The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently warned dog and pet owners about grain-free foods. They are investigating a possible link between some such dog foods and canine heart disease. The findings aren’t conclusive yet, but the simple fact that the FDA found potential problems with grain-free dog food is alarming enough.
Specifically, dog foods that contains potatoes, peas, lentils and legumes, are under the microscope. According to the agency, those can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Dr. Craig Sandler is a veterinarian at Jacksonville’s Lakewood Animal Clinic, and he has shared his thoughts on the matter in front of News4Jax:
“Grain-free, in general, appears to be an issue so I would tell people right now, until we have more information, don’t use a grain-free food,” said Dr. Sandler.
According to him, the ingredients themselves are not all bad. However, he notes that they should never be the primary ingredients in dog food. “Because the label is by quantity of product in the food,” he said. “If the label says potato in the first few ingredient, you shouldn’t really be using that.”
Dan Maloney is the lead animal trainer at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and he also just learned about the study. He notes that dog foods are constantly evolving.
“I don’t think our dog food probably has any of that in there,” said Maloney. “… We’re trying to recreate a diet that has nothing to do with vegetables with the dogs, and I think that’s part of the challenge.”
The FDA study also specified which dog breeds are more vulnerable to this issue than others.
The list includes breeds such as the Great Danes, Golden and Labrador retrievers, Whippets, Shih Tzu, bulldogs and miniature schnauzers.
The reaction among dog owners ranges from extremely concerned to vaguely apathetic. Some dog owners say that they’ll change their pups’ diets immediately, while others note that they just feed their dogs what they like. For some people, the news that the FDA found potential problems with grain-free dog food simply isn’t too distressing.
Pet owners who notice health problems in their pets that may relate to pet food, should contact the FDA immediately. To report such an issue, visit this website or call 1-888-INFO-FDA.