With studies constantly emerging about dog's diets and exercise, it can be hard to keep up with all the new results. However, we're here to help! Just recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) has declared that some dog foods contain ingredients that might be good for our pups.
While many grain-free foods are on the list of the best dog foods out there, a recent FDA study has suggested that some grain-free foods have the potential of causing heart problems. In the study, it was found that dogs that were fed a grain-free diet had the risk of an enlarged heart, also known as canine dilated cardiomyopathy. It is most common in larger breeds (Great Danes, Saint Bernards, etc.) but recent studies have shown that it can happen in other dog breeds, as well.
In the most severe cases, this can lead to a dog's death. However, it's often not that serious. Many times, your dog will have preliminary symptoms like decreased energy, a cough, or trouble breathing.
So, if grain-free foods are typically labelled as healthy, what's causing these results from the study? It all has to do with what's going each food that has the label of "grain-free." Many grain-free foods have potatoes and legumes, both of which have been found to cause an enlarged heart in dogs. Other ingredients that can be harmful to dogs include peas and lentils.
Since many foods are labeled as having "sweet potato" in them on the bag, the cover of bags can be an obvious clue as to whether or not you should buy them.
While it's not guaranteed that these foods will cause heart disease in your pup, it's best to be cautious and read the ingredients on your dog's food bag.