Dry Dog Food
What You Need to Know About the FDA Report & DCM
There has been a lot of news about certain grain-free dry dog foods causing cardiac issues in dogs, specifically dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). On June 27, 2019, the FDA released an update on their prior advisories.
I was (and still am) very concerned about what is being reported. The brand of dry dog food that I have been feeding my dogs for years is near the top of the list. Of course, I had done my research and thought I was providing one of the best dry food for my buddies. Well, I am now questioning my choice.
The Whole Dog Journal posted a blog about the update which is worth reading. The key takeaways are:
Regardless of what your dog eats, if he/she exhibits low energy, trouble breathing, or coughing, get to your vet. It could be DCM, so do not waste any time.
Potential biased reporting - The top dogs affected are the most popular breeds. If Labs are the most numerous purebred dog in the US, is it a surprise that we would see higher representation? This is only 1 example of a bias - there are many others.
Grain-free should only be given if there is an intolerance or allergy to grains.
Avoid foods that have peas, chickpeas and lentils high up on the ingredient list - before position 6. Switch foods if the food has more than one of these ingredients.
The report is not conclusive. There are many variables that need further research. DCM is a genetic condition in dogs, so it could be a bad gene and not diet related. The most important thing is to be aware of what you are feeding your pet. Do not trust marketing speak and entertaining commercials. Do your research, understand labels, talk to your vet, and stay on top of the news.