What are legumes and pulses? Why do you use them?

Legumes include the edible fruits or seeds of plants in the legume family, such as peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Pulses are the dried forms of those seeds.

These nutritious ingredients are great sources of protein, fiber, carbohydrates (including complex carbohydrates for slow energy release and even blood sugar levels), and many important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Legumes and pulses are commonly found in grain-free pet food recipes, since their nutritional value makes them a high-quality substitute for grain-based ingredients like wheat, rice, or barley in pets who are sensitive to grains. However, legumes and pulses may also be included in pet food recipes that contain grains.

Whether the recipe is grain-free or grain-inclusive, all of our Fromm Family recipes include an excellent balance of ingredients that work together in harmony to provide the best possible nutrition to your dog or cat.

At Fromm, we use a Multi-Ingredient Principle. This means that no single ingredient—including legumes or pulses—dominates over the other ingredients. Instead, the ingredients in each of our recipes are thoughtfully chosen to provide full-spectrum nutrition from a variety of healthy sources.

This results in overall nutritional balance, without overly relying on any one particular ingredient.

Can legumes and pulses be harmful to pets?

In recent news, you may have read about the FDA’s report on dogs and a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and the possible link with certain grain-free diets.

Understandably, it’s easy to worry when reading the headlines—but the truth is, there are still a lot of unknowns, and the true causes of DCM in dogs are much more complicated than just an association with certain types of ingredients.

In fact, the vast majority of pups eating grain-free diets and legume-containing recipes have not developed any issues with DCM.

Further information from nutritionists and experts suggests that diet-related DCM may be associated with an imbalanced diet—one in which the proportion of legumes and pulses (or other ingredients) is predominant in the recipe.

In other words, legumes and pulses themselves are not harmful—on the contrary, they offer a lot of nutritional value. Instead, it’s more about the overall nutrient balance of the food, and how the different ingredients work together. Depending too much on any one ingredient can result in imbalance—but our Multi-Ingredient Principle prevents this issue.

Also, some pups may have genetics or digestive factors that interfere with their abilities to digest and process all of the healthy nutrients in their food. So, it’s always important to find a recipe that works well for your pet’s unique needs.

In short, more information and research are needed. But at this time, the FDA does not recommend avoiding certain foods or changing to a specific type of recipe.

We are dedicated to providing the best possible nutrition to your pet for their health and wellbeing, and we are keeping a close eye out for any new information. To learn more, we recommend the following sources: