Posts Tagged ‘pet heart health and grain free diets’

Are grain-free pet diets dangerous? 

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018
heart health and pet diets

The FDA has posted an alert about grain free pet diets.

Are grain-free pet diets dangerous? 

The FDA reports a possible link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs.

GRAIN-FREE! NO BYPRODUCTS! ORGANIC! HIGH PROTEIN! RAW FOOD! HOME COOKED DIET!

There are a lot of buzz words when it comes to pet foods.  But what does it all mean?  There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what to feed our pets.  Unfortunately, we are discovering that there may be some dangerous consequences to these hyped up food trends.

grains and heart health linked

Possible link between grain free diets and heart disease.

The FDA reports a possible link between grain-free diets and heart disease.

With the sharp uptick in trendy diets has come an alarming new discovery.  There has been an increase in the incidence of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a type of heart disease, in dogs that eat grain-free diets.  While research is ongoing and no conclusions can officially be made, the FDA is concerned enough to have posted an alert about the connection.

Healthy dog heart

 

 

DCM is a heart condition that is typically seen in large and giant breed dogs, such as Great Danes, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers.

 

 

Doberman pinscher

Irish Wolfhound

Great Dane

Boxer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, veterinarians are seeing the disease in all types of breeds and are noticing that it may be connected to grain-free diets.  Patients diagnosed with DCM who were on a grain-free diet showed dramatic improvement in their heart health after switching to a different diet.

Researchers think the reasons for this may be complex, but suspect taurine deficiency may be a factor.

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that is crucial for heart health.  DCM used to be common in cats until it was discovered to be linked to taurine deficiency.  Now commercial cat food companies ensure that appropriate taurine levels are met in their products.  This highlights the importance of having a high quality and nutritionally balanced diet for pets.

are grains good for pets

What is best for my pet? Do they need grains for heart health?

All this begs the question: What should I feed my pet?

With so many pet foods out there and so many conflicting opinions, what should you feed your pet?  We recommend purchasing a maintenance food from a manufacturer that has a lot of experience producing pet foods.  Companies with a large number of veterinarians, researchers and nutritionists on staff are ideal.  It is also important to pick a manufacturer with extensive quality control measures and rigorous testing protocols.  We are happy to provide names of od quality pet food manufacturers if you call our office.

Please stay tuned for our next blog posts where we will discuss interpretation of pet food labels and debunk pet food buzz words!

It is our pleasure to serve you and your pets. Please do not hesitate to call our offices (708-383-3606) if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your veterinary healthcare team.