Grain Free and Heart Disease...

Lalaloopsie

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Adding taurine to this food will most probably improve it, but from what I read researchers not sure that ONLY taurine deficit was the problem. You know, what if those anti nutrients will bind the added taurine ? Or some dogs just have certain genetic predisposition and are extremely sensitive to those anti nutrients. In this case just adding taurine into food won’t help because it won’t be absorbed properly. We cannot know for sure, but I strongly believe that dogs gastrointestinal tract cannot digest beans, as naturally they are inedible when raw, and their body was never intended to digest soy, beans and legumes. So feeding them with plant protein - based food is basically to put them into malnutrition situation.
Phytic acids interfere with absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and therefore can contribute to mineral deficiencies. Calcium btw is extremely important not only for bones but also for muscle contractions, and heart is a muscle.

Just thinnk, if you are a smaller producer of some “boutique” grain free food, you have to buy all equipment, run production cycle, and the smaller is your factory, the higher are expenses per kg of food. In dog food giants they can win because they produce and sell enormous amounts. But as a small producer you still have to keep prices more or less reasonable. In general, they have less space for manoeuvre between costs of ingredients, production costs and end product price, so I can very well imagine their logic - “wow, we replace expensive meat with protein from beans...beans are healthy! Cool!”. To be honest with you, If to choose between types of (evil:evil:) kibble, I would feed with higher quality kibble (Fromm, Acana, Origen)produced with huge corporations because they have laboratories, vets on salary, more quality control etc. All these “boutique” food...its a kind of gambling game. May be they’re good...may be not. They cannot for sure keep constantly a vet on salary, or do research etc.

If I were feeding grain free kibble (I would stop it:unsure:) ... ok, and didn’t have a choice, I would start generously supplementing diet with taurine - give boiled or dried turkey meat, boiled eggs as a treat, sardines, and even human taurine from health shop, whole 1 gram capsule a day, and I wouldn’t put it into that kibble, but rather give it separately with a spoon of yogurt. Taurine is pretty tasteless, so not difficult to give.
Or, as some people do, they make big pot of turkey soup with meat and veggies and just mix kibble and that soup on top. Then you can get all advantages (hopefully, they exist) of kibble and natural nutrition.
 

Dollys Owner

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My theory after reading what is available on this question is that problem with grain-free food is caused by following reasons. Those dog food producers wanted to replace grains with beans and legumes to make food 1) free of gluten and low in carbs 2) higher in protein. By doing so they could also reduce meat content, because beans and legumes are high in protein, but cheaper than meat. As a result, they made food with necessary amount of protein and low in carb. But there are 2 problems with beans. First, their protein is not so easily digestible as meat is (it’s plant protein and it needs long Gastrointestinal tract to be fully digested, and we know dogs as carnivores have very short GI tract). Second, plant proteins are not so perfect as eggs and meat in amino acid spectrum, less taurine, cysteine, methionine etc). Besides, many beans and legumes contain so called anti nutrients, physical acid and lectins, which reduce absorption and digestion of many important nutrients. That’s why you should soak beans for a night before cooking or even better sprout them
So, my theory is that this dog food because of high bean/legumes content while having seemingly high protein content, in fact, was deficient in amino acids because bigger proportion of total protein amount came from beans, not meat (it’s much cheaper!) and as a result of low bioavailability of this protein and anti nutrients which interfered with absorption of other vitamins or micro elements.
So, DCM in those poor dogs was a result of malnutrition. And poor business strategies. Producers of grain free food were too greedy and couldn’t resist temptation of reducing costs of food replacing meat protein with beans/legumes protein, because, I’m sure, no one checked exact ratio of meat/ bean protein, only total protein content.

I agree, that's why I like Carna4 dog food for people who only want to feed dog kibble, since it has sprouted beans. I think it's only available in Canada.
 

2BullyMama

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Adding taurine to this food will most probably improve it, but from what I read researchers not sure that ONLY taurine deficit was the problem. You know, what if those anti nutrients will bind the added taurine ? Or some dogs just have certain genetic predisposition and are extremely sensitive to those anti nutrients. In this case just adding taurine into food won’t help because it won’t be absorbed properly. We cannot know for sure, but I strongly believe that dogs gastrointestinal tract cannot digest beans, as naturally they are inedible when raw, and their body was never intended to digest soy, beans and legumes. So feeding them with plant protein - based food is basically to put them into malnutrition situation.
Phytic acids interfere with absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and therefore can contribute to mineral deficiencies. Calcium btw is extremely important not only for bones but also for muscle contractions, and heart is a muscle.

