This is going to be a bit hard for some of us to wrap our heads around.
I’m still struggling.
The 4 brands of pet food recommended by WSAVA are:
Iams/Eukanuba (Eukanuba may be owned by Royal Canin now)
There they are. The 4 big no-no brands, right?
Turns out they do a lot of testing of their products with dogs (they have wonderful play spaces – look them up). I’m still suspicious though. In my training, I was told they do short term testing that only had to pass a 6-month mark. Anything that happens after that time period they’re not held accountable for. But there are plenty of pet parents who feed these foods and are very happy with the results. I did my own test on one of them. I’ll let you know the results a little farther down the page.
My criteria – no corn, wheat, or soy, or the suspect ingredients involved with DCM. I just can’t do it and these brands are packed with corn.
I did go to chewy.com for my research. Many people shop there and they have all the nutritional info right there for anyone to see. They also carry many brands people are familiar with and that’s why I chose them. I also included what the bags look like and the price they were when I research these foods.
Let’s Dive In.
Royal Canin, Eukanuba, and Hills were, as far as I could see, all filled with corn, wheat, and/or soy. I did not include them here.
I did find 2 Iams formulas that you could consider if you are excluding corn, wheat, and soy.
Not a bad price for a 30lb bag. Let’s check what I found on the ingredient panel and what the approximate percentage of carbs is.
Approximately 44% carbs in a kibble formulation isn’t bad. Natural flavors could be anything, even MSG. If you can find salt on your ingredient panel, the ingredients listed after are in very small amounts. You’ll see that green peas are an ingredient – a very small amount and should be okay. No reports (as of this writing) of DCM with this brand. L-Lysine and L-Carnitine are amino acids that had to be added to the ingredients because there wasn’t enough quality meat protein in this formula. This means a good percentage of the protein in this food comes from plants and may be harder for your dog to use. I highlighted some of the omega and vitamin E ratios just for your knowledge. This package does not list omega 3 so I don’t know how much this bag contains or what it’s ratio is to omega 6.
This was another formulation that you could use. A little more expensive for a similar product. Don’t let marketing or pretty ingredients fool you.
Purina has 2 formulations as well. Many, many people are making the switch to Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach formulas (PPP SSS). Let’s peek at the labels.
A little more expensive than Iams, but still a good price.
Holy cow! Approximately 39% carbs. That pretty low for kibble. Omega 6 to 3 is pretty good and vitamin E looks good. What I don’t like: Canola meal – probably leftovers from canola oil production. Also a GMO and chemically sprayed crop. Fish meal, Animal fat, Fish oil – what kind of fish and animals? Often not the best sources of fish and animals. Natural flavor could mean anything. Sunflower oil, not the most stable oil. And just what is K-4449? If you know, please let the rest of us know. I couldn’t find any info. I seem to remember once, a long time ago, it was mentioned this was what kept pets addicted to foods with this ingredient, but I’m not positive about that.
This is the formula I experimented with. My daughter has a pit mix and her dog always had a funny coat. It always felt a bit greasy and her hair was falling out in odd places. She also had like a crust around the edges of her ears. These are signs of yeasty skin. Yeasty skin is attributed to a pH imbalance and an imbalance of naturally occurring yeast and bacteria on the skin (often caused by antibiotics, so make sure you give probiotics during and after rounds of antibiotics).
My daughter had been feeding grain-free diets to her dog. In light of DCM I had her switch to this and her dogs’ coat is now amazing! I hope it stays that way after the 6-month mark.
Then we rescued another pit mix who had a terrible yeast overgrowth all over her body. We put her on this and, in a month and a half, her skin is clear. Now, to be fair, I do make a nutritional topper that I add to her kibble.
Very similar to the Salmon formula, but I like the omega ratios better and you will see that there is pea protein added. It’s very close to salt and way down the list, so it is in a small amount. They also had to add in the amino acid L-Lysine. Again, as of this writing, there are no reports of DCM with this brand.
There you have it. That’s all that I could find with my extra criteria of no corn, wheat, or soy.
Can you wrap your brain around these?
Awesome. Don’t forget to add in fresh veggies, bone broth, sardines packed in water, yogurt, etc. You don’t have to add everything every time. Pick one or two one day, switch it up the next, and so on.
I’m going to go over some low-cost options you can look into in the next post. Then I will do middle of the road and higher priced options after that. Stay tuned!
Peace and Joy,
P.S. I’d like to know how you feel about these brands being the recommended brands. Let me know in the comments.
P.P.S. Did you miss the DCM article with links to the group with DCM info and WSAVA info? ==> Click Here<==
P.P.P.S. – Not impressed with these foods? Find other low cost options ==> Click Here<==