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I have a 2 year old male German shepherds mix who has really bad allergies which has led to skin issues and chronic ear infections. We have tried Purina Pro Plan sensitive skin and stomach food but didn’t help at all. I decided to switch to Diamond Naturals grain free skin and coat (salmon and potato) because I heard grain free is good for allergies. After 2 weeks of eating the new food, his skin has improved so much! But now reading about the FDA stuff about grain free leading to DCM in large breed dogs and having second thoughts. Wondering if y’all had thoughts about Diamond naturals food or have any other food recommendations for him?
 

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I feel like the jury is still out on the whole grain free and DCM issues. Do more research on the DCM, keep him on what works for him. Maybe regular heart checkups as a follow up to ensure he isnt having an issue with the grain free.
 

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I only feed grain free because we have a Golden Retriever in the house, and with them being one of the most susceptible breeds we just don't want to take the risk. That being said, I'm not entirely terrified of grain free. Statistically speaking in terms of biological significance, the amount of dogs that experience diet-induced DCM is very, very small. It doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful or aware, but it also doesn't warrant the fear mongering unless your breed is genetically susceptible.

Feed the dog in front of you, and if your dog is doing well then take it was a win. Be aware of what to look out for, but don't kick yourself over feeding your dog something that he can actually thrive on.
 

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I have a dog with a pre existing heart condition so I decided to err on the side of caution and get her off the grain free.
I feed First Mate grain friendly fish and oats and my dog does great on it.
Some folks really seem to like Diamond others not so much.
I agree with feed your dog what works for your dog.
I had tons of folks recommend Acana, my dog did awful on it. So did previous dogs I tried on it. Pedigree gets slammed hard, and is not great food, but I had dozens of dogs that did fabulous on it.
Dog food is really, really subjective and individual results may vary.
 

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I have a true food allergy dog. Finding a food that works for them can be HARD. If you've found one, I would feed it.

Diamond Naturals works for a lot of dogs really well at a reasonable price point. (By the way, Kirkland is interchangeable -- for grain free, their Nature's Domain is worth looking at as it's made in the same plant, by Diamond, for Costco.

The breed rescue I work with feeds both the DN/Kirkland Chicken and Rice and DN Large Breed Puppy versions. These are grain-in foods. More than half of our foster homes use them for personal dogs too. Lost of adopters stay on Kirkland version. For dogs that don't have allergies, they all seem to do very well on it -- better than anything else at that price point. Better foods exist, but not at this price point. For people who need a reasonably priced, decent food, you won't find more bang for the buck. You can trade up and spend more and get into Victor, Fromm, Annamaet, Champion, etc. options, but in some cases you get a third less food for 75% more money.

Like any large manufacturer, there have been recalls, but there hasn't been a major recall in a long time, so they seem to have fixed the quality issue that led to the problems years ago. Save your bag lot codes until the food is gone (but you should be doing this with nearly every brand anyway).

As for DCM, take a look at the massive DCM thread in the archives of this forum (with a title about the FDA) -- it's the best source of info on this forum about what's not known. The last paper by the researchers that was published was frankly mostly a bunch of questions and speculation without answers, in my opinion--and is discussed in that thread. I think if you need to feed grain free, maybe consider adding some beef heart into the diet or a taurine capsule a few times a week as it's not going to do harm (and most dogs love the taste of beef heart, so even if the extra dietary taurine isn't needed, the dog will be delighted).
 

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the last theory I saw on the DCM issue was that they thought there had to be a genetic propensity towards the issue in order for the food to be a factor. I would just supplement with taurine to be sure.
 

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Having two english bullies in my house, we only can feed grain-free food. Karma seems to eat anything, my main concern is making sure she is eating enough!
 
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