There has been much press recently about possible toxicity in rice and rice products, particularly related to Arsenic toxicity in pet food. With this much press, we find it necessary to set the record straight, so that our customers aren’t misguided by misinformation or sensationalism.
The Science Behind High-Quality Carbohydrates
Firstly, JustFoodForDogs does offer daily grain-free and low carb options for dogs that really need it as recommended by their veterinarian or requested by their pet parent. Having said that, our position is that domestic dogs thrive with high-quality carbohydrates as part of their nutrition. This isn’t just our opinion; a recent scientific study has proven, without a doubt, that domestic dogs are genetically adapted to thrive off carbs in their nutrition. I was interviewed for my thoughts on this article by the Los Angeles times:
“Oscar Chavez, director of the veterinary technician program at Cal Poly Pomona, said the findings served as a reminder that dogs don’t eat like wolves. He said he and his colleagues were befuddled by the trend toward pricey low-carb dog foods and raw diets … ‘Dogs are dogs — they’re more reliant on starches and grains,’ he said, which is why commercial dog foods are formulated to contain about 20% to 30% protein and 40% to 50% carbs.” Read the full article from the LA Times.
Feed Grade vs Human Edible Rice
So carbohydrates are a good source of nutrition, but what about rice as a source of carbohydrates? Rice products have long been considered a premium (and more expensive) ingredient in pet food. The reality is all rice is not bad: what matters is what quality you use, where you get your ingredients, and whether you do periodic testing.
Human grade rice is no comparison to feed grade rice, which is loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Feed rice is also not the whole rice, but the scraps of rice that are left over when rice products are made for human consumption. These are much more likely to absorb toxins during multiple processing stages. Most commercial kibbles and canned food will use feed grade rice; so with this part of the toxin controversy we agree – you should be wary of processed rice in commercial kibble diets, especially the lower quality brands.
However, like every other ingredient at JFFDs, our rice does not equal their “rice”. We source the highest quality USDA long rice, sushi rice, and whole brown rice from reputable suppliers that have assured us to be free of toxins, including arsenic. But we don’t stop there, we also routinely test all of our homemade dog food recipes through Dr. John Tegzes, VMD, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist, and professor at Western University. In this video, he answers one of the most frequently asked questions we get at JustFoodForDogs:
Blog post was written by:
Dr. Oscar E Chavez BVetMed MRCVS MBA
Chief Medical Officer
About JustFoodForDogs: We started JustFoodForDogs with one simple, primary objective – to increase the quality and length of life for as many dogs as possible through the food they eat. All of our food is made from ingredients certified by the USDA for human consumption. We add all of the necessary nutrients to make our healthy dog food complete and balanced. Our recipes are developed by our own team which includes several veterinarians, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist, a professor in canine clinical nutrition, a team of RVTs and veterinary assistants, and a cadre of dogs and dog lovers.