, the 'more natural' diets indicated by the article are these niche pet food formulations that try to be more natural, but are just as cooked / processed as any other similar type of pet food, and potentially worse because, as others have pointed out, these niche brands lack the longitudinal research capacity of the big brands. Whereas my formulation is, as many have pointed out when they see what I'm making for my dogs, pretty much exactly what I eat: fresh raw and cooked vegetables, meats, and beans. If a fairly natural diet of raw and cooked foods kills me and my dogs, we're all fucked and might as well give up now.

> With regards to dry dog food, canned dog food, and those dog-roll things... Can you imagine eating nothing but dry dog food most your life? Or nothing but canned food most of your life? Or nothing but luncheon meat / devon most your life? Tell me that isn't going to have long term health consequences.

Would be pointless for me to try to imagine this, I'm not a dog and my physiology is quite different. Humans have one of the weirdest diets out there because of our formative years as a species and need a varied diet. Some species like the Koala eat 1 thing for 99% of their diet and any major type of variety would cause them severe health issues.

With better studies than our current nutrition sciences (and ethics restrictions) can produce we could find out exactly the nutrients that a human needs every single day to be at optimal health and could package it up as a dry pellet food substance. You would be perfectly healthy eating such thing, many people would avoid it though because of the monotony of it. Once again though this can't be extrapolated to dogs, my dog fought me tooth and nail yesterday in order to try and eat some random dog diarrhea we came across on our walk; our eating habits and preferences as a species are just very different.

Is it that difficult to see that dry dog food is wildly different from dogs natural varied diet?

> Their typical died consists of a mixture of green or yellow split peas, pressure cooked for 43 minutes, then blended to a medium-thickness liquid, and cooked brown rice

That's starting to sound like Beyond Meat's recipe!

I was under the impression that most canines eat 100 percent meat and no vegetables naturally. They are carnivorous after all.

Surely rice/peas will fuck up their digestion?

Dogs love to eat vegetables that have already been eaten, digested, and eliminated by other animals.

This has been frustrating to watch unfold. Of five major brands not implicated -- Purina, Royal Canin, Hill’s Science Diet, Eukanuba, and Iam’s -- we've tried four and they do not agree with my dog. The brands I have found that he thrives on, Fromm and Taste of the Wild, are listed here as possibly being linked to DCM (although he does well on non-grain-free Fromm). It has been a struggle finding an ideal food not linked to DCM but also agreeable to my dog.

My anecdotal issue is I did use Taste of the Wild for a year or so before switching to Victors but not long after my male dog developed all sorts of issue, yet can I truly attribute them to the food or his age (14?).

However from the article I cannot figure out, how long after the diet was changed before symptoms were noticed?

I, and I'm sure many others was unaware that the FDA had anything to do with pet food - pleasantly supprised and does make sense.

Pet food recalls are issued through the FDA: https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety...

I never understood the whole "dry dog food diet" and expecting dogs to be healthy long term. Imagine yourself eating dry crackers all your life. Its sad.

Maybe its just me but dogs need to eat actual meat and bones and real veggies. I grew up with our dog eating normal food: remains of the meats we ate, bones, lightly cooked meat purchased separately, certain vegetables etc. etc.

One day, we did buy dry dog food for him. He came up, looked at it, turned around and walked away. The next day we gave dry food away. We "spoiled" him with good normal food.

People might say its expensive. But really, looking at the thousands and thousands of dollars pet owners spend on their dogs already normal food prepared smartly is not that expensive.

Honestly if you cant afford to feed your dog/cat properly maybe you should not have a pet at all.

My wife makes our dogs food once/month. The cost comes out to about the same as one of the expensive brands of kibble.

She does have to cook everything which takes a few hours though.

I mean duh you'd cook food for your child and not feed him/her crackers. The same goes for dogs/cats. They are family members and deserve to eat god food too.

I have been feeding my dog Taste of the Wild for three months until she started vomiting. I took her to the vet and it seems it's because some food allergy. At the moment she's taking Hill's I/D (the one with the darker pink tone) and she's alright, she stopped vomiting and she's just okay.

I just talked to my vet and he's told me to give her Hill's I/D for one or two months to dicard other causes.

