As you may have seen in the news, scientists in Massachusetts have found a link between canine consumption of peas and other pulses, and the development of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) – an often fatal condition that causes a dog’s heart muscle to enlarge. Researchers compared dog foods that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have associated with canine DCM, and traditional dog foods. They discovered some that might be related to DCM, with peas and other pulses being ingredients commonly appearing. Pulses, such as peas or lentils, and potatoes are included in many grain-free dog foods. The FDA have emphasised that pulses have been used in pet food for many years, with no evidence to indicate they are inherently harmful to dogs.
Although the research team have revealed a link between canine consumption of pulses and DCM, the relationship is not clear. More research is definitely needed to further clarify, and the team do not advise a product recall for the foods in question.
Pet owners should consult with their vet for advice on healthy, nutritionally-balanced diets tailored to their dog’s life stage, breed, lifestyle and specific health needs.