Grain-free diets could be harmful for dogs, FDA warns

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Pet owners may need to double check what kind of food they’re buying for their dogs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, foods that contain potatoes, peas, or lentils as the main ingredients could lead to congestive heart failure for your pup.

In a recent study by the FDA, dogs that were fed “grain-free” food were at risk of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), an enlarged heart condition common in breeds like Great Danes, Boxers, and Saint Bernards. While the disease is normally only seen in larger dog breeds, the FDA has recently found DCM showing up in breeds that weren’t normally prone to it.

The FDA warns that dog food with high levels of legumes or potatoes were more likely to be labeled “grain-free.”

Pet owners should keep an eye out for signs of heart disease in their dogs. Symptoms include decreased energy, coughing, difficulty breathing, and episodes of collapse.

The FDA is working with veterinary cardiologists and veterinary nutritionists to “better understand the clinical presentation of these dogs.”

Report cases of DCM in dogs suspected of having a link to diet by using this Safety Reporting Portal.

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