From what I gather here from other comments it seems big brands have resources other brands don't although the quality of the ingredients may be lower although they are set in the right amount.

I won't ever feed again my dog other food than big brands you can find on your vet. And of course I'll be feeding her food with grain.

This seems reckless to release names without a causal relationship defined. The only thing they seem to be able to determine is that in some breeds, some dog foods that are really common, might possibly be related to the disease. That's kind of like saying that because nearly every human eats vegetables on a regular basis, vegetables must cause cancer and heart disease since those are the two major causes of deaths in humans. I've had numerous dogs on one of the listed brands, not a single one has died of this disease.

This seems reckless to release names without a causal relationship defined.

One potential upside: It can foster additional research to try to pinpoint the critical information. Keeping the list secret impedes potential new research.

Certainly it's reasonable for people to put out disclaimers and warnings that this isn't really sufficient information to base decisions upon etc. But that's different from saying we shouldn't have the info at all and it's reckless to put it out there.

Unlike most people, dogs usually get fed majority of food from single sources. Thus causality is relatively strong in comparison to other observational studies.

It's not though. Establishing Brand X as a cause doesn't tell you what ingredient, or what missing nutrient, or what other feature of that brand's food is causing the problem. What value is there in that? You can switch brands, but you have no way to know the new food isn't worse than the old food. And if you're the producer, you have no knowledge of how to improve your food - might as well just close up shop because ... the brand is the cause?

Gathering the data is a step in the right direction, and publishing it is the only ethical thing to do.

We feed one of our dogs Blue Buffalo. He thrives on it after years of methodically trying other brands. He's 13.

During our quest, we also found that the best supplement was fish oil (pollock). Prior to the fish oil, he had all kinds of skin problems and inflammation. The fish oil was beneficial and required regardless of dog food brand we tried.

> It’s important to note that the FDA doesn’t yet know how certain diets may be associated with DCM in some dogs.

From my read, it's an ongoing research and no results/conclusions have been reached yet. They are posting names of brands as an effort to "being transparent with their investigation".

Well this is upsetting. Our golden retriever died suddenly just shy of two years of age (very young) several years ago. She was fed Fromm Family Gold exclusively due to our breeder's recommendation. The food was expensive and I remember thinking how well she must be eating as it had so many kinds of meats and fat in it (including stuff like duck IIRC). Fromm is one of the brands listed by the FDA and golden retrievers are clearly hardest hit by this.

We did have a necropsy performed however it was inconclusive. She got a ton of exercise though as I took her to doggy daycare a majority of days during the week and our kid at home played with her often. Really sad that we apparently unknowingly did everything wrong (but with the best intentions) to ensure our dog died an early death. Fuck.

I am very sorry for your loss. It always sad to deal with the death of a pet, but it's especially hard when they're so young and it's so sudden.

I hope you will consider that this report is discussing early stages of research, not conclusive findings. I don't think it's fair to beat yourself up for "doing everything wrong" when there's still so much uncertainty.

This is why I always advocate for people to look into a BARF diet for their dogs, but too many people are squeamish about it. Some of the most powerful and healthy dogs I’ve seen all eat BARF.

Some seem to go to great lengths to watch what they eat for their own bodies, but never their dogs.

As I had to Google it - apparently BARF is "Biologically Appropriate Raw Food".

I have to say I get the concept. Dogs just didn't evolve to eat the weird hard little grain-based pellets that a lot of people feed to them. Then again, humans didn't evolve to eat a modern Western diet either. Considering the number of fat and unhealthy dogs I see is starting to rival the number of fat and unhealthy people, perhaps that tells us something.

Just as a short aside, IIRC there is evidence that because of the very long association between humans and dogs, dogs actually _did_ evolve to make good use of some of humans' throwaways, compared to their wild relatives.

I don't have a dog, so didn't save the link, but for dog caretakers some literature review might do good (also, maybe consensus improved since then).

EDIT: obviously that doesn't necessarily translate to modern dry food.

Consider also that dogs have a shorter generation time than humans. Most dogs have eaten a grain-based diet ever since their domestication, because it's cheapest.

Back in the early 90s when I first saw the term, it was "Bones And Raw Food"; i.e. literally raw bones with meat.

