Veterinarians and the Food and Drug Administration are warning pet owners to be careful when choosing grain-free and other boutique dog foods or do-it-yourself dog diets.

Over the past several years, researchers have established a correlation between a specific kind of heart disease and exotic diets. The dog foods or diets in question often are grain free, contain exotic meats or no meat at all and substitute ingredients like peas, lentils and other legumes or potatoes for grain. Such commercial dog foods often are made by small companies that don’t have a history of detailed and long-term diet-testing studies.

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