Is grain-free healthy? Choosing the right diet for your dog
When it comes to the pet food industry, the amount of choices can be overwhelming, and there is a lot of misinformation about the benefits of certain diets.
I recently had a case where I was concerned about dietary-related heart disease causing heart failure in a young dog.
There is mounting evidence that grain-free diets may not be sufficient in an amino acid called taurine and can lead to the development of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM causes the heart to beat more weakly and enlarge, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, congestive heart failure, or sudden death. DCM is an uncommon type of heart disease in dogs, and generally only seen in larger breeds, which makes the diagnosis more suspicious.
Taurine concentrations have been linked to the development of DCM in cats for years, but the link was not as strong in dogs. Now, there are several reports coming from veterinary researchers, universities and specialists that discuss how taurine may be more important for dogs than previously thought.
There are many pet food companies out there, and not all of them can provide high levels of quality control and testing to ensure the proper nutrients in their diets. Correctly balancing your pet's diet can be difficult, and the dietary recommendations for people are not the same as other animals. The best dietary recommendations come from your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052