The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has found that pet owners and veterinary professionals do not seem to share the same beliefs and views about the kinds of foods that are healthiest for pets. This divide, discovered through a survey, could be detrimental to the health of our pets.
A good 63% of veterinarians stated that diet plans that are either low-grain or don’t contain any grain at all are not healthier for dogs at all. Meanwhile, 46% of pet parents believe that they are. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that the belief that grain-free foods are healthier for dogs could be leading to heart disease in pups.
A warning released by the FDA explained that dogs who consume pet foods that contain high amounts of potatoes, legumes, legume seeds, peas, and lentils have been reported to develop dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM.
There is no scientific confirmation that these ingredients are in fact definitely the cause behind these DCM cases, but it’s worth noting that this was discovered after DCM began to occur more in breeds that don’t typically develop the condition. This includes retriever breeds, miniature schnauzers, bulldogs, Shih Tzus, and mixed breed dogs that are not genetically predisposed to DCM.
Often, foods that are considered or advertised as grain-free contain high amounts of potatoes or legumes, with these being their main ingredients. The pups affected by this report had all been consuming foods like these for long periods of time and were found to have low whole blood levels of taurine, which is an issue that results in DCM in many cases.
Investigations by the Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network at the FDA are currently underway. For now, if your dog develops DCM and you believe it may be linked to their diet, you can report it here.
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