FDA: Dog heart disease, grain-free dog food may be connected

Food usually contains peas, lentils, potatoes

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Dogs on a “grain free” diet may be at risk for heart problems, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The condition, canine dilated cardiomyopathy, is more common in certain breeds, but it’s turning up in breeds that are not usually susceptible, the FDA said.

The agency did not name any brands, but said the ingredients in these foods include peas, lentils, other legumes, or potatoes.

Dogs with the disease develop an enlarged heart, which then struggles to function properly. They can develop congestive heart failure, which can be fatal.

Symptoms include lethargy, weight loss and, sometimes, a cough.

Some breeds of dog have a genetic predisposition, including great Danes, Newfoundlands, boxers, Doberman pinschers and St. Bernards.

Distributed by LAKANA. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.