In this episode (004), I talk with Dr. Deborah Linder, a board certified veterinary nutritionist at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine about nutrition for dogs and the link between heart disease and grain-free and boutique diets. We also discuss how food allergies are actually quite rare in dogs! This was a surprise to me!
Despite allergies in dogs being much more likely to be from an environmental cause, the fear of food allergies and/or incorrectly assuming that a dog has a food allergy have played a role in leading the veterinary community to this link between heart disease, specifically dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and grain free and boutique diets with unique protein sources, such as venison, alligator, and kangaroo. The FDA is investigating this link and updates will become available as more is learned about this topic.
In this episode, we cover food related topics like how to choose dog foods, key questions to ask when choosing a dog food, and just how much goes into creating a safe and healthy dog food.
How do we know which dog diets are currently safe for dogs?
What is best for us dog lovers to know and do when choosing a good food for our dogs?
Is the link between heart disease and grain free and boutique diets real? Do we know the cause or mechanism? What has the research shown so far regarding these diets being linked to dilated cardiomyopathy?
How do we properly assess food allergies in dogs?
What should we do if we are concerned about our dog having an allergy?
Shockingly, I learned in this episode that most allergies in dogs are NOT related to food, but rather environmental.
Listen and find out a trick to look for on labels of dog food, as well as other strategies to check on proper testing for foods you may be consider feeding your dog.
Treats For You:
Resources that Dr. Linder recommended checking out:
Tufts Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists created a blog called “Petfoodology.” It is a great resource to help us keep up to date on the latest research and findings on nutrition for dogs.
Association of American Feed Control Officials puts forth guidelines on exactly what each breed needs. The ‘AAFCO’ approval should be on the label of your dog food.
ACVN – American College of Veterinary Nutrition
Here you can find a listing of the board certified veterinary nutritionists who are in your local area and/or available via long distance consults.