Heart Disease Risk with Feeding Grain-Free

There's a lot of controversy over pet food these days. With so many brands and so many options it can be very hard to pick one. Though the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) does monitor food to make sure it does contain what it is supposed to, pet food is not as closely monitored as human food. This allows a lot of companies to have a hand in making pet food which is why there are so many brands and choices. The grain-free movement has become a big thing in the past few years with pet foods. Many pet food companies claim that feeding grain to an animal is bad for them, so they created diets with unusual ingredients such as chickpeas and eliminated other ingredients such as rice and corn. Unfortunately, there are studies starting to show more dogs developing heart issues due to feeding a grain-free diet. These diets have been found to be lacking in an amino acid called Taurine which is needed to help heart muscle. One such article was written by veterinary nutritionists from Tufts University. They have a found a correlation between feeding "boutique" or grain-free diets, unbalanced homemade diets, raw diets and vegetarian diets to dogs and a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) which is an enlargement of the heart. The enlarged heart has more trouble pumping blood which can lead to heart failure and eventually death. DCM currently affects about 10-15% of all dogs and cats with higher rates in Cavalier King Charles, Doberman Pinschers and Boxers. This has started to increase since the early 2000's causing some alarm with cardiologists encouraging them to start to investigate. Below is a link to see the entire article written by Tufts. If you have any questions regarding this article or have other nutritional questions, feel free to call us! We are always available to help answer any questions you have and help guide you to make great nutritional choices for your pet!


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