Many clients are hearing that certain dog foods especially dry dog foods are causing cardiomyopathy or enlargement of the heart. The question that needs to be answered for these clients is HOW CAN I READ MY CURRENT DOG FOOD BAG AND FIGURE OUT IF IT IS AN UNSAFE DIET?
Here is a list of things to look at when analyzing your bag:
1. Is a pulse ingredient such as peas, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, or sweet potatoes in the top 10 ingredients on your bag label? Worse yet is it in the top 5 ingredients? If so this diet needs to be changed!!!!
2. Is my dog already suffering from cardiomyopathy symptoms? Is your dog coughing, showing fluid in the abdomen and/or showing reduced energy? This dog may already be suffering from the nutrient-deficient diet and needs immediate care from a veterinarian.
3. How do I pick a safe new diet? Veterinary cardiology specialists are recommending diets made by companies that have research facilities and board-certified animal nutritionists on staff. These companies currently include Hills Science Diet, IAMS, Purina and Royal Canin. Additional supplementation with the deficient nutrients is also needed if your dog is already showing symptoms with the guidance of your veterinarian.
4. Can my dog recover from the damage caused by these poorly formulated diets? The good news is YES. If the patient is diagnosed in time or better yet has their nutrition corrected as suggested above, the patient’s hearts have shown improvement and return to normal heart size with well-formulated diets and proper nutrient supplementation for the symptomatic patients.
Call our North Boulder Companion Animal Hospital team at 303-443-9003 for help with this serious problem.