There have been a lot of articles in the news lately about grain free dog food. Veterinary researchers have potentially uncovered a link between grain-free kibble, Taurine deficiency, and the heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in certain breeds of dogs.  Let’s take a minute to understand what is happening.

Proteins are important in a dog’s diet, but the proteins you feed your dog should largely be animal-based instead of plant-based. Plant proteins lack certain acids which are necessary for healthy growth and development. One of the amino acids missing in plants is Taurine, which is found in animal muscle meat, in particular the heart and liver.

Plant-based ingredients contain either low or undetectable amounts of Taurine. Grain-free/”low-protein” commercial diets are very high in carbohydrates, which displace amino acids (Taurine). They also contain anti-nutrients that may interfere with taurine absorption.

When you read a dog food label you should look at the order of the ingredients listed. This will tell you how much of each ingredient is in the food, by weight, before cooking. The first one or two ingredients in the list should be animal specific protein (chicken, beef, salmon, etc.) to indicate there is more meat protein in the dog food than any other ingredient. The FDA has warned pet owners about reports of canine DCM where the main ingredient in their food is peas, lentils, other legumes, or potatoes.

All pet food, including our grain-free products, carried by Pet Central Station is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Food Nutrient Profiles.  The first ingredient in all our food is animal specific protein containing the amino acid Taurine. You can feel confident you are providing your pet the best food available.

For more information regarding this topic, please visit Dr. Karen Becker at