Just thinnk, if you are a smaller producer of some “boutique” grain free food, you have to buy all equipment, run production cycle, and the smaller is your factory, the higher are expenses per kg of food. In dog food giants they can win because they produce and sell enormous amounts. But as a small producer you still have to keep prices more or less reasonable. In general, they have less space for manoeuvre between costs of ingredients, production costs and end product price, so I can very well imagine their logic - “wow, we replace expensive meat with protein from beans...beans are healthy! Cool!”. To be honest with you, If to choose between types of (evil:evil:) kibble, I would feed with higher quality kibble (Fromm, Acana, Origen)produced with huge corporations because they have laboratories, vets on salary, more quality control etc. All these “boutique” food...its a kind of gambling game. May be they’re good...may be not. They cannot for sure keep constantly a vet on salary, or do research etc.

If I were feeding grain free kibble (I would stop it:unsure:) ... ok, and didn’t have a choice, I would start generously supplementing diet with taurine - give boiled or dried turkey meat, boiled eggs as a treat, sardines, and even human taurine from health shop, whole 1 gram capsule a day, and I wouldn’t put it into that kibble, but rather give it separately with a spoon of yogurt. Taurine is pretty tasteless, so not difficult to give.
Or, as some people do, they make big pot of turkey soup with meat and veggies and just mix kibble and that soup on top. Then you can get all advantages (hopefully, they exist) of kibble and natural nutrition.

Holy great information... we need to stick this thread to be able to share this with those coming for insight!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Lalaloopsie

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I agree, that's why I like Carna4 dog food for people who only want to feed dog kibble, since it has sprouted beans. I think it's only available in Canada.

But aren’t you concerned that this Carna4 contains 3 types of beans? Lentils, peas, Fava beans. All these ingredients replace meat protein, so out of their 29% of protein how much is real meat? And how much is from beans?
What I’m trying to say, don’t you think bean-containing dog foods are probably even lower quality than typical kibble?
Beans are good for people, that’s why general perception is that it is healthier option for dogs too. But it is not true. Dogs cannot well digest beans, as their GI tract is so short. And from biological point of view lentil or peas protein isn’t better than soy protein. But as soy has bad reputation, many people wouldn’t even consider dog food with TRIPLE amount of soy! Our amazing dog food contains soy, soy and soy beans:D
But just say “lentils, peas, Fava beans” and it sounds so healthy! But from biological point of view it is pretty much the same not-equal-to-meat/egg/fish, not-easy-digestible plant protein- so to say, inferior in comparison with meat, fish and eggs quality protein.
Actually, some people say that beans aren’t the best food for humans too, but I don’t think for us it presents such a big problem, because we eat variety of foods and I doubt that someone munches every day a huge bowl of beans. But dogs eat the same every day.
Fava beans are toxic for dogs. They contain agglutination agents which can cause poisoning. I know that when they cooked, they become less toxic, but not fully safe for dogs, and I know there was a scientific research on 12 (just 12! Beagles) who were fed cooked Fava beans and could eat certain amount of them without getting sick, BUT! after certain amount toxic effects still started to appear.
But what is the necessity of including Fava beans into dogs food? What is in Fava beans what cannot be found in other foods? I think the answer is that it makes dog food easier to make and cheaper for producer. Other beans like Lima, black eyed etc cost more and probably not so easy to process with extruders. Also Fava beans are very cold resistant and not picky about soil.
I wouldn’t feed my dog Fava beans, even cooked, even “less” toxic! Because this means that every day dog gets a safe dose of poison. What for?
 

RiiSi

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These studies are funded by Mars and Nestle who want you to keep you feeding their crap. They should of come up wirh a better explanation than grain free has no taurine. Grain are not the main source of taurine. Meat and sea food is.
.
 

Lalaloopsie

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These studies are funded by Mars and Nestle who want you to keep you feeding their crap. They should of come up wirh a better explanation than grain free has no taurine. Grain are not the main source of taurine. Meat and sea food is.
.

I NEVER feed my dog with any kibble:) he eats real meat. I am a doctor and I don’t eat out of can or box myself, and neither eats my dog.
And explanation of the grain free and DCM is easy - in grain free foods is even less real meat than in simple foods, because of higher content of beans. Beans are higher in protein than grain, so producer puts less meat in grain free food, that’s why in grain free foods out of total protein content bigger proportion is plant protein, which is not so high in taurine and less digestible than meat.
 

