Is Exotic Dog Food Linked To Heart Disease?

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A few dogs pampered by their pets were suddenly diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a serious heart condition. It is to be understood that such dogs were not ignored by their owners, the opposite is true. DCM and other related diseases are often discovered in bigger dog breeds like Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, and Boxers. One exception is the Cocker Spaniel. The reason for DCM? The exotic diet food is given to them by their owners. All the affected dogs subsisted on limited commercial dry foods diet which was free from grains and often had exotic meat proteins. They also had a smaller range of ingredients, specific legumes like peas or lentils, and potatoes.

Why DCM happens

DCM is a kind of disease culminating in a weakened or enlarged heart which is incapable of efficiently pumping blood. The condition progresses over the passage of time. This condition could result in the buildup of fluid or even sudden death. DCM afflicted dogs will get tired quickly and cough often. The breathing rate will be higher than normal. The worst cases include collapse, sudden weakness or fainting.

The US Food and Drug Administration had received multiple reports of dogs suffering from heart disease particularly linked to the diet. A substantial proportion of dogs have a DCM diagnosis. Matters deteriorated so much that the FDA was forced to post an alert concerning the suspected link between this dangerous heart condition and the dog’s food. All dogs had one factor in common: they ate food rich in legumes like lentils and seeds of legumes along with protein, fiber, and starch derivatives on the top of the ingredient list. It means that these were the principal ingredients. It was found that these dogs ate such foods as their primary calorie source. Increased quantities of potatoes or legumes were found to be common in foods labeled “grain free”.

Changing Diets

It is to be mentioned that the connection between diet and DCM continued to be undefined. Other evidence, however, is compelling enough for the FDA to warn veterinarians and the public about the alleged connection. The problem is that such food now dominates the shelves. Grain-free pet foods take over the lion’s share of all central aisles in a typical pet store. Standard recipes like wheat and corn get pushed back to the outer realm.

According to pet food manufacturers, the reason for grain-free varieties becoming more popular is that pet owners like to shape the diet of their pets to match their own eating styles. Since many humans follow a low-carb diet, they export their food philosophy to the pets as well. This is the reason many pet food manufacturers are now shifting to standard pet blends.