Did you know that pet food containing potatoes, lentils, peas, and other legumes may cause heart disease in your dog? This is according to the FDA, which recently sent out a warning to all pet owners. In the warning, the Food and Drug Administration stated that it had received special reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy. It is a condition that often caused weakened and enlarged hearts in dogs, eventually causing the dogs to experience heart failure.

Many of the reported cases occurred in dog breeds such as the miniature schnauzers, bulldogs, Shih Tzu, whippets, and the Labrador retrievers. Traditionally, these are dogs that are not prone to this condition. They, however, succumbed to it after consuming certain pet foods containing potatoes or legumes as part of their primary ingredients.

What Are the Causes Behind the Congestive Heart Failures?

According to the FDA researchers, dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy end up developing a large heart that is not able to function normally. Some of the symptoms associated with DCM include a caught, weight loss, and lethargy.

Even though certain breeds have a predisposition to this condition, it can also be brought about by a dietary deficiency. The diets in some of the cases reported to the FDA often list many legumes and potatoes.

This makes it necessary to consider adjusting the pets’ dietary requirements, by incorporating new foods in its diet, for example, foods without peas and lentils would be a great way to ensure that your friend is not at risk of contracting DCM. Keep in mind that the pets being affected are not genetically prone to this condition, which is the reason why the FDA is suspecting a link between its emergence and the pets’ diets.

But what can you do to choose the perfect dog food for your pet? You can consider including the following foods in your pets’ diet:

You can consider including the following foods in your pets’ diet:

Squash and Pumpkins

Apart from legumes, it can be quite difficult to source for alternative high-quality carbohydrates. Pumpkin is, however, an excellent alternative ingredient that has become quite popular in numerous dog food brands. It contains micronutrients such as potassium and Beta-Carotene. It also contains Vitamins E and C, which are essential for healthy eyes and skin. It also helps provide dietary fiber, which is vital as it assists in regulating the pet’s digestive system. Squash has similar nutrition properties to pumpkin, and also comes with high fiber and carbohydrate content.

Grains—Millet, Brown Rice, or Oats

Grains are a controversial alternative to peas. Even though it is not recommended to use a high quantity of grains in the pet’s diet, its use may be justified in some instances. For example, if the dog cannot eat the traditional vegetable sources which are great carbohydrate sources, then consider incorporating grains in its diet. Another circumstance that could come up is if you were not in a position to adopt the premium ingredient formulas.

Although not yet proven, some scientists have established that recipes that contain high grain content are a better and more realistic alternative to peas, lentils, and legumes. The grains mentioned earlier have a high mineral, vitamin, and fiber content. They are also easy to digest.

The Take-Away

As the FDA seeks to understand the link between dietary deficiencies and DCM, pet owners are advised to report cases linking the two to its online portal. While at it, consider consulting your vet on the best diet for your pet, to reduce its risk of developing congestive heart failure.

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