As many of you may know, there has been a lot of information in the media recently regarding dog food and its potential link to heart disease, specifically dilated cardiomyopathy. Although there is still more research to be done, dietary causes are highly suspected. The diets most often implicated appear to be grain free diets with potatoes, legumes and pulses listed as primary ingredients. Please see the link below to the FDA’s list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the situation.
Currently, Vergennes Animal Hospital’s recommendation regarding food is as follows. If you are feeding one of the diets in question and are concerned about the potential for cardiac effects in your pet, the simplest thing to do would be to switch to a balanced diet that incorporates grains until further information is available. If you do not wish to switch your diet but are concerned about potential cardiac effects, there is an early screening test for cardiac disease available. Our current recommendations regarding specific brands are either Purina, Hill’s or Royal Canin as their diets have not been implicated currently and they have a reputation of excellent quality control and customer service. Additionally they are formulated and tested to meet the nutritional standards put forward by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).