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Could a grain-free diet hurt your dog?

(KOMO file photo)

You love your dog, so you only buy grain-free dog food. No cheap fillers for your pooch.

Dr. Jason Nicholas, a Portland veteran who runs the website PreventiveVet.com, says that may not be the best decision.

"The reality is most pets do just fine and thrive on foods with grains,” he said.

New research is raising questions about this pet food marketing fad. There appears to be a link between a grain-free diet and a condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy or DCM, a very serious form of heart disease for dogs.

"Feeding your dog a grain-free diet that has peas or chickpeas or potatoes or sweet potatoes in large quantities – so high up in the list of ingredients – may be one of the causes of dilated cardiomyopathy."

The Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating.

Dr. Nicholas says if you've switched to a grain-free diet within the past six months and your dog hasn't had a physical exam in that time, you should talk to your vet about getting a heart check.

More Info:

Is Feeding a Grain-Free Food Hurting Your Dog's Heart?

NY Times: Popular Grain-Free Dog Foods May Be Linked to Heart Disease

A broken heart: Risk of heart disease in boutique or grain-free diets and exotic ingredients


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