Why Switched to Grain-Free Dog Food

A few years ago I had to make a drastic food change for Sie. This was before I found out the poor dog had an enlarged heart and before Cinderella came to us. It started with projectile vomiting. Sie would just open her mouth and vomit several times a day. She was barely ten pounds and bony. I didn’t know why she was throwing up. I had to clean this up several times a day. I am one of those people who cannot stand the sight, smell, or the sound of retching. I will gag or puke myself. Along with the puking, Sie was coughing a lot. I’d had her treated for heartworms and never skipped a pill after that. It could not be heartworms.


Taking her to my vet, I told him about the cough and the puking. Like any good child, you get her to the doctor and she doesn’t cough the entire time she’s there! I took her a few more times for the same problem then the vet said, “Okay, I want to hear this cough.” Walking quickly around the lobby, I had Sie trotting. After a few minutes she started coughing. The vet frowned then took her back for an x-ray. He came back, looking grave. I had Sie in my lap, both arms around her.

“Sie has an enlarged heart.” He told me. “She’ll need to be on a daily pill, it will cost you $9 for a month’s supply.”

I was crying. My dog had an enlarged heart? How? Why? What did it mean? Sie was my best friend. We had been together for seven years. This could not be happening. I got her on the pill, she puked less, but was still puking. The vet had no suggestions for the puking. With the pill, Sie started sleeping a lot, acting like an old dog. (I switched vets a few months later and they switched her to a more expensive pill that worked better. She started acting like a puppy again.)

I started talking to other dog owners about the puke and they said maybe she had a grain allergy. I was confused until I started checking and found out most dog food is made solely from grain with very little real meat if any! My Uncle Clay suggested Biljac. He said that’s all he fed his dogs and it was grain free. I bought a small bag of the expensive stuff and found out she liked it and she wasn’t puking. After a few weeks she gained weight, and wasn’t bony anymore. I never went back.

Sie after Biljac

Biljac became more and more expensive. The only place I could buy it was in Russellville at Petsmart. Every month the price would go up. I began looking at other grain free brands. At Tractor supply, I found a better priced,  (what I thought at the time) grain free food. I switched Sie to it and she loved it. I bought the salmon and potato flavor. When Cinderella came to us back in November 2014, I fed it to her too.

I did not find out until writing this blog that the 4Health brand was moderately grain free unless it was in the dark brown bags which are completely grain free and more expensive. I am still feeding the same food to Sie and Cinderella.


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