Dollys Owner

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But aren’t you concerned that this Carna4 contains 3 types of beans? Lentils, peas, Fava beans. All these ingredients replace meat protein, so out of their 29% of protein how much is real meat? And how much is from beans?
What I’m trying to say, don’t you think bean-containing dog foods are probably even lower quality than typical kibble?
Beans are good for people, that’s why general perception is that it is healthier option for dogs too. But it is not true. Dogs cannot well digest beans, as their GI tract is so short. And from biological point of view lentil or peas protein isn’t better than soy protein. But as soy has bad reputation, many people wouldn’t even consider dog food with TRIPLE amount of soy! Our amazing dog food contains soy, soy and soy beans:D
But just say “lentils, peas, Fava beans” and it sounds so healthy! But from biological point of view it is pretty much the same not-equal-to-meat/egg/fish, not-easy-digestible plant protein- so to say, inferior in comparison with meat, fish and eggs quality protein.
Actually, some people say that beans aren’t the best food for humans too, but I don’t think for us it presents such a big problem, because we eat variety of foods and I doubt that someone munches every day a huge bowl of beans. But dogs eat the same every day.
Fava beans are toxic for dogs. They contain agglutination agents which can cause poisoning. I know that when they cooked, they become less toxic, but not fully safe for dogs, and I know there was a scientific research on 12 (just 12! Beagles) who were fed cooked Fava beans and could eat certain amount of them without getting sick, BUT! after certain amount toxic effects still started to appear.
But what is the necessity of including Fava beans into dogs food? What is in Fava beans what cannot be found in other foods? I think the answer is that it makes dog food easier to make and cheaper for producer. Other beans like Lima, black eyed etc cost more and probably not so easy to process with extruders. Also Fava beans are very cold resistant and not picky about soil.
I wouldn’t feed my dog Fava beans, even cooked, even “less” toxic! Because this means that every day dog gets a safe dose of poison. What for?

I don't think fava beans are much worse than any of the other "pulses" - chickpeas,peas,lentils, beans etc. I agree though that it's not a good idea to give too much of any of these for all the reason you specified. If you look at any of the extruded kibble dog foods they all contain pulses eg. Fromms pork and peas contains peas,chick peas, pea protein.

Also, which is worse for dog- potatoes, rice,corn, etc or pulses? I guess best would be frozen raw which is what I feed my dog but most people just feed extruded dog food which all contain a lot of vegetarian protein to cut down costs, and since their dogs are not allergic like a lot of bulldogs they somehow survive.
 

helsonwheels

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[MENTION=3354]RiiSi[/MENTION]. :2thumbs:

Now here’s my 2 cents on this topic. If you’re going to feed kibbles, basically look for a brand like the example I gave below that shows you on the bag the % of what’s inside. I took Acana as an example. If I read this right it has....

35% duck meat/meal
6% duck fat
duck cartilage
Dry duck liver

7% beans but you do have in that 7% liver, heart, kidney
2% more of beans but again you have in that 2% of the cartilage mentioned above.

Not a lot of beans in my opinion.

The rest not worth calculating....

So look for a bag that indicates all ingredients in %. Then you’ll know what you’re feeding your dog


Acana Duck.

Free-Run Duck features a rich variety of farm-fresh ingredients that are raised or fished by people we know and trust, and delivered to our award-winning NorthStar Kitchen fresh or raw.Fresh duck (18%), duck meat meal (17%), whole green peas, whole red lentils, fresh duck giblets (liver, heart, kidney) (7%), duck fat (6%), fresh Bartlett pears (4%), whole garbanzo beans, whole green lentils, whole yellow peas, dried duck cartilage (2%), lentil fibre, marine algae (1.2%) (pure and sustainable source of DHA and EPA), fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole pumpkin, dried brown kelp, freeze-dried duck liver (0.1%), salt, fresh whole cranberries, fresh whole blueberries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, enterococcus faecium.SUPPLEMENTS: Vitamin E, Zinc Chelate, Copper Chelate.*Preserved with mixed tocopherols, a tocopherol rich extract of natural origin – Vitamin E and Rosemary Oil.
 

