Your Dog Food May Be Hurting Your Dog’s Heart

Julia Cohen | Reporter

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating the role of pet foods containing legumes or potatoes in canine heart disease, according to a Thursday press release from the FDA.

“We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients. These reports are highly unusual as they are occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease,” Martine Hartogensis, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance, said in the press release.

Canine heart disease has been increasingly present in breeds who are not typically susceptible to the disease, including “Golden and Labrador Retrievers, a Whippet, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog, and Miniature Schnauzers as well as mixed breeds,” according to the press release. (RELATED: Ryan Zinke Has A Small Dog With An Awesome Name)

The FDA recommended consulting with a licensed vet before promptly changing a dog’s diet, according to the press release.

Pet food is a booming market, with sales increasing six percent from 2016 to 2017 to $26 billion, according to a December 2017 report from PR Newswire. Sixty-eight percent of pet owners said that “vegetables can be good ingredients” in pet food, with 48 percent saying that brown rice can be a good ingredient, according to the report.

“Dogs and cats need over 30 essential nutrients, including protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals,” according to the Pet Nutrition Alliance.

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