Is There A Connection Between Grain-Free Foods And Heart Disease??

Recently you may have seen reports on TV, in Newspapers, and in Magazines that there could be a connection between dogs eating Grain-Free Foods and a previously rare type of canine heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Specialists at major Veterinary Medical Centers recently began to see cases of Dilated Cardiomyopathy suddenly appearing in unusual breeds which don’t have the known genetic predisposition to the disease. The FDA has launched a full scientific investigation to shed light on this problem.

Epidemiologic studies consisting of surveying the owners of these dogs to find out everything possible about their lives to try to track down what, if any, connections could be made. They looked at their location in the country, urban or rural, foods they eat, flea and tick products, shampoo, supplements and medicines given, etc, etc.

The one common connection seen so far is that these dog were eating grain-free dog foods. Grain-free foods replace the grain carbohydrates with other carbs like tapioca flour, pea flour, garbanzo beans, potato starch, and others. So it could be either the lack of grain in the diet, the addition of legume type carbs that have never previously been used in pet foods, or some other factor yet to be determined.

Because this has been widely publicized in the media, which in today’s world can mean it really is news or could be “fake news”, I want to stress to our clients that there are no firm answers yet.

Out of an abundance of caution, veterinary cardiologists have recommended that unless your dog really does have a veterinarian diagnosed clinical reason not to eat grains (true dermatologic food allergies or gastrointestinal food hypersensitivity), for now they suggest to add some grain-containing dog food to the grain-free food, or switch off grain-free temporarily until this can be sorted out scientifically.

That’s as much as is known at this time. I will be monitoring this closely and will keep our clients updated.