The US Food And Drug Administration federal agency (FDA) released their initial findings regarding grain free diets on Thursday, June 27. This is a reference to grain free pet food diets. The Cuyahoga Falls veterinary practice usefully discusses this topic. They say that there is a link between “boutique”, exotic ingredients and grain free diets and an increased risk of heart disease and companion animals.
This veterinary practice does not recommend a grain free diet for companion animals who have not been recommended to eat such a diet because of medical needs by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, gastroenterologist or dermatologist or indeed any other veterinary specialist.
They go further and say that pet owners should be “wary” of pet foods in which the top five ingredients are listed as: pea, sweet potato, lentil, potato and chickpea. These ingredients are under investigation because there is a potential link between them and an increased risk of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). There is also potential link to taurine deficiency. Interestingly they say that this deficiency cannot necessarily be remedied by supplementing the food.
If the above-mentioned ingredients are listed as ingredients within the food, they should be listed after the meat and grains. And there should be no more than two of these specific ingredients, in total.
Further, the Cuyahoga Falls veterinary practice also provides a useful chart showing dog food brands most frequently linked to DCM cases reported to the FDA.
The also state that they don’t recommend “food there has been formulated for all life stages”. What they mean is the food to be formulated for a specific life stage such as kitten or puppy and senior or elderly animal.
One last point: this particular veterinary practice state that they can only recommend pet food diets manufactured by companies which comply with all the recommendations set by WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) for animal feed companies. These companies are: Royal Canin, Purina, Iams/Eukanuba and Hills.
Cuyahoga Falls have a useful blog.