Choosing the best food for your dog can be a hard decision to make. With so many different dog foods on the market, how do you choose? Pet food companies are experts at advertising and quick to promote “trendy” diets, even if they may not be the best food for your pet.

“Grain-Free” diets are a trend that we have been hearing a lot about lately at NSVH. Do we recommend grain-free diets? The answer is a definitive NO! As omnivores, dogs need grains. Grains provide an important nutritional resource for your dog, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium, selenium, carbohydrates for energy, and fiber to aid in digestion. 

Grain free diets can lead to a dangerous (and sometimes deadly) form of heart disease called nutritional dilated cardiomyopathy (nDCM). This causes the heart muscle to become large and flaccid, so the heart cannot pump effectively. The full mechanism for why grain free diets are causing DCM is not understood and is currently being studied by veterinary cardiologists. The FDA has opened an investigation on this matter and has been advising against grain free diets since 2018. 

What food brands do we recommend here at NSVH? We recommend Purina ProPlan, Hills Science Diet, Iams/Eukanuba, and Royal Canin. These are the only pet food companies who have board-certified veterinary nutritionists on staff; these are also the only companies to perform long term feeding trials to ensure the safety and quality of their diets.  

Don’t let commercials, breeders, or pet store employees make your food decisions for you! When selecting a diet for your pet, it is best to ask your veterinary team. Veterinarians receive training in animal nutrition while in school and at educational conferences throughout their careers; they are much better suited to advise you about proper diets.

Shoot us a text or email, or give us a ring if you have questions about the best diet for your pup!