The TRUTH About Grain-Free Dog Food

The Truth About Grain-Free Dog Food

Visionary Keto Pet Foods

Patrick Wardell

Visionary Keto Pet Foods

It was recently announced that the FDA is investigating a potential link between certain dog food brands and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

If that sentence sounds familiar, then you’ll know that much of the blame is placed on grain-free dog foods.

But what exactly does “grain-free” mean? As it turns out…not much.

So let’s put aside the lingo and take a look at what’s ACTUALLY going on here.


Visionary Keto Pet Foods

What is Grain-Free Dog Food?

You guessed it! Grain-free dog food is just like the name implies: it’s dog food that doesn’t include grains like barley, corn, or rice.

If that seems pretty vague, you’re right – it absolutely is. And that’s the real problem…

Calling a dog food grain-free tells you SOMETHING about that dog food. But it says NOTHING about the nutritional quality of the food OR its ingredients.

To best understand this point, let’s look at 2 grain-free dog foods: Visionary Keto Pet Foods and Grain-Free Dog Food Brand #4.

Visionary Keto Beef Patties

Here are the first 5 ingredients for our Visionary Keto Beef Patties:

Beef, Beef Heart, Broccoli, Green Beans, Coconut Oil
Grain-Free Dog Food

Visionary Grain-Free Dog Food

As you can see, our beef patties are VERY low carb and contain a high-quality protein source: Grass-fed, Wisconsin beef.

I’ll explain the importance of the protein source soon. For now, let’s look at another brand of grain-free dog food for comparison.

Grain-Free Dog Food Brand #4

For obvious reasons, I’ve obscured the brand identity of this product. This is a well-known grain-free dog food product. Below are the first 5 ingredients.  

Dried Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Fish Meal, Potato Protein, Canola Oil

As you can see, this brand is high in carbs and uses an inferior protein source –potato protein. From a nutritional standpoint, these 2 brands have NOTHING in common. Except 1 thing… 

Both brands are grain-free.

Looking at this comparison, it’s easy to see that grain-free says nothing about the nutritional quality of a dog food. But if that’s the case, then what could be responsible for the cases of DCM associated with grain-free food?

The answer is likely the quality of the protein.  

Protein and Taurine

Many experts believe the proposed link between grain-free dog food and DCM is due to a lack of taurine. This would seem to make sense, as taurine is a vital amino acid that is abundant in heart muscle.

Taurine can ONLY be found in animal protein. That's why our Visionary Keto Beef Patties, which are mostly grass-fed beef, contain over 80mg of taurine per serving.


Visionary Keto Beef Patties

Animal protein is also abundant in amino acids that are vital to growth and protein synthesis. These include methionine and the branched chain amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine. Plant-based proteins contain much smaller quantities of these important amino acids. 

Plant-based protein sources (e.g. potato protein) also contain zero taurine. This is one reason why plant-based protein can be a health risk if fed as your dog’s ONLY protein source.

And this is the REAL issue with some grain-free dog foods. 

So…Is Grain-Free Dog Food a Problem?

It depends.

Is your grain-free dog food very low carb? Does it include sufficient animal protein? If both of these conditions are met, then there should be no concerns.

If potato protein is the 3rd ingredient on the label, you may have a problem. And if you’re not sure, there’s an easy way to find out. Just ask :)

Email with the subject line “grain-free dog food”.

And remember, whether you buy Visionary, use another brand or make your dog’s food at home, we’re always here to help :)

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  • Wow Cindy! This is amazing! It’s so incredible to hear about what a low carb ketogenic diet can do for dogs with conditions like these! Please keep us updated on your dogs’ condition. We would love to hear how Visionary keto dog food continue to help your dogs’ progress!

    Visionary Pet
  • I would like to tell you about my tiny rescue chihuahua who came to me at a year old and weighing 2.2lbs. She had 3 parasites and a respiratory infection. We treated her for all of that, however she continue to have horrible bouts of diarrhea. After a year of running back and forth to the vet we had a diagnosis, SIBO ( Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and IBS. They placed her on an antibacterial drug, indefinitely, and that did the trick with the explosive diarrhea, however, her stools remained soft and she’d have a dirty bottom everytime she had a BM and often straining because of the IBS.

    I began giving her Visionary Keto because another of our dogs has a liver tumor I had bought it for. It’s amazing, her stools are perfect, no straining and no more dirty bottom. I’ve even titrated her off the antibacterial medication. Visionary Keto has changed this dogs life. She’s now 3.2 pounds and proudly kicks her little feet after #2’s and scampers off, whereas before it was an uncomfortable chore.

    Thank-you Visionary!

    Cindy Stevens

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