Grain Free Diets and Heart Disease


Recently there have been various studies presented regarding the potential link between feeding grain-free diets and the development of heart disease, specifically Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a weakening and stretching of the heart muscle which can lead to increased anesthetic risk, heart failure, and even death.



The current theory is that the problem is not a lack of grains, but rather the addition of peas, lentils and other legumes in place of the grain.  Legumes contain high amounts of protein.  When producing a diet with a balanced level of protein the amount of animal protein is reduced to prevent an excess of total protein. This reduced level of animal protein may result in the deficiency of certain amino acids needed for heart health.


It should be noted that not all dogs fed a grain free diet will develop Dilated Cardiomyopathy.  Also, in many cases, dogs with diet related Cardiomyopathy can see improvement once the diet is corrected.

When it comes to choosing a food for your pet we recommend avoiding boutique diets, or those with exotic ingredients.  Raw food is also not a good choice.  Stick to food companies with a proven track record, especially those with veterinary involvement in development.  We feel comfortable recommending Purina ProPlan, Hills Science Diet, Royal-Canin, and even Iams. 



Please call to speak to one of our trained Veterinarians or Veterinary Technologists for more information.