Update: Grain Free Pet Foods & Heart Disease

By now, you’ve probably heard the warnings about the link between grain-free diets and the development of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. DCM is a heart condition that can result in abnormal cardiac rhythms, congestive heart failure and even sudden death.

Veterinary cardiologists, nutritionists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are currently investigating a possible link between those types of diets and the development of this condition.

The FDA’s latest report details the most common foods being fed in these dogs as well as the breeds most commonly affected. It also supports the initial theory that diets high in legumes like peas and lentils may be decreasing or changing the absorption of minerals and increasing the risk of DCM in dogs.

If you are feeding your pet a grain-free diet, we suggest that you purchase a similar non-grain-free diet of the same brand to allow for a smooth transition. If you cannot find one of the same brand, then we recommend you purchase one with similar percentages of protein, fat and fiber to avoid upsetting your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. 

You can pick up a copy of the FDA’s most recent statement on this issue at our hospital, and we invite you to call us at 703-956-1522 with any questions you may have.