In 2019 the FDA released a statement that they were investigating a link between dog food and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), but what does this mean for you and your pet?
Between 2014 and 2019 the FDA received over 520 reports of DCM and began investigating the link between DCM and grain-free diets as most of these pets had been on a grain-free diet for several months to several years.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a type of canine heart disease that affects the heart muscle causing a decreased ability to pump blood, often resulting in congestive heart failure over time. Some breeds such as large or giant breeds (i.e. Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Irish Wolfhounds) have a predisposition for DCM. The FDA became aware of an issue when the report indicated DCM in other breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Shih Tzus.
Grain Free Diets
The FDA’s study found that more than 90% of foods reported in DCM cases were grain-free, 93% of reported foods contained peas and/or lentils as a grain replacement, and 42% contained potatoes or sweet potatoes as a grain replacement. This was enough for the FDA to issue a statement likely linking grain-free diets and DCM.
What does this mean for my pet?
While the FDA has not recalled any pet food or found a definitive link between grain-free diets and DCM, they did issue a statement urging pet owners to be cautious when picking food for their pets. Owners should consult with their primary veterinarians to determine the best food to keep their pets happy and healthy!