PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Maybe the most important day-to-day determination with a pet is what to feed them. People spend a lot of money, they read a lot of labels and now the FDA is looking into something that is alarming to a lot of pet owners: the grain free diet.
The grain free diet makes up about half of all dog food sales now.
The FDA is investigating a possible link between the grain free diet for dogs and the potential for heart disease, or dilated cardiomyopathy — when the heart becomes so enlarged that it cannot pump blood effectively.
DCM may be a genetic predisposition in some dogs, but now it is appearing in dogs that normally would not have a genetic link.
The FDA is looking into — whether through exotic meats or the absence of grains — the diet is linked to heart disease.
Carol Erickson of the Pennsylvania SPCA says that if you have been feeding your dog a grain free diet and you notice your dog getting weaker, go to the vet.
A change in diet can help reverse the dog’s behavioral changes, says Erickson.
Check with your vet if you have any questions or concerns.