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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    FDA Warns Grain-Free Dog Food May Promote Serious Heart Condition in Dogs

      The FDA has issued a new warning about the role of gluten-free and grain-free dog foods in the development of a potentially fatal heart condition in dogs. And the FDA is naming names.


    Caption: Dolly and the apple. Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--Alberto Ziveri

    Celiac.com 07/16/2019 - In the same way that many people without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity have embraced gluten-free foods, grain-free and gluten-free dog foods have become popular with many dog owners in the last few years. Once a rarity, grain-free products now make up nearly half of the dog-food market in the United States. 

    If you're one of the many dog owners who have switched to grains-free dog food in search of better health for your pet, you may be doing more harm than good. Some recent data suggest that removing grains from your dog’s diet might pose a greater health risk than leaving them in.

    The Food and Drug Administration released a warning recently that says grain-free food might be causing dogs to develop a life-threatening heart problem called dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM. 

    The overall data is still thin, and it's based on corollary evidence between diet and heart disease in fewer than 600 dogs. The early evidence shows significantly higher rates of DCM in dogs that are fed a grain-free diet.

    The FDA went so far as to name the pet food brands implicated in the problem. They listed the brands in descending order of suspicion as: Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Earthborn Holistic, Blue Buffalo, Nature’s Domain, Fromm, Merrick, California Natural, Natural Balance, Orijen, Nature’s Variety, NutriSource, Nutro and Rachael Ray Nutrish.

    The concern is that millions of dog owners who have shied away from conventional dog foods that include grains like rice or oats, out of concern in search of perfect health, may be putting their beloved pets at risk of an early and often fatal heart condition, DCM. 

    Experts are continuing to assess the situation, so definitely keep informed as more information becomes available.

    Read more in The New York Times


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    Let’s see....me (diagnosed with celiac disease) or my dog (grain free because it helps protect me and my family)?  Don’t get me wrong.  I adored my lab who lived to be a ripe old age of 13-1/2 and died from cancer.  She was a rescue dog who was abandoned.  I think we all benefited from a grain free (gluten free) diet, plenty of exercise, a few table scrapes (mostly meat) and lots of love ❤️ 🐾

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    I am completely unwilling to have gluten grain containing dog food in my house.

     

    It would be way too easy to get a Celiac gluten reaction in myself or my husband (both Celiac), with handling the dog food, washing dog dishes, or even just getting doggie kisses on our hands.

     

    One dog also wheezes if he consumes barley.

     

    There might be a serious problem with some dogs eating grain free dog food. But I will go with knowing that there definitely IS... not might be...a problem with gluten containing dog food in my house.

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    I just found a wheat, barley and rye free dog food that does not have peas, lentils or other legumes.  Now my dog and I can both be safe.  Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance 30/20.  There is a chicken version and a salmon version.  My dog loves it.  It does have corn and some rice. Purina did a lot of the original research on dog nutrition and does feeding trials to ensure that dogs thrive on their dog food formulas.

    https://www.purina.com/pro-plan/dogs/dry-dog-food/sport-performance-30-20-high-protein?utm_campaign=prp-branded2019&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_content=dog-unknown-unknown-feeding&utm_term=purina pro plan sport 30%2F20&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMInIL9xNW84wIVh9dkCh0kCg_FEAAYAiAAEgJdFvD_BwE

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    I’m disappointed that accurate information isn’t being shared here - if you read the article it isn’t the lack of grains that is the cause of the heart disease, but replacing them with legumes and possibly potatoes. The lady above has it right, find a food that is gluten free and legume free. Many breeders who feed kibble are moving to the purina pro plan she mentions. 

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    My grandmothers poodle lived to 19 years old on a diet of boiled horsemeat and bones from sunday roast,  he was active an d in good health up to the last year . Dogs and cats are carnivores they are built to consume meat.

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    You can't base your conclusions on the FDA. They make their decisions based on who pays them the most. I remember articles from years ago about how dangerous gluten is for dogs. As at least one of the comments above says, there is no statement that the lack of grain causes the problem. It is also absurd to think that dogs need wheat since they are carnivorous.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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