Is a grain free-diet bad for your dog’s heart?
A new study out of UC Davis suggests that feeding dogs certain grain-free diets may predispose susceptible breeds to dilated cardiomyopathy. Breeds that are most likely to be affected by diet related cardiomyopathy are Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and American Cocker Spaniels. It is thought that the grain-free diets contribute to low taurine—an amino acid that is necessary for proper heart function—levels in the body. It appears that dogs who were consuming grain free-diets that were homemade or from small batch, boutique sources were most likely to develop taurine deficiencies and subsequent dilated cardiomyopathy.
If your pet is on a grain-free diet for medical reasons—generally dogs that are on a special diet due to allergic skin or bowel disease—do not despair! If you are using a prescription diet from one of the three large manufacturers (Hill’s, Royal Canin, or Purina) the diet is probably safe as the levels of taurine in the diets are carefully measured. If you are using a home-cooked diet or a diet from a smaller, boutique company, it may be wise to switch to a diet that contains grain or potentially supplement taurine.
Click here for more information and do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns about which diet is best for your dog.