I can’t even begin to count the number of people who ask me every week about dog food and whether they should stop feeding grain free.
My answer is always the same....’That depends, do you think your dog might be really a cow in disguise?’
If so, then absolutely. Give Bessie the Moo cow a big bunch of grain-filled food and let her go to town.
If though, you have a sneaking suspicion that your dog might be just a plain old carnivore WITHOUT the four stomachs it requires to break down grains, stop listening to bullshit peddled by people who stand way too much to gain (Purina, Hills Science Diet, Pedigree) and use your own logic.
Dogs need meat or fish, fat, some (appropriate) fruit and vegetables but usually no more than 10-15% of their diet, and a small amount of complex carbohydrates for energy.
Wheat in small quantities isn’t going to kill them, mine get a cookie every day, but as a dietary staple it’s about as appropriate as me eating socks for breakfast. Yes they’d fill me up, but they ain’t gonna do me no good.
The heart disease DCM, the one that your vet is talking about when she tells you to put grain filled foods into your dogs diet, is caused by a lack of the essential amino acid Taurine, commonly found in fresh meat (note I say FRESH meat), sardines, eggs and dairy products.
Studies are still ongoing as to why this has become a ‘thing’ in the last couple of years. Fingers are being pointed at small brand boutique dog foods, and the ones with most to gain, Big Dog Food manufacturers, saying that they are now the only safe bet...hmmm, with their co-packers, import of nasty meat products from China, overuse of cheap shitty ingredients like grain, corn, sorghum, beet pulp etc.
There is a school of thought that says the now more common use of ‘Lectins’-beans, pulses and legumes- which bulks up a lot of grain free foods, is to blame. I can’t dispute that this is a good possibility, especially as over consumption of lectins causes inflammation in the body.
We don’t feed lectin rich foods here to our guests, my own dogs have them occasionally if I’m making fish cakes or a certain recipe with chick peas or lentils but it’s not a staple I’d use for them everyday.
What I do know and can share with you is that DCM has been successfully depleted in cats because someone finally had the sense to see that cats, as obligate carnivores, weren’t getting enough real meat in their diet.
Variety. Fresh ingredients. Little bit of veg. Meat.
Works every time.
Just like it has for dogs for millions of years.