- DCM / FAQs
DCM / FAQs
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
We wanted to reach out to all of our customers and provide some information regarding DCM. In July of 2018, the FDA reported they were investigating reports on the possible link of grain free diets and DCM. Since then more information has been released however, there is still no known direct link to grain free diets as it relates to DCM and no pet food recalls have been issued. This ongoing investigation will take time as the FDA continues to research and test certain ingredients found in pet foods.
Lots of information, misinformation and opinions have also erupted as a result. News covering DCM, published articles and social media avenues causing fear have left pet owners confused and wondering what to do.
Phineas, our store mascot, has been eating diets including grains, grain free, freeze dried and raw options for the past eleven years. In addition to Phineas, we also have four other dogs ranging in age from 10 months to seven years. These dogs eat the same types of diets and we will continue feeding them these. Our promise to our customers has always been to provide products that are safe. We carefully select each brand we offer and only partner with companies that meet our high standards. We want our customers to feel confident when they are shopping with us knowing they can trust the items we offer. If we wouldn't feed to our own pets, you won't find it in our store.
Each of us on our team are pet owners and care deeply about the health of pets. We value the relationships and trust our customers have placed in us. We have been privileged to have had many conversations helping navigate our customers through information and misinformation regarding DCM and diet. As new information becomes available we will provide updates. We are here for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.
Many of the articles and news reports out there have specifically called out grain free foods. This is why we have put together a list of resources for you below providing additional information and statements from the brands we offer.
What is DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy)?
DCM is a condition in which the heart’s ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged and weakened. In some cases, it prevents the heart from relaxing and filling with blood as it should.
How common is DCM?
Since January 1st, 2014 through April 30th, 2019 515 dogs and 9 cats have been reported. The American Veterinary Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the US. This means that less than 0.01% of dogs have been affected by DCM. Certain breeds are genetically predisposed to the condition as well. A list of those breeds can be found in the FDA statement.
Where can I find the FDA's statements?
What are the DCM and pet food reports I am seeing in the media all about?
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) released a statement June 27th, 2019 about a possible connection between diet and a heart condition called DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy). In the statement they stated that further research is being conducted and at this stage in their investigation they cannot attest to whether or how DMC is linked to diet. There is no scientific evidence that it is solely diet related.
“At this stage of the investigation, the FDA cannot attest to whether or how these case reports are linked to diet.” – FDA.gov
Is grain free food the cause? Should I switch my dog's food?
At this time the FDA is not advising dietary changes based solely on any information they have gathered. They do not currently have definitive evidence that there is a direct link between diet and DCM. If you decide to switch foods based on a recommendation, please be sure to read through the list of ingredients to ensure you are feeding a healthy wholesome diet. Many of the foods being pushed as a result of the DCM investigation have ingredients that may cause other long term health concerns for your pet. Be aware and make sure you do your own research before switching. We have healthy options for those that may decide to switch from grain free diets.
Are there certain ingredients I should avoid at this time?
The FDA has not issued a recall at this time of any pet food related to DCM. We would recommend reading the FAQ’s on the FDA’s site to put your mind at ease. Below are a few quotes from their FAQ’s related to what to feed your pet.
“It’s important to note that the reports include dogs that have eaten grain-free and grain containing foods and also include vegetarian or vegan formulations. They also include all forms of diets: kibble, canned, raw and home-cooked. Therefore, we do not think these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer.”
“The prevalence of reports in dogs eating a grain-free diet might correlate also to market share: these products have become exceedingly popular over the last several years. Although there are significantly fewer reports of dogs who ate diets containing grains, the FDA has received some complaints associated with grain-containing diets.”
“No, for the simple reasons that FDA does not have a comprehensive list of all foods on the market and because the investigation has not yet identified a root cause for the reports of DCM.”
When will the FDA complete their investigation?
The FDA has stated there is no way to know how long it will take.
Learn how specific pet food brands have responded to the DCM investigation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)...
What is the best way to transition dog food from one brand to another?
The best way we have found to transition your dog from one food to another is to do so over a seven day period. This method will help ease your pet into their new food with minimal to no stomach upset.
Follow these simple steps below to make the switch.
- Day 1 & 2 - 75% existing food and 25% new food
- Day 3 & 4 - 50% existing food and 50% new food
- Day 5 & 6 - 25% existing food and 75% new food
- Day 7 - 100% new food