Those of us who are lucky enough to own a dog know exactly how much they mean to us. I know that a lot of people hate when we call them our children, but sometimes that’s how it feels.

However, a new study has found that some of the things that people are doing to help their dogs stay healthy are actually causing more harm than good. A a recent surge in popularity for grain-free pet food may in fact be behind a rise in heart disease in dogs, veterinarians fear.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a report that explains that they have found a link between grain-free dog foods and heart disease in our four-legged pals.

British food manufacturers have revealed they are concerned that natural health foods may be linked to a potentially fatal canine heart disease after US regulators launched an investigation.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the investigation was prompted by a “highly unusual” number of cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs with diets high in lentils and protein.

Top dogs | Breed registrations in 2016 (2015)

  1. Retriever (Labrador) – 33,856 (32,507)
  2. Spaniel (Cocker) – 21,854 (22,577)
  3. French Bulldog – 21,470 (14,607)
  4. Pug – 10,408 (10,087)
  5. Spaniel (English Springer) – 9,827 (10,246)
  6. Bulldog – 7,785 (6,960)
  7. German Shepherd Dog – 7,751 (7,783)
  8. Retriever (Golden) – 7,232 (6,928)
  9. Miniature Schnauzer – 5,437 (5,302)
  10. Border Terrier – 5,150 (5,426)

Source: The Kennel Club

How do you know if your dog has heart failure?

There are some signs you can watch out for if you are worried about this affecting your dog:

  • Reduced exercise ability
  • Tiring quickly
  • Rapid breathing and excessive panting
  • Coughing
  • Sudden weakness
  • Fainting

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, seek veterinary help immediately.

The important thing is to discuss your dog’s diet with your vet before you make any big changes, and make sure you do what’s best for them.

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