So, you accidentally purchased grain-free dog food but aren’t sure if it’s suitable for your good boy.
No worries! There are many ways to put that food to good use, even if it’s not part of your dog’s regular diet.
You can use the grain-free dog food as a treat, give it to a friend, feed it to your dog with a supplement, trade it with someone who wants it, donate it, or get a refund (or hopefully, at least a store credit!).
Use The Grain-Free Food As A Treat
Dogs love variety, and something different from your pup’s regular meals can make a fantastic treat.
Use the grain-free food as a special reward or an occasional snack to keep things interesting for him.
Give It To A Friend
Perhaps you have a dog owner friend who specifically feeds their dog grain-free food. In that case, consider offering your accidental purchase to them as a kind gesture.
They’ll surely appreciate it, and their dog will too!
Supplement The Food
There’s always the option to mix some of the grain-free food with your dog’s regular food. Figure out the nutritional and caloric differences so you know how much grain-free food should be substituted for some of your dog’s normal meal.
It can be a pleasant change for your dog’s taste buds and help you use up the food you bought.
Swap It with Someone Who Wants It
Swap your grain-free dog food with someone who made the opposite mistake. Utilize online platforms such as:
- Facebook groups
- Local bulletin boards (Yes! They still exist!)
These resources can connect you with people who are looking to exchange the dog food they’ve mistakenly purchased.
Donate The Grain-Free Food
Your local animal shelter or low-income veterinary clinic will likely welcome the donation of grain-free dog food. These organizations are often in need of supplies and food.
I do not doubt that your contribution will be put to great use for dogs in need.
Ask for a Refund or Store Credit
Lastly, many stores have friendly return policies. Reach out to the store where you purchased the grain-free food and inquire about their return options.
They might issue a refund or provide store credit, allowing you to swap your purchase with your dog’s preferred food.
As a dog owner, you might have come across talks of DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) being linked to grain-free dog food.
This heated topic has had the pet community divided, with some circles still firmly believing in the connection between the two.
Let’s take a brief look at the past and present information, shall we?
The FDA initially issued a warning, stating:
“Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other ‘pulses’ (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch, and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients.”
Certainly, some grain-free foods fit this description, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t necessarily fit all grain-free dog foods.
But that was then. So, you might be wondering what the current stance of the FDA is on this matter.
Recently, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:
“Agency (the FDA) says the adverse events reported, by themselves, do not provide sufficient data to establish a causal relationship.”
So, what does that mean for your sweet pooch and the grain-free food you mistakenly purchased? Simply put, there is no evidence that grain-free dog food leads to DCM.
Having said that, it’s your dog, and I’m not going to tell you what to feed him.
It’s up to you to decide.
As a responsible dog owner, always take the time to analyze the ingredients and make an informed judgment so you’re sure that you’re serving up a healthy meal to your canine companion.
In the past, when discussing other types of mistakenly purchased dog food, we’ve usually mentioned that it’s probably fine to feed it to your furry friend. After all, one bag of wrongly bought puppy food won’t impact your dog’s health.
But grain-free dog food might be a different story. The absence of grains in the diet could be a significant contrast to your dog’s regular food and give him an upset stomach when you make the sudden switch to grain-free.
If you decide to go ahead and feed the grain-free (without mixing it or supplementing it as I suggested above) dog food to your beloved pooch, it’s important to keep an eye on him after his first few meals.
You don’t want a sick dog on your hands!
Final Thoughts: Oops! I Bought Grain-Free Dog Food By Mistake!
Now you know that purchasing grain-free dog food by mistake is not a disaster, and there are several ways to make good use of it.
It can be used as an occasional treat for your dog, donated, or swapped with someone who needs it. You can also (likely) return it to the store for a refund or store credit, or give it to a friend whose pet is on a grain-free diet.
If you choose to feed it to your dog, do so gradually to avoid upsetting his stomach.
Regarding concerns about DCM linked to grain-free dog foods, the FDA’s current stance is that there is insufficient data to establish a direct causal relationship.
However, to feel you’re making the best decision, some of you may still want to analyze the ingredients and make an informed decision that is best for your pet’s health.