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A few days ago, an old friend — the longtime owner of 3 dogs — forwarded to me a new warning, from the FDA to veterinarians, telling them about a potential problem with many dog foods.
In part, it says, “…Today, the FDA released a warning to veterinarians and pet owners about reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating pet foods that contained peas, lentils, legume seeds, or potatoes as the main ingredients. It is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM…”
To summarize it, don’t feed your dog “grain-free” dog food that contains peas, lentils, legume seeds, or potatoes near the top of its list of ingredients. By avoiding those main ingredients, you can possible decrease your dog’s chance of developing heart disease.
So, on my vet’s advice, I did some research on the subject, and on current dog foods. As a result, I’m currently in the process of switching Bud and Max, from Blue Buffalo, to Natural Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken dry dog food:
Yes, as you can see above, the unfolded Gentle Giants plastic bag looks a lot like a comic book, bragging about the food’s ability to help many dogs lead healthy and unusually long lives.
I dare anyone to try to read all of what it says on the bag! 😉
Plus, on the Walmart web site, it says, “Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food is a wholesome blend of farm-raised chicken, rice, oatmeal and a host of non-GMO fruits and vegetables, including cranberries, blueberries, apples, carrots and tomatoes to name a few. Plus, it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics and probiotics for a balanced and nutritious meal that’s veterinarian-approved and perfectly formulated to support your dog’s daily life from puppy to senior.”
Be sure to talk with your vet, or do some research into the formula yourself, if your dog has any specific food-based allergies.
Gentle Giants’ comic-book look is probably because the man who developed it is Burt Ward, who formerly played “Robin” on the campy 1960’s TV series, “Batman.” He says that he and his wife have rescued over 15,500 animals in the past 24 years, and his personal dog rescue home currently feeds over 600 pounds of Gentle Giants to its dogs every day.
And proceeds from the sale of Gentle Giants food go toward his dog rescue efforts.
Its stated main ingredients are “Chicken meal, pearled barley, brown rice, oatmeal, dried plain beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherals), natural flavors, whole flaxseeds, and fish meal.”
(“Mixed tocopherals” are components of Vitamin E.)
Gentle Giants also makes a Salmon Feast flavor, but it costs more than twice as much, per pound, as their chicken-flavored food, and it contains potatoes and peas as its second and third ingredients:
“Salmon Meal, Whole Dried Potatoes, “Whole Dried Peas, Tapioca, Salmon Oil, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavors…”
Bud and Max LOVE Gentle Giants chicken-flavored food — even now, when it’s only 1/4 of their food, mixed in with their normal Blue Buffalo dry dog food.
In fact, while Max has always quickly and excitedly “vacuumed” all of his food down, Bud has developed a habit of eating all of his food, like he has always done, but only after he first picks through it, to eat the pieces of Gentle Giants food first!
Since we just got a new bag of Blue Buffalo food last week, it’s going to take awhile to use it all up, while slowly transitioning Bud and Max to eating only Gentle Giants food.
But they’re certainly ready for it!
Update, January 22, 2019: After gradually transitioning Bud and Max from eating only Blue Buffalo to eating only Gentle Giants, I gave the rest of our almost-full bag of expensive Blue Buffalo dog food to a friend who knows about the above health situation, but isn’t worried about it enough to switch their dogs’ food.
Bud and Max are still really excited and enthusiastic about their new food!
Update, January 24, 2019: It’s been many days since I first heard about this and posted the story, above, but now, the general media are finally starting to talk about the issue.
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