When it comes to our pets, there’s no such thing as being too dedicated! We look for every way to enrich and nourish their lives. Nutrition is one core place to focus that has far-reaching effects for the good of our pets. There are many options for feeding pets these days, from long-established commercially prepared diets, to hydrolyzed proteins, to organic ingredients, to grain free, to raw diets. These aren’t all created equally for each pet when one quality or another is sought and for what goal. There are claims that pets can’t readily digest grains, and so these grains and their breakdown by-products cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract or contribute to food allergy or intolerance. For some pets, a grain free diet really does affect their health for the better. However, recent research by the Food and Drug Administration and veterinary cardiologists point to a link between grain-free dog diets and a common type of canine heart disease.
Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DMC., is a condition in which the heart weakens and becomes enlarged. Symptoms of this disease include fatigue, difficulty breathing, coughing, and fainting. Large dog breeds such as Doberman pinschers, Irish wolfhounds, and Great Danes have a genetic predisposition for DCM, but it is also linked to breeds like golden retrievers, doodle mixes, Labrador retrievers and Shih Tzus. It is not clear why grain-free diets are problematic –is it the absence of grains, the presence of legumes or something else entirely? At this time, we do not actively recommend grain-free diets to our pet owners. The vast majority of dogs can handle grains without a problem. It’s just that sensitive few who need the good with the potential bad.
Choosing Food for Your Pet
The bottom line: Don’t avoid grains purely based on myth. It is important that you select a pet food that contains high-quality ingredients and made by a manufacturer that has nutritional expertise. Please let us know if you have further questions.
Originally from Upstate New York, Dr. Silverman received his BA with High Honors (for Lyme Disease research) from Middlebury College in Vermont, his Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and his MBA (Entrepreneurship) from DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago.
Dear Pet Parents,
We thank you for your continued support while we've been navigating this new season of life in the COVID-19 world. We know that you're eager to get back into the hospital to accompany your pets during their visits. Unfortunately, in order to protect all our pet parents and our staff, we are unable to open the hospital to visitors at this time. We are going to continue practicing social distancing as long as necessary to insure we can stay open for your pets when they need us most. We ask that you please be patient with our team, and remember that everything we do is with the best of intentions for you, your pets and our employees. We love serving the Village West Veterinary community, and hope to do so for a very long time to come.
Our appointments continue to fill up fast, so we suggest scheduling your appointments at least 2 to 4 weeks in advance, whenever possible. If your pet is sick and needs to been seen right away, please let us know as early in the day as possible. We appreciate your support.