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Is it Peas, Processing, or a Combination?

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  1. Dian

    I look forward to your newsletter

  2. Maddie

    When I learned about the extrusion process, I wondered how any nutrients could remain. If that process eliminates the nutrients, then it is understandable why the addition of vitamins and minerals is so important. Basically, you could process anything (ie., feathers instead of meat meals) and add the vitamins and minerals and it would be considered ‘balanced’.
    Yet those who feed home-cooked or raw are still questioned about how balanced those diet are.

  3. Leanne

    I’ve noticed this with my cat. Even a really really expensive, quality kibble with lots of meat, if it also has legumes, the cat’s fur and skin deteriorate rapidly. The same happens to vegans who eat a lot of beans–health declines after a steady diet for a prolonged period. Phytic acid. This is why asian cultures eat fermented soy and bean products. In fact, I believe soy crops were used for hundreds of years solely to fix nitrogen in the soil to improve soil fertility. Only when someone figured out that if they fermented soy into another product did it become suitable for human consumption.

  4. Peter

    Cystinuria in dogs may result in a taurine deficiency and certain breeds of dogs like American Cockers, Boxers and Newfoundlands may be unable to convert cysteine and methionine to taurine. Perhaps we should add Goldens to this list. In other words, cardiomyopathy may have little to do with legumes and much to do with a genetic defect.

    1. Martha Glew

      Certainly their is a genetic component to low taurine dilated cardiomyopathy. It is showing up mostly in golden retrievers, the breeds you mention above, and many others too.
      This nutrionally deficient DCM is genetic in that some breeds are more predisposed than others, but it’s not like it’s one particular line of breeding. (Think of lactose intolerance in Asians.)

  5. Andi

    There is plenty of taurine in Muscle Meat and Organs. The only reason the “pea” diets are coming up with less taurine than needed is because they are using the pea protein to carry the need for protein. It’s very inexpensive, compared to high quality chicken or beef. KIBBLE IS AWFUL and should NEVER be used. Even if a manufacturer has the greatest “organic ingredients”. By the time they cook, then bake, then extrude the ingredients. They are all made quite useless by the “over processing”. Please don’t use dry food. Make your own food. Your pets will love you a lot longer! xoxox

  6. Christine Lee

    I remember learning as a very young adult, (decades ago 😕), that peas should not be fed to dogs. I can’t remember the why so much. I now feed raw to my dogs, but I have always wondered why so many kibble ranges included peas/legumes. And WHY are they including vegetable in cat food when cats cannot digest it? The only possible reason would be as fillers to bulk out the product and reduce cost, even though these products are selling well above their cost of production . Animal health trailing well behind profit margins….

  7. jennifer hahn

    The bandwagon is full of fillers that are all just as bad as the next. Food trends…….really bad news. just use meat fro god sdake-and call it a day.

  8. jennifer hahn

    save th egiblets , us ethe bitcher to get liver, heart, the stomach stuff-freeze it and use a meat grinder-make a ate for the pets-yummy -like liver pate at the zabars but better –

    1. Tryniti


  9. Terri Christenson Janson

    I homecook and supplement with kibble. I have begun adding in Taurine as well before I had read about this.

  10. Leslie Rosenbloom

    Watch out about adding too much Taurine. I can cause elevated heart rates and it’s own set of problem. Ask before just diving in and dosing.

    1. Terri Christenson Janson

      Thank you. Yes i have the recommended dosage given to me by my dog group. He had a Grand Mal seizure. He is a 55 pound Border Collie aged 5.5. I give him half of an 1/8 tsp of powdered Taurine. Plus spray him with Magnesium Chloride spray on his skin like I do to myself. 🙂

      1. Zac Chernik

        What dog food or is he on raw?

        1. Terri Christenson Janson

          I homecook and supplement with NutriSource grainfree. He has always been fed a homemade diet. Cooked and raw.

  11. Linda Creager

    I feed my 20 lb dog dry grain free kibble mixed with cooked chicken twice a day. Am I missing something in her diet?

  12. […] University of California at Davis Veterinary College professor Dr. Joshua Stern has linked it to a taurine deficiency in affected Goldens. Taurine is an essential amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Taurine is […]

  13. Cathy Bienvenue

    Aside from the presence of mycotoxins / aflatoxin in corn, replacing grains with legumes doesn’t make a bad food better or worse. It may cause some irritable bowel symptoms in some susceptible dogs. It’s basically replacing one starch with another. But if it is HCM caused by a taurine deficiency then check the taurine content in the food and find out why it correlates instead of simply blaming the peas.

    1. Cat Stuart

      Meant DCM not HCM

  14. Martha Glew

    I think that there could be a bit of a misstanding?
    The AAFCO sets a minimum standard for cysteine and methionine. It does not set a minimum for taurine. Sending a sample of dog food in for analysis will not be necessarily be helpful, as dog food companies are not held accountable for this amino acid.
    What is extremely beneficial is getting a whole blood taurine test if a dog has been on grain free foods. With the exception of a very few instances, all golden retrievers (and some other breeds that are documented) with taurine deficient DCM were eating grain free foods, and all GF foods met AAFCO guidelines. I’ve heard that other breeds can get acquired DCM from grain free foods, but not have low blood taurine.
    Some exceptions where there was acquired DCM from non GF foods include poorly formulated home cooked diets.
    Peas are often included in grain free foods in place of meat protein sources. It’s good practice to look at dog food bags to see if peas are used, where they are in the ingredient list, and if there are different peas listed. For example, green peas, whole peas, pea fiber, pea protein, yellow peas, pea starch. This is a tricky practice called ingredient splitting. They are all peas.
    Are peas directly causing DCM? I have no idea,I don’t think there is any scientific proof. Nutritional scientists believe the problem is more linked to poor digestibility of the dog foods. It’s ok to call dog food companies and ask directly how digestible a kibble is. They should be able to help you.

    1. Christine

      Of course an important thing to ask is how much of the protein is from muscle meat and how much is from vegetable proteins. Remember that vegetables contain almost no naturally occurring taurine, so a large percentage of the protein being from peas and other vegetable proteins leave you with a taurine deficient food. Combine this with the high heat processing (taurine is especially sensitive to heat and is easily destroyed) many kibbles will be a very pour source of the amino acids they need. Supplementing with whole food sources of naturally occurring taurine (fresh or freeze dried chicken/beef/turkey hearts are perfect) will go very far in helping animals on kibble diets meet their needs. Studies have shown that low taurine levels in their blood can be rapidly remedied by taurine supplementation. Luckily it’s very very easy to do! Supplementing with whole foods allows you to safely provide them with the best source of taurine without the big risk of overdosing, as you could do easily with synthetic supplements.

  15. Cathy Bienvenue

    Meant DCM not HCM

  16. CHaCha

    Not sure if We should believe or trust the FDA, AFFCO, or Vets/Schools like UC DAVIS, TUFTS UNIVERSITY etc as many are funded by BIG CORP PET FOOD MFGs n or their LOBBIEST like Iams, ScienceDiet, PURINA, MARS, NESTLE, CHEWYs/PetSmart, PetCo, Blue Bufflo, Taste Of Wild, Acana/Orjien, Fromm, Merrick, ROYAL CANINE, etc. with deep pockets to sell n promote their story/claims to help sell n build a BILLIONS$$$$ Pet Food Industry….all at the expense/profit off the consumers n their pet dog n cats!!! SHAME ON THEM!!!

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