Although these posts are designed to provide nutrition & fitness info for humans, a recent story caught my eye that I thought I’d address regarding man’s best friend.

NBC news is reporting that 16 brands of dog food may be associated with a heightened risk of heart failure in dogs, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

As a dog owner, here’s the part that alarmed me. The list of dog foods includes the brand I feed my dog, Orijen, a premium dog food which I’ve been feeding my dog since he was a puppy. Here’s the most shocking part.... The FDA is concerned that the heart disease found in dogs may have been caused by GRAIN-FREE dog foods.

WAIT A MINUTE! WHAT? Grain-free dog food is causing heart disease!? I’ve always been told dogs were supposed to eat grain-free dog food.

Somewhere along the line dog food manufacturers determined that replacing grains with peas, lentils and/or potatoes was better for dogs. The FDA is now questioning whether these ingredients are to blame for the increasing number of dogs with this heart disease.

Dogs with canine dilated cardiomyopathy develop an enlarged heart, which then struggles to function properly. They can develop congestive heart failure, which can be fatal. What caught the eye of veterinarians and researchers was that this heart disease, which was generally more common in larger breeds, was showing up in small breeds as well. The common denominator— grain-free dog food.

The dog food brands named in this investigation are:

•Taste of the Wild
•Earthborn Holistic
•Blue Buffalo
•Nature’s Domain
•California Natural
•Natural Balance
•Nature’s Variety
•Rachael Ray Nutrish

The FDA has not suggested owners change their pets’ diets...yet.

“We’re not saying don’t use these brands, we’re just telling pet owners to work directly with their veterinarians because we’re still investigating,” Lindsay Haake, a spokesperson for the FDA, said.

HOWEVER, Dr. Anna Gelzer, a veterinary cardiologist and an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, says, “When a dog comes to us and we learn during the history that it’s on a grain-free diet, we advise switching to a non-grain-free diet. There’s no scientifically proven benefit to grain-free foods, so why take a chance?”

If you’re feeding your dog any of these grain-free dog foods containing peas, lentils, or potatoes, you may want to discuss this article with your veterinarian, click here to read more!

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