Veterinarians warn dog owners about diet that could cause heart issues

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:09 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Veterinarians at Kings Veterinary Hospital are warning dog owners that grain-free diets could be causing heart problems for dogs.

Veterinarian Beatriz Woodall said she and her colleagues went to a scientific conference after noticing an increase in heart issues in dogs.

What they learned at the conference Woodall said could be the ingredients in some dog foods causing problems.

“We’ve seen a trend and issues with the grain-free, boutique ingredients and exotic ingredients,” explained Woodall. “Lentils, things that in the old days we didn’t put in dog food.”

Woodall said scientific studies have shown grain-free diets can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a thinning of the heart wall that can lead to heart failure.

If the problem is caught early enough, the vet said the problem can be resolved.

“When they switch this diet to a more scientifically proven, tested, and with field trials, the symptoms and the issues have resolved,” Woodall said.

If it is not caught early on, Woodall said it could result in death.

Woodall does not want to target a specific brand as being bad or good. Her advice is to speak with your vet before switching the dog food.

“Check with your vet before you listen to a salesperson at a pet store on what you switch your dog food for,” she explained.

Woodall did say cats can also be sensitive to a grain-free diet.

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