There has been a trend over the past several years towards “grain-free” pet foods. Recently there have been reports of a serious heart muscle problem called cardiomyopathy developing in dogs fed grain-free diets for months to years. The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has taken the step of issuing a news brief on this concerning trend. Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance is quoted as saying “We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients.” In addition, the NY Times has published an article on this concerning problem.
Although individual dogs could have an allergy to certain grains, this is not common and to date there is no medical evidence that all grains are bad for all dogs. Because of the recent problems potentially attributable to grain-free dog food, the vets at The Animal Medical Clinics are currently recommending that you not feed these foods to your dog. If you chose to switch your dog to a new food, consider staying with the same manufacturer but use one of the foods which are not grain-free. In addition, whenever changing diets it is best to mix the new and old foods together for about one week to help with the transition.
Please call one of our offices if you have any concerns about your pet’s diet and we will be happy to discuss this with you.