Grain free diets definitely have a place in specific cases. We have seen patients who have allergies to specific grains, and in those instances a grain free diet is beneficial to their overall health. However, there are many ingredients that can cause food allergies, and the protein source is actually the more common culprit with pet allergies.
Grain free diets have been shown to have a correlation in SOME dogs that have heart disease. There is a ton of information that is NOT YET KNOWN about these patients and dilated cardiomyopathy, and the verdict is still out on whether there are other factors involved. It is definitely not a reason to panic and say that grain free diets are wrong for your pet. If you own a dog breed that is predisposed to dilated cardiomyopathy, you should most definitely have a conversation with your veterinarian about what diet they recommend for your specific pet.
Although grain free diets have been a fad in recent years, the recent research about their potential correlation with heart disease is raising red flags. Ultimately, dogs and cats require different nutrition based on their size, activity level, underlying medical conditions, and predisposition to certain diseases. It is imperative you have this discussion with your veterinarian or contact a board certified veterinary nutritionist (listed on www.acvn.org) for more information. If you do not have a regular veterinarian, we would be happy to assist you (217-529-4499).
Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.