But most of these are non-traditional low-grain or no grain feeds. Why would you advocate something even more radical in the same direction as a solution? If removing grain is correlated then BARF would not be the answer. Not that we know grain is the issue even, but why do you think BARF solves the problem in the FDA report?

Raw food spoils. Kibble lasts a disturbingly long time.

Pickled veg, cured meat, canned veg all last disturbingly long times and yet we eat them. Just because something has a long shelf life doesn't instantly make it bad. Similarly, something that spoils (kids fromage frais yoghurts are just sugar relaly) isn't necessarily good.

So does jerky. Your point?

A good source of information raw food is the Skeptical Vet blog (written by a vet who tries to take a scienced based look at veterinary medicine).

http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2013/11/raw-diets-for-pets/ (this is a summary page linking to all of his posts on the topic)

We tried a raw diet with our dogs for about six months, and while there were some minor benefits (less stinky poops), we ultimately switched back to kibble.

The Skept Vet also has a post on the FDA report:


His thoughts:

"Further data collection and research will be necessary to determine the precise relationship between diet and DCM in these cases. There are likely multiple factors involved, including the ingredients in the diet, the genetics or particular breeds and individuals, and others we may not yet know about. Pet owners feeding these diets don’t need to panic, since far more dogs on these diets do NOT have DCM than do. However, if you are feeding one of these foods, or a diet similar in composition, and especially if you are feeding this to a golden retriever, it would be a good idea to talk to your vet about screening your pet for DCM and considering a change in diet."

Thanks for the Skeptvet! Reading through all these comments, all I could think was, "Maybe I should rethink Blue Buffalo, where can I get some good information?"

We don't feed our cats grain free, so they're probably getting enough taurine, but it might make sense to have them screened for heart disease.

My dog's brand isn't listed, but it seems like pea protein is a common denominator. My dog's "grain free" food has pea protein as one of its top ingredients.

I just switched him back to regular wet dog food. I'm beginning to think organ meat is necessary for canines. And reading through these comments has lead me to start looking into a BARF diet.

Coincidentally I also noticed this article yesterday on allergic reactions in humans to pea protein: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/food-allergy-pea-protein-1.51...

Just be sure you read decent, science based material on the BARF diet rather than just anicdotal forum post and people pitching their 'alternative' products. I've seen a very large cross section of pro-"raw food" and anti-vax attitudes in pet owners. That should be a huge red flag. Not that raw food is necessarily bad, but that the people pushing it are not often critical thinkers.


Thanks for the info. I'm not sold on BARF, I'm just curious. I didn't know the connection between that and anti-vaxx.

Interestingly, I'm not sure why my parent post got downvoted so badly.

If someone is thinking of doing it because they watched Pet Fooled on Netflix, I advise that they do additional research first. Raw isn't necessarily better or worse, but best to make as informed a decision as possible.

I pasted this link elsewhere in the comments, but I found this vet's analyses of raw food to be useful:



As it relates to anti-vax attitudes in pet owners, I've seen a lot of it. My dogs have exhibited sensitivity/side effects to some vaccines, but I'm still pro vax. There are animals in my neighborhood that can spread diseases like rabies and parvo, so it's not like I can just forego the vaccinations.

What we've done is work with our vet to spread out the vaccinations over longer periods of time, and separate some of the vaccinations (as opposed to having a multi-dose vaccination -- edit, I don't know if that's the right term, I'm talking about a single vaccination that prevents multiple diseases), and we've managed to mitigate most of the adverse reactions.

As a cat owner (Maine Coon - a "doglike cat") I've been noticing an increase in the inclusion of peas & other legumes in the market over the last couple of years. I believe that boutique pet food makers have been using it because it's a cheaper source of protein than even chicken by-products.

One cat food I saw listed tapioca as the 2nd ingredient[1]. WTF - that's a starch, what is it doing in food for a carnivore? But it came in really good looking packaging, though.

So far she has done well on the bulk packs of canned Friskies and Fancy Feast (both Purina products) from Costco.

[1] Packaging laws say ingredients have to be listed in decreasing proportion.

[2] Ob. cat tax: https://imgur.com/a/JHBue4Y

Upvoting for the cat picture.

Isn't pea protein the base of the Beyond Burgers that are getting so much hype now?

