When shopping in pet stores, the dog food section is filled with a variety of options. A popular trend seen across brands is grain-free meals in both dry and wet forms. While your first instinct may be to gravitate toward a grain-free food for your dog’s overall health and wellness, veterinarians recommend proceeding with caution. Here is what you should know about grain-free diets for dogs and the impact nutrition may have on your pet’s overall wellness.
Understanding Grain-Free Diets for Dogs
Are Grain-Free Diets Right for Dogs?
Grain-free dog food is widely available and generally deemed safe for pet consumption. That being said, the FDA has issued an alert and has informed animal clinics as well as pet owners they are investigating concerns involving foods with peas, lentils, legume seeds, or potatoes as a primary ingredient. While these products have not been taken off the shelves, the FDA is reviewing several reports possibly linking grain-free diets to DCM.
What is DCM?
DCM or dilated cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease that impacts canines. Dogs with DCM have narrow heart valves and are unable to pump blood as needed. As a result, dogs with this condition are prone to congestive heart failure. Signs indicating your dog may have DCM and needs to visit their animal clinic include decreased exercise ability, lethargy, increased panting or breathing rate, cough, and fainting episodes.
When Should You Change Your Dog’s Diet?
Before making any transitions or food changes, call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment. During your visit to the animal hospital, talk about your dog’s current diet and any health concerns or issues you suspect. With the help of your veterinarian, you can better determine whether your furry friend should switch to a new type of food.
Are you concerned about your dog’s diet and how it may be affecting their heart health? If so, Dr. Douglas Foreman and Dr. Roberta Mauro at Cherry Hill Dog & Cat Hospital can provide a comprehensive examination to better understand your pet’s health and wellness. With a reputation for modern facilities, state-of-the-art techniques, and a true love for animals, pet owners throughout Cecil County, MD, have depended on this animal hospital for over five decades. To schedule an appointment, call (410) 398-1331. For a closer look at their services and approach to pet care, visit their website.