Back in July of 2018, the Food and Drug Administration or the FDA started a study into dog food that could be the cause of health problems for our fur babies. Unfortunately, it has been almost a year, and the investigation is still ongoing.
According to Doctor Maureen Ward of the Harrisonburg Animal Hospital, the study that the FDA is conducting looks at “BEG” diets which stands for Boutique, Exotic ingredients and Grain-free. Let’s take a closer look at what those mean.
Boutique foods are those made by smaller companies. This type of dog food is not usually found in larger pet stores. Most boutique dog foods carry a brand that is unknown or unrecognized.
The Exotic ingredients are usually the protein in the dog food. Some exotic ingredients may include kangaroo or bison meat. The grain-free foods are usually potatoes, peas and legumes.
According to Dr. Ward, there is no medical background or research at all that proves grains can cause issues for dogs. She also added that we should not pay extra for a marketed grain-free diet as it serves no benefit to our fur babies.
As for boutique foods, Dr. Ward said, the concern is smaller companies may not have a Board-Certified Nutritionist on their team. So there is no guarantee that the food has the right ingredients and will provide a balanced diet to support all life stages.
The FDA initially got involved in this study when veterinarians started to see a rise in dogs that were diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy or DCM. It is a disease that makes the heart lose the ability to contract properly, therefore the heart cannot move blood like it should.
Symptoms of DCM include coughing, lethargy, increased and abnormal respiratory rate, and exercise intolerance. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with your vet immediately so they can run tests to determine if anything is wrong.