Pros and Cons of Commercial Pet Foods (Including Grain/Grain Free) for Dogs and Cats

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
      Purchase one-time access
      Subscribers receive full online access to your subscription and archive of back issues up to and including 2002.
      Content published before 2002 is available via pay-per-view purchase only.
      Subscribe to Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Crane S.W.
        • Crowell C.S.
        • Stout N.P.
        • et al.
        Commercial pet foods.
        in: Hand M.S. Thatcher C.D. Remillard R.L. Small animal clinical nutrition. 5th edition. Mark Morris Institute, Topeka (KS)2010: 157-190
        • Pet Food Institute
        History of Pet Food.
        (Available at:) (Accessed July 10, 2020)
      1. Petfood Industry. Survey: Dog owners have difficulty choosing pet food.
        (Available at:) (Assessed July 13, 2020)
        • Association of Pet Obesity Prevention
        Pet Obesity survey results.
        2018 (Available at:) (Accessed July 10, 2020)
      2. Google search using the phrase “How safe is commercial pet food?”.
        (Available at:) (Accessed July 10, 2020)
        • Association of American Feed Control Official (AAFCO)
        Official Publication. Feed terms and definitions.
        (Available at:) (Accessed July 12, 2020)
        • Petfood Industry
        US pet food market report reveals pet humanization trend.
        (Available at:) (Accessed July 13, 2020)
        • Schleicher M.
        • Cash S.B.
        • Freeman L.M.
        Determinants of pet food purchasing decisions.
        Can Vet J. 2019; 60: 644-650
        • American Pet Products Association
        Pet industry market size & ownership statistics.
        (Available at:) (Accessed July 10, 2020)
      3. Number of dogs in the United States from 2000 to 2017 (in millions).
        (Available at:) (Assessed September 23, 2020)
      4. Number of cats in the United States from 2000 to 2017 (in millions).
        (Available at:) (Assessed September 23, 2020)
        • Veterinary Practice News
        Vet care spending tops $13 Billion in.
        2010 (Available at:) (Assessed Sept 23, 2020)
      5. Available at: https://www.pressreader.com/canada/vancouver-sun/20171016/281840053897777https:/www.aafco.org/Publications. Accessed September 21, 2020.

        • Calinoius L.F.
        • Vodnar D.C.
        Whole grains and phenolic acids: a review on bioactivity, functionality, health benefits and bioavailability.
        Nutrients. 2018; 10: 1615
        • Laflamme D.P.
        • Abood S.K.
        • Fascetti A.J.
        • et al.
        Pet feeding practices of dog and cat owners in the United States and Australia.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008; 232: 687-694
      6. Banfield Pet Hospital. State of Pet Health 2013 Report.
        (Available at:) (Accessed July 10, 2020)
        • de Godoy M.R.C.
        • Hervera M.
        • Swanson K.S.
        • et al.
        Innovation in canine and feline nutrition: technologies for food and nutrition assessment.
        Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2016; 4: 311-333
        • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
        Ahead of the pack: why are veterinary occupations growing much fast than average? Employment & Unemployment 2019;8.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 18, 2020)
        • FDA
        FDA’s Regulation of Pet Food.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 18, 2020)
        • AAFCO
        The Role of AAFCO in Pet Food Regulation.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 18, 2020)
      7. Barfworld.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 18, 2020)
      8. Dogs naturally.10 Scary Truths About Your Dog’s Food.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 2, 2020)
      9. Pets-N-More.Kickbacks to Vets…Is This True?.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 2, 2020)
        • American College of Veterinary Nutrition
        Nutrition Consults.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 1, 2020)
      10. Dog Food Advisor. The Shocking Truth About Commercial Dog Food.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 2, 2020)
      11. Myths About Raw Feeding.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 2, 2020)
      12. Best Cat and Dog Food Nutrition (BCDN) by Roger Budick.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 2, 2020)
      13. Healthy Pets. Is This Pet Food Vilification Ever Justified, or Just a Bunch of Hot Air.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 2, 2020)
        • Stockman J.
        • Fascetti A.J.
        • Kass P.H.
        • et al.
        Evaluation of recipes of home-prepared maintenance diets for dogs.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013; 242: 1500-1505
        • de Fornel-Thibaud P.
        • Blanchard G.
        • Escoffier-Chateau L.
        • et al.
        Unusual case of osteopenia associated with nutritional calcium and vitamin D deficiency in an adult dog.
        J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2007; 43 (Accessed August 17, 2020): 52-60
        • Baltzer W.
        Angular limb deformities in a giant-breed puppy.
        Clinician’s Brief. 2009; : 15-17
        • Hutchinson D.
        • Freeman L.M.
        • McCarthy R.
        • et al.
        Seizures and severe nutrient deficiencies in a puppy fed a homemade diet.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2012; 241: 477-483
        • Taylor M.B.
        • Geiger D.A.
        • Saker K.E.