I can't believe noone has mentioned Sportsman's Pride yet. Their lamb + rice blend is the best thing ever for allergies and rashes and et cetera, and the whole brand is very good. They also have cat food, but the point was that their lamb+rice mix is really good for dog itches dog allergies et cetera. Recommend it.

This is the direct link to their Lamb Meal And Rice Formula dog food. Works really great for itches allergies and et cetera: https://www.sportsmanspride.com/lamb-meal-rice-formula-dog-f...

Sportsman's Pride is one of the only brands that aren't overly processed. And their results speak for themselves. Until you fully convert to Sportsman's Pride yourself that is. Only masochists and psychopaths could consider anything else. Go for the best.

Oh yeah this entirely greenbean subthread is totally believable. I'll change our regimen immediately!

We took some time to learn the history of dry dog food and what modern companies have been doing, and recently switched our dog over to a wet food that gets shipped to our house every 2 weeks. It's been a great move, she loves it. And we feel better about giving her less processed food.

Please elaborate, maybe with wet food brand. Sincerely, concerned owner.

look up BARF food, it's the best for the dog IMO, barely processed. we buy it in deep frozen big packs (essentialy frozen whole meat, not just some meat pasta) 1-2 times a month. The brand is Graf Barf, dunno if it's in the US.

Given the topic is an FDA recall of a trendy diet which sounds better (grain free, high meat protein content), are there any studies which look at a BARF diet? I'm a dog owner cnsidering what to feed my pup, and right now I'm leaning towards sticking to Royal Canin based on the information available to us.

While I can’t speak to your question, I spoke to my mom (veterinarian) about this after reading this thread and asked her specifically about BARF. She said that in most patients she’s seen on those diets, their bloodwork has been all over the place. She said it’s because when dogs ate meat in the wild, they were actually indirectly eating an omnivore diet, because their prey had plants and grains in their guts. Additionally, she’s noticed some really nasty and hard to detect parasites which she suspects originates from these types of diets. Of course, this is anecdotal. She recommends a name-brand dog food because they’re all well-tested, and says to not worry about feeding meat to your dogs because they can produce the necessary amino acids themselves.

Consult your veterinarian for dietary advice for your specific animal. You should trust their level-headed advice over emotionally-driven decisions from owners.

It’s refreshing to see a skeptical comment like yours, and I too find it interesting a lot of people reporting jumping ship from one trendy diet to another.

Actually with BARF you should give also some vegetables to your dog. And good BARF food has the same things as you mentioned e.g. cow stomach with greens inside it (dunno it's English name) As for worms..you should always give your dog anti worm pills, he/she is always up to no good, e.g. drinking from puddles. Also buy quality barf food.

The person you are responding to is talking about hard to detect parasites, not just worms. Given that they are hard to detect, I don't think it is reasonable to assume that buying "quality barf food" will solve this issue.

> she’s noticed some really nasty and hard to detect parasites which she suspects originates from these types of diets

I've also seen a friends dog get very sick from raw food, but from bacteria. Required a vet visit for antibiotics.

We use Ollie. There’s also the farmer’s dog.

Even the FDA notes, there's no definitive evidence, more studies needed.

This is one of those "EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE maybe possibly". A bad report. This will turn people off from listening to the FDA. I would have expected more research before releasing.

This sounds like it has potential for a class action.

Oh no! My golden retriever mix is eating an Acana grain free dry food. Going to have to find something else.

Jesus, thats like every dog food brand.

Absent of the major brands like Hill’s and Purina?

This is "investigation conclusions done wrong", specifically a case of "correlation doesn't imply causation" and "normalize your data" working at full speed. Heck, it seems to me they are just publishing the data collected along with a 10 minutes "analysis": lets aggregate this, average that, some bar plots and ready to go online. And to add salt to the injury, they publish brand names.

This is the way "vaccines causes autism" nonsense reach the public and stay there forever. Even if a retraction, correction or refine of the conclusions is published in 6 months it will never have the impact of this release, and many will think "they are paid by the affected brands to say that".

Not a good analogy. "Vaccines cause autism" reached the public via a doctor straight-up lying and falsifying data so that he could profit on a new vaccine he hoped would replace the old one. Just another grifting charlatan, albeit one who is now responsible for inestimable damage to humanity.

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