BEWARE – Deadly diet
Grain Free Diet– Not Healthy for dogs
Dogs that eat grain-free diets may be more prone to develop a form of heart disease that has historically been seen only in a known few breeds of dogs.
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, as well as a group of veterinary diagnostic labs, have begun investigating a link between dogs fed grain-free diets (those containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as main ingredients) and the development of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The FDA has begun to receive reports of unusually high rates of DCM in breeds not typically at risk of the condition.
Breeds genetically predisposed to DCM, which often results in congestive heart failure, include large and giant breed dogs such as Newfoundlands, Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds and Doberman Pinschers. The only known smaller breed dog is the English and American Cocker Spaniel. However, recent cases of DCM have been showing up in atypical breeds including Golden and Labrador Retrievers, a Whippet, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog, Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breed dogs.
In an attempt to live healthier lives themselves, many pet owners have been drawn to the grain-free and gluten-free options in diets, and this has now found its way to pet foods. Nearly 20 percent of all dog foods launched in 2017 were gluten-free and grain-free, which seems now to be perceived to be healthier. For our canine friends, it appears this is not the case, it is just the opposite.
Don’ be broken-hearted, all is not lost. In cases of DCM with no genetic component, heart function may improve with veterinary treatment and dietary modification, if the disease is caught early. At present we are strongly recommending dog owners STOP feeding grain-free diets unless specifically directed by a veterinarian. Please call our veterinary hospital if you have any questions or concerns regarding the health of your pet.