        • et al.
        Diffuse osteopenia and myelopathy in a puppy fed a diet composed of an organic premix and raw ground beef.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2009; 234: 1041-1048
        • Dodd S.
        • Barry M.
        • Verbrugghe A.
        Abnormal bone mineralization in a puppy fed an imbalanced raw meat homemade diet diagnosed and monitored using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
        J Am Physiol Nutr. 2019; 00: 1-8
        • Tal M.
        • Parr J.M.
        • MacKenzie S.
        • et al.
        Dietary imbalances in a large breed puppy, leading to compression fractures, vitamin D deficiency, and suspected nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism.
        Can Vet J. 2018; 59: 36-42
        • Diquelou A.
        • Chaput C.
        • Benoit E.
        • et al.
        Hypocalcemia due to nutritional calcium deficiency and hypothyroidism in an adult dog.
        Vet Rec. 2005; 156: 45-48
        • Niza M.M.R.E.
        • Vilelia C.L.
        • Freeman L.M.A.
        Feline pansteatitis revisited: hazards of unbalanced home-made diets.
        J Feline Med Surg. 2003; 5: 271-277
      14. FDA Animal and Veterinary Recalls & Withdrawals.
        (Available at:) (Assessed August 1, 2020)
      15. FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts. Food and Beverages.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 17, 2020)
      16. United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. Recalls and Public health concerns.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 17, 2020)
      17. United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. Recall Case Archive 2020.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 17, 2020)
        • United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service
        Recall case Archive.
        2019 (Available at:) (Accessed August 17, 2020)
      18. Guidance for FDA Staff. Compliance Policy Guide Sec. 690.800 Salmonella in Food for Animals.
        (Available at:) (Accessed October 4, 2020)
      19. Consumer Reports.
        (Available at:) (Potentially harmful bacteria found on 97 percent of chicken breasts tested. Accessed October 4, 2020)
      20. Consumer Reports. Antibiotic-resistant salmonella in chicken sickens 92.
        (Available at:) (Accessed Oct 4, 2020)
        • Barf World
        Processed Pet food – Why you should avoid it.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 20, 2020)
      21. Healthy pets – with Dr. Karen Becker. FDA’s Dire Warnings Create a Laughingstock.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 17, 2020)
      22. U.S. Department of Agriculture.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 20, 2020)
        • Weaver C.M.
        • Dwyer J.
        • Fulgoni III, V.L.
        • et al.
        Processed foods: contributions to nutrition.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2014; 99: 1525-1542
        • Fardet A.
        • Rock E.
        • Bassama J.
        • et al.
        Current food classifications in epidemiological studies do not enable solid nutritional recommendations for preventing diet-related chornic diseases: the impact of food processing.
        Adv Nutr. 2015; 6: 629-638
        • Bleiweiss-Sande R.
        • Chui K.
        • Evans E.W.
        • et al.
        Robustness of food processing classification systems.
        Nutrients. 2019; 11: 1344
        • Poti J.M.
        • Mendex M.A.
        • Ng S.W.
        • et al.
        Is the degree of food processing and convenience linked with the nutritional quality of foods purchased by US households?.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2015; 101: 1251-1262
        • Eicher-Miller H.A.
        • Fulgoni III, Vl
        • Keast D.R.
        Contributions of processed foods to dietary intake in the US from 2003-2008: a report of the food and nutrition science solutions joint task force of the academy of nutrition and dietetics, American society for nutrition, institute of food technologists, and international food information council.
        J Nutr. 2012; 142: 2065S-2072S
      23. PetfoodIndustry.com. How processing affects pet food products, Part 1.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 30, 2020)
      24. PetfoodIndustry.com. How processing affects pet food products, Part 2.
        (Available at:) (Accessed November 30, 2020)
        • Singh S.
        • Gamlath S.
        • Wakeling L.
        Nutritional aspects of food extrusion: a review.
        Int J Food Sci Technol. 2007; 42: 916-929
        • Tran Q.D.
        • Hendricks W.H.
        • van der Poel A.F.B.
        Effects of extrusion on nutrients in dry pet food.
        J Sci Food Agric. 2008; 88: 1487-1493
        • Shelar G.
        • Gaikwad S.T.
        Extrusion in food processing: an overview.
        Pharma Innovation J. 2019; 8: 562-568
        • Miglio C.
        • Chavaro E.
        • Visconti A.
        • et al.
        Effects of different cooking methods on nutritional and physicochemical characteristics of selected vegetables.
        J Agric Food Chem. 2008; 56: 137-149
        • Garcaia A.L.
        • Koebnick C.
        • Dagnelie P.
        • et al.
        Long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favourable plasma β–carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations in Germans.
        Br J Nutr. 2008; 99: 1293-1300
        • Prasanna K.D.
        • Gunathilake P.
        • Somathilaka Ranaweera K.K.D.
        • et al.