Dollys Owner

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[MENTION=15780]Lalaloopsie[/MENTION] - on second thought about the subject, I think green peas and green beans are safer than fava beans, since the lectin content of green beans, peas and other soft vegetables are much lower than hard beans like fava beans and kidney beans and lentils, so you're probably right about Carna4. I fed it to my dog for a while, but didn't notice any allergy improvements compared to previous foods. In future if I got another dog who didn't have any allergies I would still feed it frozen raw dog food rather than giving it dog food supplemented with taurine.

I noticed that Zignature dog foods have beet pulp, which is another ingredient tied to lowering taurine levels, so you're probably better sticking with Earthborne Holistic Venture line if you want a limited ingredient extruded dog food.
 

Lalaloopsie

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Yeah, nowadays we have to watch like hawks what’s in dog food. I feed my Tank home cooked food, in this way I always know what’s in his bowl. I use meat (change it every 4-5 months), veggies (pumpkin, butternut, carrot), non-gluten grains like whole buckwheat, rice (also change them), some offal meats. I supplement home cooked food with Nuvet vitamins, high EPA/DHA fish oil with Zinc, joint supplement, Vit A,E couple of times a week. He has currently no signs of allergies and his ears are very dry and clean inside, I probably clean them may be once a month, no brown discharge. He has no tear stains, but I remember when he was very small and still more or less able to eat kibble, one type of Acana turned his tears brown. I tried all varieties of higher quality kibble because his stools were never good even before he got sick with Parvovirus.
He is very prone to allergies, though, this is how my home cooking story started when he was 5 months old. He always had diarrhoea from commercial food, but after he survived Parvovirus at 5 mo, the very first time when doctors let him eat and I gave him a bit of canned food he developed hives and face swelling. He was put on meds and chicken-rice diet, but when I tried to add a bit of canned food or kibble, he started developing hives and face swelling again. It was scary, so I decided I will cook for him. Since then I feed him home cooked food and it seems like it is working for us.
I am myself very particular about what my family eats, we cook a lot and I make my own bread, yogurt with live lacto/ bifido bacteria, sauerkraut, dried meat jerky (for Tank too, his own jerky without spices), can my own jams/pickles etc. So, cooking for Tank became very natural for me. Even my husband learnt to cook for Tank, so when we now relocated to South Africa and he stayed with Tank alone for a month before my arrival he cooked for him!
 

oscarmayer

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Even my husband learnt to cook for Tank, so when we now relocated to South Africa and he stayed with Tank alone for a month before my arrival he cooked for him!
HAH! And that's exactly why we have "Father's Day"!
 

Dollys Owner

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Yeah, nowadays we have to watch like hawks what’s in dog food. I feed my Tank home cooked food, in this way I always know what’s in his bowl. I use meat (change it every 4-5 months), veggies (pumpkin, butternut, carrot), non-gluten grains like whole buckwheat, rice (also change them), some offal meats. I supplement home cooked food with Nuvet vitamins, high EPA/DHA fish oil with Zinc, joint supplement, Vit A,E couple of times a week. He has currently no signs of allergies and his ears are very dry and clean inside, I probably clean them may be once a month, no brown discharge. He has no tear stains, but I remember when he was very small and still more or less able to eat kibble, one type of Acana turned his tears brown. I tried all varieties of higher quality kibble because his stools were never good even before he got sick with Parvovirus.
He is very prone to allergies, though, this is how my home cooking story started when he was 5 months old. He always had diarrhoea from commercial food, but after he survived Parvovirus at 5 mo, the very first time when doctors let him eat and I gave him a bit of canned food he developed hives and face swelling. He was put on meds and chicken-rice diet, but when I tried to add a bit of canned food or kibble, he started developing hives and face swelling again. It was scary, so I decided I will cook for him. Since then I feed him home cooked food and it seems like it is working for us.
I am myself very particular about what my family eats, we cook a lot and I make my own bread, yogurt with live lacto/ bifido bacteria, sauerkraut, dried meat jerky (for Tank too, his own jerky without spices), can my own jams/pickles etc. So, cooking for Tank became very natural for me. Even my husband learnt to cook for Tank, so when we now relocated to South Africa and he stayed with Tank alone for a month before my arrival he cooked for him!

That's amazing how much effort you put in !!! I'm happy my dog is thriving on the frozen raw, so I don't have to do all that. I do make my own water kefir which I feed Honey, which saves me money on probiotics.
 

helsonwheels

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That's amazing how much effort you put in !!! I'm happy my dog is thriving on the frozen raw, so I don't have to do all that. I do make my own water kefir which I feed Honey, which saves me money on probiotics.

Yes such a big difference feeding from frozen.
 

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