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The Grain-Free Food Search

Discussion in 'Commercial Food' started by Ann, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Just a note of caution to anyone looking at dog foods, especially grain-free varieties. My vet's nutritionist told me that new research indicates that the main culprit in the heart issues recently discovered is the use of potatoes, peas and pea products in grain-free foods as a substitute for rice, barley and other grains.

    That said, try to find a grain-free (or even a grain-inclusive) food without some kind of pea or potato! My dogs were on grain-free because it was recommended for Checkers' mast cell tumors. I spent two entire afternoons plowing through the ingrdients list of every high quality dog food I could find online looking for some without the offending ingredients. It's the impossible challenge.

    After another conversation with the nutritionist, we agreed that some pea/potato product is OK as long as it's not at the top of the Ingredients list. I was feeding Now, which has always been one of the best foods on the market. The second and third ingredients are potatoes and peas.

    Another exhaustive search of ingredients online revealed two foods I could use. One was Petcurean's Go Limited Ingredient Lamb (not grain-free) and the Nutro line of foods, which does have some pea products but pretty far down the Ingredients list. I tried the Go for Flurry, who refused to eat it. Next I went to Nutro, which is not grain-free, although they do make a line that is, so the decision became which is the lesser of two evils: grains, or heart problems. Lacey already has a heart murmur.

    I settled on the Nutro Ultra line, which includes high quality grains and no peas or potatoes. I'm sharing this because the whole process took me several weeks of research. I encourage everyone to take a look at your food bag and see where on the Ingredients list pea and potato products fall, if you're concerned about the recent FDA news on dog food. Like by-products, wheat, corn and soy which we all avoide like the plague, we now have to add peas and potatoes which should not appear in the top 5 ingredients in your food.

    I'm in the process of transitioning everyone to differnt varieites of Nutro. So far, it's a success. Even my picky eater Flurry is eating it. I hope I've finally found a keeper!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
    danisgoat, ghggp, Hanne and 1 other person like this.
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Thanks for the info.

    I do think peas and legumes are probably more of a culprit, potatoes have been given to dogs for far too long to be a problem just now (not sure how long legumes have been in the mix). Plus peas and some legumes are on the high FODMAP list (FODMAPS being complex carbohydrates that humans with IBS and certain other gastric diseases cannot process), and my feeling is some of the FODMAPs dogs may not be able to digest either (only sweet potato is a compex carb, other potatoes are fine). Anyway that's my theory.

    Hopefully a lot more companies will be cutting out the legumes after the FDA report I think. But didn't the report also say the dogs were fed that exclusively? So maybe rotate the Nutro? Now if only someone in Australia produced a product without chicken or chicken fat. You are so lucky the variety you get.
    Ann and AonghusBrodieMom like this.
  3. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

    Nov 13, 2014
    Thank you Ann for your advise - your post are now in my Bookmark :wink2:
    ghggp and Ann like this.
  4. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    I switched Elise from Fromm over to Honest Kitchen. I'm really happy with it thus far. I did want to feed grains, but their food is slightly lower protein which I was looking for. There are potatoes in it, but no legumes which is a plus for me. It's also certified Human Grade by the FDA which is pretty cool!

    If protein isn't an issue, I really like the looks of Farmina. I think it's somewhat new on the scene so I'd recommend you check it out if you're looking for something high quality!

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