University of Guelph

07/04/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/04/2019 07:22

U of G Has Experts on the Potential Risks of Grain-Free Pet Diets

Dr. Sarah Dodd and her dog Peppa

The University of Guelph has experts that can speak about a recent warning to dog owners from the U.S. FDA about grain-free pet foods and their possible link to a form of canine heart failure.

Dr. Sarah Dodd is a veterinarian and PhD candidate at the OVC's Department of Population Medicine who studies pet nutrition. She can explain some of the suspected problems with grain-free diets and amino acid deficiencies.

Dr. Shari Raheb

She studies the suitability of plant-based pet foods and recently completed research that examined how interested pet owners are in switching their animals to vegan diets.

Dr. Shari Raheb is a veterinarian and senior resident in veterinary cardiology with OVC and can explain DCM, which dog breeds are most at risk, as well as some of the symptoms to watch for.

According to the warning, grain-free diets have been linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, a potentially life-threatening heart condition. This comes as grain-free diets grow in popularity among dog owners interested in a 'more natural' diet. The FDA has listed several dog food brands.

Dr. Dodd recently appeared on CBC's The National to discuss the warning and the research behind it.