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Discussion Starter #1
I belong to dog food group on FB and the latest trend is avoiding foods with peas. Dory's food just started adding peas apparently.. so what's the deal with peas? Why are they bad? :/

Signed,

One confused dog mom who is a fan of peas for people
 

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The biggest concern now is an apparent connection between Goldens being fed food that had plant based proteins added and/or the food had a lot of peas and pea products added, Some examples of plant based proteins are garbanzo beans, lentils, soy protein, chickpeas to name a few.

This seems to lead to low taurine levels, which in turn is connected to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Several breeers have experienced DCM and low taurine levels while feeding grain free foods. Lots and lots of discussion on Golden FB discussion groups.

This is the initial post I saw, copied from a public posting on FB

"Posted by Laura Franchi.

Please read - Important Information that should be shared! Recently a number of Golden Retrievers have come up with low taurine levels and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). These dogs are not all related but one thing they all had in common --- they were being fed a food that had plant based proteins added, meat was not the main ingredient in the food or the food had a lot of peas and pea products added. Some examples of plant based proteins are garbanzo beans, lentils, soy protein, chickpeas to name a few. These owners were feeding highly rated foods and several brands are involved. Golden Retrievers are one of the breeds of dogs that have been found to suffer taurine deficiency without dietary intake. Taurine is found mainly in muscle meat. Some dog food companies do add taurine to their foods but it is not required. Everyone needs to start reading dog food labels carefully. Dogs are carnivores and do not need a lot of plant based proteins. Be certain the food you are feeding has adequate amounts of meat protein. Do not just look at the protein content of the food. If a food has meat and plant proteins added the protein content is the combination of the two. You may be feeding very little meat protein and lots of legume protein. If you have a concern, get a taurine test on your dog. You may be saving its life. Prior to taurine testing do not change food, supplement with taurine or start feeding meat to your dog's diet. This will skew the results. Some of the dogs tested had low taurine and DCM but showed no signs or symptoms. They were tested because the owners were feeding the same food as others that had found low taurine/DCM in their dogs. If you are feeding raw be certain the diet contains adequate amounts of meats that are high in taurine. DCM caused by taurine deficiency may be reversed if diagnosed early and treated. Please also share this information with your puppy buyers and your vet."

If you are interested, lots of discussion on this on the Golden Retriever Discussion Group, if you are a member, and on the public posting on Rob Paterson's FB page.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow! That's scary stuff. Meat(salmon) is the main ingredient in her food, but peas & garbanzo beans are both listed once. Gah!
 

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I had no idea peas aren't good for dogs. In fact I thought quite the opposite :-o I even occasionally add a spoon of frozen peas to his food along with his regular kibble. TOTW has peas as a listed ingredient too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had no idea peas aren't good for dogs. In fact I thought quite the opposite :-o I even occasionally add a spoon of frozen peas to his food along with his regular kibble. TOTW has peas as a listed ingredient too.
The salmon didn't have it in her last batch, it's now been added. A lot, and I mean a lot, of good kibble has this as an added ingredient.
 

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I don't mean to sound out of place here. This sounds like stuff we always hear about everything is bad. Don't feed purina because it kills pets. A lot of scare tactics. Or one I saw the other day about don't eat ketchup because it has sugar. Don't get me wrong they might actually be bad but sounds like a scare tactic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does Dory have a grain issue? I can't remember. I was going to recommend a food from the same brand I feed (the non grain free ones don't have peas of any kind) but it does have grains in it. The particular food I want to recommend is salmon based as well.
She does. Grain, Chicken, Corn, and water(kidding!) But she's super sensitive! Gah!
 

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If meat wasn't listed as first ingredient in my mind it's not a high quality food.
Many of these foods do have meat listed as the first ingredient, but when you add up all the peas and other legumes, they move right up there. The manufacturers split them out so it appears that they are a lesser component than they actually are.

I am old enough to remember the taurine issue back in the 70's when lamb based food became popular, especially with cats.

This article discusses taurine and DCM.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy - VeterinaryPartner.com - a VIN company!

"In some dogs, DCM is due to a nutritional deficiency. Taurine is an amino acid required for the development and function of the myocardium. Consequently, pets may develop DCM on taurine-deficient diets, such as vegetarian diets, and may benefit from appropriate supplementation. Some breeds, such as American Cocker Spaniels and Golden Retrievers, may have a predisposition to taurine-deficiency, possibly through defects in metabolizing taurine. Many, but not all, cases that are supplemented with taurine will improve. Some also need carnitine supplementation. If your pet is diagnosed with DCM, testing for a taurine deficiency may be warranted. Breeds such as Doberman Pinschers and Great Danes do not have taurine-deficient cardiomyopathy. Some cats may develop taurine-deficient DCM, although this has become rare as taurine is now added to virtually all quality cat foods (see Feline Cardiomyopathy)."
 

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An example was given of Acana Pork and Butternut Squash. Of the first 11 ingredients, 7 are legumes: Deboned Pork*, Pork Meal, Whole Green Peas, Red Lentils, Pork Liver*, Pork Fat, Pinto Beans, Chickpeas, Herring Oil, Green Lentils, Whole Yellow Peas, Whole Butternut Squash.

Not every Golden will be affected, but some will. Well worth being aware of the potential issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After researching, I do not think the issue is the peas, but the fact that they're using it as a protein source and lowering the meat(s) in replace.. Thus causing the issues. Gah. TOTW didn't add peas in their Salmon formula, now they do... Maybe I'll discuss with our vet about using a supplement for taurine.
 

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If you are interested, lots of discussion on this on the Golden Retriever Discussion Group, if you are a member, and on the public posting on Rob Paterson's FB page.
Tahnee, is this group on Facebook? I'm concerned about the food I'm feeding my girl, and I want to look into this further. I tried to find a group titled "golden retriever discussion group" on FB but couldn't find anything other than one titled "golden retriever discussion group 2".

Thanks!!
 

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I find it extremely frustrating that most of the single meat protein foods have peas/pea protein/pea flour and/or lentils, etc. My dog can't have chicken, beef, lamb, or fish because of itching and/or stomach issues. Duck also causes low level itchiness. That leaves me with few choices, especially once you factor in the calcium/phosphorous content. Now there's the taurine issue, on top of that. There is slim possibility that I can find a food that meets every requirement. I have spent dozens of hours looking at dog foods and comparing ingredients. In the past, I have fed Eukanuba, and find myself wishing I could just feed that and be done with it. My luck to get the one puppy in the litter with allergies.
 

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Oh my, I remember that! I thought it was cats only...
Well we have peas in our food but no legumes and it's way down the list. It's not a grain free food but doesn't have wheat, corn or soy. Thanks for the info., it's time for more research... new food and/or supplements. Great thread!
 
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