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You are a pet parent and you want what is best for your pet. So of course, you buy the most expensive dog food on the shelf. You feed this to your pet, and it seems like he loves it. He devours it in seconds and begs for more. Things go well for years, and you stay loyal to your brand. However, then you see a press release from the FDA, naming specific brands of dog food that have been associated with heart disease in dogs.

And your brand of pet food- the brand you thought was the very best for your pet- is on the list!

I see this scenario very frequently. Owners who only wanted what was best for their dog come into my office in a panic once they’ve seen the news about grain-free diets and DCM. They thought they were giving their pet the best, only to find out that they’ve been putting their beloved fur baby at risk!

In this post, you’ll find out what I tell my clients about dog food brands and which brands are the safest and healthiest for your pets. 

We’ve talked about grain-free diets before, but at that time there were no identified brands or types of dog food that had been incriminated. It is still too early to definitively say which brands are unsafe, but it appears to be grain-free foods, especially those that contain peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes in place of grain.

I recommend that, until we know more, all dog owners avoid grain-free diets unless they have been told by a vet that they should try one for a legitimate medical reason.

Here is the “bad list” of foods that you should avoid, according to the FDA:

dog_food_brands_named_most_frequently_in_dcm_cases_reported_to_fda

Ok, great, so now you know what brands to avoid: what brands of pet food do veterinarians actually approve of?

I recommend foods that follow the WSAVA guidelines for selecting pet foods. To my knowledge, there are only FOUR brands that follow these guidelines.

These foods are Hill’s Science Diet, Purina ONE/ProPlan, Royal Canin, and Iams/Eukanuba.

Why do I recommend and trust those foods? Because I know that the diets under those brands have been formulated by veterinary nutritionists to be complete and balanced for your pet. I trust that there is a system for quality control, that the diets meet AAFCO guidelines, and that the diet has been backed by scientific research and evaluation.

Put simply, I recommend those diets because I believe that veterinarians are the ones qualified to make decisions about pet health and feeding.

What food do you feed your pet? Are you concerned about the new findings by the FDA? Have these findings caused you to change your pet’s diet? Please comment to let me know. 

Still have questions? Drop me a comment or see the FAQ by the WSAVA (world small animal veterinary association).


Note: This post was edited on 1/10/2020 to contain amazon affiliate links, which links to amazon products that I support and helps support my blog if you make a purchase from that link. The original blog post had no amazon affiliate links. I am recommending these diets because I believe that they are the best diets for your dog. Not all diet recommendations are one-size-fits-all, so see your family veterinarian if you have specific questions related to your pet’s health. 

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2 comments on “What food should I feed my dog?

  1. Glad you added the non endorsement. Some people believe the food companies pay kickbacks like some big pharmas do in the medical world. I had my dogs on a grain free for a couple years…my schnaz gets pancreatitis and my chi is phat. But after recent articles about grain free, we went to proplan small breed and love it! No issues with the schnaz and both if their coats and skin have gotten better. Do you have an article planned on appropriate cat food? Some say cats cant digest carbs, the higher protein the better, go raw, moist is better than dry….ughh. What are veterinarians recommendations on feedings for felines?

  2. Pingback: 3 Secrets to Help You Save on Pet Care and Veterinary Bills  – Katie Hogan, DVM

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