Just A Jump-Scare: Grain Free Dog Food

Much like the monster mash in October, the grain-free dog scare gave us all a fright! ? Staying in the loop with recent case findings and medical studies can be hard. Catch up with the down and dirty of what you need to know. Both your heart, and your dog, will thank you! ??

Not The Full Story

According to pet nutritionists at Koha Pet, the current “..information distributed to the veterinary community and the general public has been abbreviated synopses of case studies, with multiple variables and treatments, incomplete medical information, and conflicting medical data and opinions from veterinary nutrition influencers.” (Read more)

How Influencers Are Influenced

In addition to this, writings from PhD Ryan Yamka, a board certified companion animal nutritionist, states that “Thus far..there is no direct link of BEG foods to DCM. Ryan mentions in his writings that “..there may be many veterinarians that are still fearful of or downright despise grain-free foods..” and poses the question if it’s “..because of the article they read in JAVMA, which they took as fact-based paper vs. an opinion commentary?” or because it’s “..based on what they were taught in school, the foods they carry in their clinics or the clinical studies they have read throughout their careers?”. Ryan mentions that “If the answer is yes to any those questions, veterinarians may have an unknown bias that could inadvertently being impacting their decision-making.”

Ryan’s writings in the “Pet Food Health Industry” also points out that “..the authors of the JAVMA article all work for universities that have nutrition services and nutritionists who have received research funding from Purina, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and/or Royal Canin.” (Read more)

The Kicker On Kick-Backs

The big kicker is that this is a commonality amongst the majority of veterinarians. The schooling and programs that many veterinarians go through have “..also funded nutrition centers and feeding programs for these schools’ veterinary students; plus, schools can receive 50% off Royal Canin, 50% off Hill’s and free products from Purina…” (Read more).

Making Your Own Choices

While veterinary programs may not be fully at fault for the recent jump-scare over grain-free dog foods, their undeniable influence over veterinary recommendations continues to hold a remarkable amount of sway. Always do your research, and consult your pet nutritionist or a trusted veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet. When in doubt, source your information out!


Pet, Koha. “Link between Grain-Free Dog Food & DCM Debunked.” Kohapet, Kohapet, 24 July 2020, https://kohapet.com/blogs/news/confused-about-the-fdas-grain-free-dog-food-warning.

Yamka, Ryan. “’Beg’ Pet Food and DCM, Part 2: Is Veterinary Bias at Play?” PetfoodIndustrycom RSS, PetfoodIndustry.com, 17 Sept. 2019, https://www.petfoodindustry.com/blogs/10-debunking-pet-food-myths-and-misconceptions/post/8475-beg-pet-food-and-dcm-part-2-is-veterinary-bias-at-play.