Unconventional diets for dogs and cats – Grain free diets

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Published 15 August 2022

Grain free diets may be considered a variation on conventional diets which may appeal to owners concerned about the ingredients in pet food.  However, there have been concerns raised regarding association of grain free pet food with canine dilated cardiomyopathy. This led the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to launch an investigation into the links between reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and certain pet foods. They stated that

“DCM itself is not considered rare in dogs, but these reports are unusual because many of the reported cases occurred in breeds of dogs not typically genetically predisposed to the disease and were reported to have been fed diets containing legumes like peas or lentils, other legume ingredients (pulses) or potatoes as main ingredients. Many of these products are labelled as “grain-free” or “zero-grain.”

This has led to a number of research studies to further investigate the effect of diet on the development and management of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.

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