The FDA recently released a list of dog food brands whose grain-Free diets have been associated with heart disease in some dogs.  We have been receiving a lot of calls about this issue, and we will try to cover a few of the most important points here.


The article below is written by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist.  It does a great job of summarizing what we know about the problems that have arisen with grain-free foods in dogs.


BOTTOM LINE: the majority of dogs do not need a grain free food.  Like humans, dogs are omnivores, and unless they have a specific allergy or food intolerance (which is relatively rare), a grain-free diet is usually unnecessary.


If your dog DOES have an allergy or food intolerance, and is currently on a grain free or limited ingredient/novel protein diet from one of the companies listed in the FDA release, please call your veterinarian to discuss if a change to a new food may be necessary.


If your dog has an allergy or food intolerance, and is currently on a prescription novel protein diet or hydrolyzed diet made by Purina, Royal Canin, Hill’s, or Iams, we recommend that you remain on this diet.  The FDA has found no cases or atypical heart disease associated with prescription foods from these companies, which follow formulation guidelines of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).


If your dog is eating a grain free diet and has not been diagnosed with an allergy, we recommend switching to a diet that includes grains, and meets the WSAVA criteria discussed in the article.


At any time, if your dog is showing signs of heart disease such as weakness, coughing, weight loss, exercise intolerance or respiratory difficulty, please let us know right away so we can schedule an appointment.


Thank you for your attention as we keep up with this important news and how it can affect your dogs’ health.  We will keep you updated as more information is available!