According to the latest U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), grain-free dog food could increase the risk of heart disease. After some cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) were linked to the food, the agency started investigating the link between the two.
The FDA released a report explaining that this disease was common in giant breeds, but the newest cases are of other dogs like golden and Labrador retrievers, bulldogs and even some smaller dogs:
“Early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicate that the impacted dogs consistently ate foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients in their primary source of nutrition for time periods ranging from months to years.”
According to the recipes of dog food, most grain-free pet foods contain “peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients” and that the label on the food packaging should read “grain-free.”
Dilated Cardiomyopathy – A Serious Heart Condition
Lisa Freeman is a veterinarian from the U.S. explaining that DCM is a disease of the heart that makes it enlarge and weakens its heartbeats. She added that the grain-free food is heavily promoted, even though it wasn’t proved to be better than others. Freeman said that “while grains have been accused on the internet of causing nearly every disease known to dogs, grains do not contribute to any health problems and are used in pet food as a nutritious source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.”
Patricia Alderson (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association) explains that each breed needs a certain diet and all changes should be made after a vet consults the dog:
“There’s no one diet that’s right for every breed. People should really talk to veterinarians.”
She explains that not all “diet trends,” – such as only raw meat, are good for animals, and they can even make the dogs sick in some cases.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.