The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently alerted the public to cases of diet-related heart disease in dogs.
A couple of years ago, veterinarians began seeing dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, in Golden Retrievers. Some breeds are genetically at risk for DCM, but not Goldens.
Many of the dogs were eating diets based on peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes. Cats can develop DCM on taurine-deficient diets, and sure enough — many of these dogs had low taurine [TOUR-een] levels. Once their diets were changed and they were supplemented with taurine, the dogs improved.
Since then, other canine breeds have been diagnosed with diet-related DCM. Most were eating foods manufactured by small companies, grain-free diets or foods containing exotic ingredients.
If your dog’s on a similar diet, consider switching and contact your veterinarian.