Some new research has come to light recently in the U.S. that appears to display a link between Grain Free Food and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).
We wanted to explain some of the details of these findings and how they relate to the food we and our partners G.A. pet foods – produce. Everyone wants to be sure their pet is getting the best level of nutrition, and we want to keep you clued up about all the latest industry news!
If you want to have a read of the full report, it’s here. Hopefully, we can put it in terms a little easier to digest as well as that we wanted to explain how it relates to what we do and the ingredients in our dog food.
Here is a breakdown of the main points of interest;
- Some U.S. food brands have been found to have a taurine deficiency in their formulations, which means that the meat protein levels are not appropriate to give the recommended daily amount of Taurine.
- Taurine is a powerful amino acid that is required for dogs and cats.
- There isn’t any evidence to corroborate a link between illness and grain free food
- The food agencies for the U.S. and Europe have entirely different legislation, and there have been no reported cases in the U.K.
- The brands that have been highlighted are shown in the graph below:
G.A. who are our pet food partners and produce all of our food have stated they will not be supplementing any of their food with Taurine, here are the reasons why:
- Animal protein is a rich source of Taurine, and our Grain Free range contains high levels of both Freshly Prepared and dried meat to provide Taurine. Therefore taurine supplementation of our Grain Free diets is not necessary.
- Taurine is not classed as an essential nutrient for dog food as they can synthesise it themselves as long as their diet contains adequate levels of the amino acids methionine and cysteine – again animal protein is a rich source of these amino acids.
- The cases of ‘atypical’ DCM are confined to a small number of dogs in the USA – there is no known issue in the U.K./Europe.
- The title of the article is not based on a recommendation from an official U.S. Government or veterinary agency – merely an on the spot response to a question from a member of the audience at a symposium at the recent Petfood Forum in Kansas City, USA.
- There is no clear clinical evidence that taurine supplementation alone is beneficial in treating cases of ‘atypical’ DCM. The Centre for Veterinary Medicine in the USA is still trying to establish the cause (or causes) for the increased incidence of ‘atypical’ DCM.
- The FDA has not found any definitive causative link between grain-free diets and DCM.
- Grain free foods have been around for over 10 years. It’s estimated that 22 million dogs in the USA are fed grain free diets if the problem lied with grain free foods in general then these problems would have been seen before now and in significantly more dogs. Only about 0.002% of the population of dogs in the U.S. that are fed grain free food have been affected. It is more likely connected to a few foods that happen to be grain-free and that have some other inherent issues.
- These cases of DCM are confined to a small number of dogs in the USA – there is no known issue in the U.K./Europe.
With all that in mind, what does it mean for Reet Good!?
Reet Good is a U.K. based company. So far the only evidence of any issues regarding taurine levels are being reported in the U.S. We have no reason to believe the correlation is directly related to the grain free element of the food, but it may be something else.
The taurine levels produced by the number of meat proteins in Reet Good dog food are suitable. Unlike in the U.S., where some levels are lower than they should be.
Over half the meat in Reet Good dog food is freshly steamed, this locks in the nutrients used to create Taurine.
So what’s our advice!?
Do your research and make sure you are reading the ingredients list on any food you buy. If the meat content is low or it’s bulked up with grains, it’s likely there won’t be enough meat proteins in there to sustain a happy, healthy dog! Take a look at this blog about the benefits of grain free dog food.