Dietary-Related Cardiac Disease in Dogs

brown and white dog standing next to flower bush

Dietary-Related Cardiac Disease in Dogs

When it comes to choosing the pet food, there’s an overwhelming amount of options. Among these, Boutique, Exotic Ingredient, and Grain-Free (BEG) diets have emerged as intriguing choices. However, there are several drawbacks and risks associated with these diets. Let’s explore how these diets can affect your canine companion, and what to look for when choosing dog food.


How Boutique, Exotic Ingredient, and Grain-Free (BEG) Diets Can Affect Dogs

Boutique diets are often marketed as high-quality and unique, featuring novel protein sources or being from smaller, specialized pet food companies. However, they might lack extensive testing and research conducted by larger, established pet food companies, potentially leading to nutritional imbalances.


Exotic ingredient diets incorporate uncommon ingredients in traditional dog foods, posing risks of allergies or intolerances due to unfamiliar components.


Grain-free diets exclude grains like wheat, corn, or rice, often believed by some pet owners to be healthier or necessary for dogs sensitive to grains. However, recent research has suggested a potential link between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a serious heart condition, especially in certain breeds.


The concern with BEG diets lies in their possible deficiency in essential nutrients or unbalanced nutritional profiles. The FDA has investigated a potential association between specific BEG diets, notably those high in peas, lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes, and the development of DCM in dogs. However, this connection is not fully understood and remains under investigation.


Best Pet Food Brands for Dogs

When selecting dog food, prioritize your pet’s nutrition and well-being. Reputable and established dog food companies focusing on quality and nutrition include:


  •  Canin: Known for breed-specific formulas tailored to specific health needs.


  •  Science Diet: Offers diverse products for different life stages and health requirements.


  •  Pro Plan: Provides formulas designed for specific health concerns and life stages, supported by research and nutritional expertise.


  •  Offers breed-specific and life-stage-specific formulas focused on nutritional needs.


  •  Provides various formulations catering to different life stages and specific dietary requirements.

These companies invest in research, maintain strict quality control measures, and formulate products meeting AAFCO standards, ensuring well-balanced and nutritionally complete dog foods. Consulting a veterinarian can help determine the most suitable brand or specific formula for your dog based on their individual needs, health status, and dietary preferences.


Avoiding diets labeled as BEG from lesser-known or newer companies might be wise due to concerns about potential nutritional imbalances and health risks associated with these diets, such as the possible link between certain grain-free formulations and heart conditions like DCM in dogs.


Board-Certified Veterinary Cardiologist in Nevada

Choosing dog food from reputable brands with a history of reliable products and a focus on nutritional quality is safer to ensure your dog receives a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Always prioritize your dog’s health by making informed decisions based on expert advice from veterinarians and reliable sources, rather than relying solely on marketing claims or fad diets.


If you have any concerns about your dog’s heart health, please don’t hesitate to contact Animal Cardiology Specialists of Nevada to schedule an appointment.