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  • Rex, Bark Gourmet Tester

A recent report released by the FDA revealed that they are currently investigating a possible link between dogs diet and a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart contracts poorly due to weakened heart muscles. In some cases it can lead to heart failure.

The FDA has informed the public that there could be a diet correlation due to a higher incidence of DCM in breeds not usually affected by the condition. Some breeds are genetically predisposed and this form is manageable but irreversible. DCM conditions related to diet are reversible.

Grain free diets, highly processed dry food as well as legumes and potatoes have all been mentioned as possible links. Previous studies have also shown that a deficiency in taurine can cause DCM. Taurine is an amino acid that dogs can produce when two other essential amino acids are present. These essential amino acids are available in dog foods with high quality meat sources or from dog foods with a taurine supplement.

Many dog foods have some form of legumes in their ingredients since they are nutritionally important but legumes should not be a main source of protein. With so many dog food options available today it is important for dog owners to be able to differentiate which foods are made with high quality ingredients and their content value. For example, a diet that includes a small amount of whole legumes mixed with other fresh ingredients along with a high quality meat is going to be healthier than a diet with large proportions of legumes or legume by-products.

It could be some time before the FDA’s investigation is complete. Until more information becomes available consider what type of food you are feeding your pet and decide whether it is time for a change. Bark Gourmet provides a fresh food made with wholesome ingredients cooked in a manner that preserves its nutrients. Our foods have been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that it is a complete and balanced meal with all the nutrients your dog needs. We want your dog to be healthy AND enjoy what they are eating too!

  • Rex, Bark Gourmet Tester

Our pets are important parts of our family and keeping them healthy is a priority. One main component in doing this is feeding them a quality food. There are plenty of food choices to consider and picking a new food can quickly become an overwhelming task.

When looking at a new food it is only natural to compare what you are currently feeding to a potential new food. Ingredients are usually the first things you compare. While this is very important you should also look at the Guaranteed Analysis. This indicates how much protein, fat, fiber, moisture and calorie content is in the food. But beware, you could quickly glance at a Guaranteed Analysis and see an alarming difference in values. This may cause you to put the food down and move on to the next one. While you can easily compare numbers between two dry foods or two wet foods it is important to know that these values mean different things. This is especially true when comparing a dry food to a wet food. The main difference between a dry food and a wet food is the moisture content. Dry foods are processed in such a way that it concentrates its ingredients and removes the majority of the moisture. Wet foods keep all of its moisture and thus the nutrients are dispersed differently throughout the food. So comparing a wet food to a dry food is not necessarily comparing apples to apples.

Dog foods are reported in the Guaranteed Analysis on an “as fed (AF)” basis regardless of their moisture content. In order to compare a dry food and a wet food the moisture content value has to be eliminated. This is done when foods are converted to a “dry matter (DM)” basis. There are several dog food conversion calculators available on the Internet. They instantly convert the nutrient values to the same scale, which allows you to easily compare different types of foods. All you have to do is plug in the nutrient values found in the Guaranteed Analysis.

Every dog is different but a lot of dogs enjoy wet foods because of its texture, aroma and taste. Since wet food is not as concentrated as dry food your dog will need a larger feeding amount. They also may not drink as much water with their meal due to the higher moisture content compared to a dry kibble.

Picking a new food can take a little research but understanding what is in a dog food allows you to navigate through the many food options available. Bark Gourmet uses wholesome ingredients that contain no preservatives, byproducts or artificial flavors. We strive to make a food that your dog will not only enjoy but ensure that they are eating healthy as well.

  • Rex, Bark Gourmet Tester

If you are like most people you get excited about trying something new that you just bought. You can't wait to try it and your dog may be just the same way. So when you buy some new dog food you may be tempted to feed your furry pal their new food all at once. But hold your horses....because even though your dog may be just as excited about trying something new their stomach may not. It is very important to remember that switching to a new dog food has to be a gradual change in order to prevent an upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting.

The introduction of new food should occur over the course of 7-10 days depending on your dog. You will gradually decrease the amount of their current food while increasing the amount of new food. The first 2-3 days will be a ratio of 25% new food and 75% current food. Make sure to mix the foods thoroughly to ensure your dog is eating all the food as opposed to picking through it. It's also important to observe your dog for any changes. If you notice that your dog's stomach is upset you may have to lengthen the amount of time you feed them that same ratio until their tummy adjusts. If your dog is acclimating well to the new food then you can adjust the ratio to 50% new food and 50% current food for the next couple of days. After that you would adjust to 75% new food and 25% old food for the next few days until you fully transition to 100% new food. Keep in mind that every dog is different. Some are more finicky than others. Some dogs tummies might take a little bit longer to adjust to dietary changes. But before long your dog will be enjoying their new food and you'll be happy knowing that your furry pal is eating a fresh and natural diet.

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