To Grain or Not to Grain...Is That the Question?

To Grain or Not to Grain: Unraveling the Myths of Pet Nutrition

As pet parents, we all want to ensure that our furry family receive the best possible care, especially when it comes to their diet. We know how important diet is and anything we feed our pets can either help them or harm them, so understanding their nutritional requirements is key to extending their lives and keeping them healthy, Over the past several years, there has been a surge of misinformation regarding grain-inclusive and grain-free diets, particularly concerning their impact on heart health. It’s time to set the record straight and provide you with the facts.

The Grain Myth: Debunking Outdated Information

For years, some veterinarians and pet food companies have promoted the idea that grains are essential for heart health in pets. This belief dates back to the 1950s when cereal companies, aiming to increase their sales, propagated the notion that grains could protect the heart. However, this claim was never backed by scientific evidence.

Recent studies over the past six years have definitively shown that there is no scientific basis for the claim that grain-inclusive diets benefit heart health, not for us or our pets. Common sense tells us, if grains were so crucial for our pet's health, Mother Nature would have made them part of their natural diet, but we all know dogs and cats do not hunt grains! We also know, grains used in pet food are typically used as a cheap filler to increase the protein with plants in place of meat. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that grain-free diets cause Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a type of heart disease. Research funded by Mars, the biggest pet food manufacturer in the pet food industry, has confirmed that legumes and lentils do not prevent the absorption of taurine, an essential amino acid. Conveniently, they funded this research one month after acquiring Champion Pet Foods, which was the most popular grain free food in the market. Prior to the acquisition, Mars played a leading role in perpetuating the myth that grain free diets were harmful. Funny how their tune changed so quickly once they owned the most popular grain free food on the planet!

The Role of Taurine in Heart Health

Taurine is a crucial amino acid for maintaining a healthy heart, and it’s found exclusively in meat. Unlike grains, which provide carbohydrates, meat-based diets are rich in the proteins and amino acids that our pets need to thrive. Taurine helps regulate the heart’s contractions and ensures that it functions properly. A deficiency in taurine can lead to serious heart conditions, including DCM. This is why it becomes so important to provide a protein rich diet that is low in carbs.

By feeding your pets a protein-rich diet that includes high-quality meat, you’re providing them with the essential nutrients they need to keep their hearts healthy and thrive on a biologically appropriate diet. This is why it’s so important to focus on the quality and source of the protein in your pet’s diet rather than getting caught up in the grain vs. grain-free debate.

Protein sourced from plants is not the same as protein sourced from meat. Can our pets 'survive' on plant protein, yes, but can they thrive? Absolutely not! To survive means to merely exist, to thrive means to live vibrantly and energetically to your fullest potential! Our pets are natural born meat eaters and they need meat to live their best and healthiest lives, to thrive! Think about it from your own perspective, could you survive on cereal for a lifetime? You could likely survive, but you would never feel your best or be truly healthy, you would not thrive on cereal alone! Our pets wouldn't either when we feed an inappropriate diet.

Supporting Your Pet’s Health Through Organ Meats

Feeding your pet organ meats, such as heart, liver, and kidney, can further support their overall health. Each organ provides specific nutrients that help support the corresponding organ in your pet’s body. For instance, feeding heart meat can help support your pet’s heart health due to the high levels of taurine and other vital nutrients found in the heart tissue. Pets who eat an exclusively dry diet, only kibble will absolutely benefit from eating organ meats. We often recommend our freeze dried heart treats for any furry guys who eat kibble as their primary diet. Heart meat is pure protein and feeding heart, is an excellent way to support the health of the heart!

Organ meats are nutrient-dense and provide a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Incorporating these into your pet’s diet can offer numerous health benefits, from improved energy levels to enhanced immune function.

Making Informed Choices for Your Pet’s Diet

When it comes to choosing the right diet for your pet, it’s crucial to base your decisions on accurate information. Don’t let outdated myths and misinformation dictate what you feed your furry family members. Whether you opt for a grain-inclusive or grain-free diet, focus on the quality of the ingredients and ensure that the diet is rich in high-quality proteins. Keep in mind, oftentimes when grains are added to a dry pet food, they will increase the carbs. The best diet we can feed regardless of food type is protein rich, nutrient dense and low carb. Quality proteins, no fillers and low carbs are far more important than just choosing a grain free or grain inclusive food.

Remember, the key to a healthy heart lies in a balanced diet that includes all the essential nutrients, especially taurine. By prioritizing meat-based proteins and incorporating organ meats, you can support your pet’s heart health and overall well-being.


In summary, the idea that grains protect your pet’s heart is a myth that has been debunked numerous times by hundreds of scientific professionals over the last six years through extensive scientific research. Taurine, found in meat, is the true protector of heart health, and a protein-rich diet is the best way to ensure your pet’s heart stays healthy. By feeding high-quality proteins and organ meats, you can provide your pet with the essential nutrients they need for a long, healthy life.

Let’s put the grain debate to rest and focus on what truly matters—providing our pets with the proper nutrition they need to thrive. Your pet’s health is in your hands, and informed choices lead to happy, healthy pets. We are always happy to help you sift through the information and get to the truth when it comes to your pet's diet. By staying informed and making educated decisions about your furry family's diet, you can ensure their health and happiness for years to come. Keep spreading the truth and let’s debunk the myths together!

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