The Clinical Nutrition Service at the Tufts University Cummings Veterinary Center has reported on the risk of heart disease in boutique grain-free and exotic ingredient diets. If you are feeding a boutique diet, you may be interested in reading this article: “Diet and a Broken Heart”.  According to Dr. Lisa Freeman, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, a recent increase in heart disease in dogs eating certain types of diets may shed light on the role of diet in causing heart disease. She contends that feeding some diets may be increasing dogs’ risk for heart disease because owners have fallen victim to the many myths and misperceptions about pet food.

In July, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration alerted pet owners and veterinary professionals about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients (“FDA Food Update”). According to the Cummings Center, pet food marketers portray exotic ingredients as more natural or healthier than typical ingredients, although they claim there is no evidence that these ingredients are any more natural or healthier than more typical ingredients.