        Effect of different cooking methods on polyphenols, carotenoids and antioxidant activities of selected edible leaves.
        Antioxidants. 2018; 7: 117
        • Meade S.J.
        • Reid E.A.
        • Gerrard J.A.
        The impact of processing on the nutritional quality of food proteins.
        J Assoc Off Anal Chem. 2005; 88: 904-922
        • Carmody R.N.
        • Wrangham R.W.
        The energetic significance of cooking.
        J Hum Evol. 2009; 57: 379-391
        • Boback S.M.
        • Cox C.I.
        • Ott B.D.
        • et al.
        Cooking and grinding reduces the cost of meat digestion.
        Comp Biochem Physiol A. 2007; 148: 651-656
        • Kerr K.R.
        • Vester Bolar B.M.
        • Morris C.L.
        • et al.
        Apparent total tract energy and macronutrients digestibility and fecal fermentative end-product concentrations of domestic cats fed extruded, raw beef-based, and cooked, beef-based diets.
        J Anim Sci. 2012; 90: 515-522
      25. Wrangham R. Brain foods. In: Catching fire. How cooking made us human. New York (NY): 2009. p. 105–28.

      26. Foodsafety.gov. Food Safety Charts.
        (Available at:) (Assessed August 20, 2020)
      27. FDA. Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 20, 2020)
        • Finley R.
        • Ribble C.
        • Aramini J.
        • et al.
        The risk of salmonellae shedding by dogs fed Salmonella-contaminated commercial raw food diets.
        Can Vet J. 2007; 48: 69-75
        • Parr J.M.
        • Remillard R.L.
        Handling alternative dietary requests from pet owners.
        Vet Clin Small Anim. 2014; 44: 667-688
      28. WSAVA Mission & Plan.
        (Available at:) (Accessed July 14. 2020)
      29. WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee: Recommendations on Selecting Pet Foods.
        (Available at:) (Assessed July 12, 2020)
      30. Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020. Chapter 1. Key elements of healthy eating patterns.
        (Available at:) (Assessed August 20, 2020)
        • Twomey L.N.
        • Pethick D.W.
        • Rowe J.B.
        • et al.
        The use of sorghum and corn as alternatives to rice in dog foods.
        J Nutr. 2002; 132: 1704S-1705S
        • Golder C.
        • Weemhoff J.L.
        • Jewell D.E.
        Cats have increased protein digestibility as compared to dogs and improve their ability to absorb protein as dietary protein intake shifts from animal to plant sources.
        Animals. 2020; 10: 541
        • Moron B.
        • Cebolla A.
        • Manyani H.
        • et al.
        sensitive detection of cereal fractions that are toxic to celiac disease patients by using monoclonal antibodies to a main immunogenic wheat peptide.
        Amer J Clin Nutr. 2008; 87: 405-414
        • Hall E.J.
        • Batt R.M.
        Dietary modulation of gluten sensitivity in a naturally occurring enteropathy of Irish setter dogs.
        Gut. 1992; 33: 198-205
        • Garden O.A.
        • Pidduck H.
        • Laldani K.H.
        • et al.
        Inheritance of gluten-sensitive enteropathy in Irish Setters.
        Am J Vet Res. 2000; 61: 462-468
        • Lowrie M.
        • Garden O.A.
        • Hadjivassiliou M.
        • et al.
        The clinical and serological effect of a gluten-free diet in Border Terriers with epileptoid cramping syndrome.
        J Vet Intern Med. 2015; 29: 1564-1568
        • PetfoodIndustry
        The mother of all petfood trends: grain free.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 20, 2020)
        • PetfoodIndustry
        Riding the grain-free petfood wave.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 20, 2020)
      31. WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee. Frequently Asked questions & Myths.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 10, 2020)
        • Laflamme D.
        • Izquierdo O.
        • Eirmann L.
        • et al.
        Myths and misperceptions about ingredients used in commercial pet foods.
        Vet Clin Small Anim. 2014; 44: 689-698
      32. Kansas State University Scientific Forum Exploring Causes of Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs. FDA Updates on Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Fully and Partially Recovered Cases.
        (Available at:) (Accessed October 25, 2020)
        • Freeman L.M.
        • Stern J.A.
        • Fries R.
        • et al.
        Diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs: what do we know? (commentary).
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2018; 253: 1390-1394
      33. FDA. FDA Investigating Potential Connection Between Diet and Cases of Canine Heart Disease.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 21, 2020)
        • Kaplan J.L.
        • Stern J.A.
        • Fascetti A.
        • et al.
        Taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in golden retrievers fed commercial diets.
        PLoS One. 2018; 13: e0209112
        • Adin D.D.
        • DeFrancesco
        • Keene B.
        • et al.
        Echocardiographic phenotype of canine dilated cardiomyopathy differs based on diet type.
        J Vet Cardiol. 2019; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvc.2018.11.002
      34. FDA. FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
        (Available at:) (Accessed August 21, 2020)