I wanted to send a letter out to all of our customers to provide some insight into all the buzz around DCM from newscasters and articles on major news publication sites. In July of 2018 the FDA stated they were investigating recent reports regarding a heart condition known as DCM or Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
Since then they have released more information, however there is still no known direct link between diet and the disease. They are still investigating and testing certain ingredients found in pet food. I realize the amount of information out there regarding the DCM concern is overwhelming. While there is still not enough research done and there is much more research needed, I can assure you I will provide updates as soon as we learn more.
I have been feeding my dog, Bentley, a grain free raw diet for over 11 years. I am continuing to feed him raw and a grain free diet. I started Bentley's Pet Stuff to ensure all products in my stores were safe for not only my pets, but yours as well. I wanted to create a store where people could shop and trust all the products in the entire store. It can be difficult at times to navigate what is and isn't good for your pet.
My whole team and I value that trust more than anything and I assure you that I will update you guys as we learn more. I know many of you may have questions and are looking for help. We are here to help.
Several of the headlines I have read are specifically calling out grain free, but that is where I feel I should jump in and provide help and additional resources for you.
We have put together a landing page with some FAQ's and additional resources for you to read, as well as statements from some of the brands that we carry. Our team will continue to update the landing page on our website as more information is released from not only the brands but any relevant information provided by the FDA or other trusted sources.
If you want to talk more or need help feel free to stop in any of our locations or email me and my team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My goal will always be to do what's right for all our pets and we will continue to update as we get more information.
What are the DCM and Pet Food reports I am seeing in the Media 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
How common is DCM?
Since January 1st, 2014 – April 30th, 2019 515 dog cases and 9 cat cases have been reported. The American Veterinary Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the US. That is less that 0.01% off all dogs. Certain breeds are genetically predisposed to the condition. A list of those breeds can be found in the FDA statement.
What is DCM?
DCM is a type of heart disease that results in an enlarged heart. It can be more serious.
Where can I find the FDA’s statement?
Is grain-free dog 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 your pet is thriving on their current diet you should consult with your veterinarian.
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.”
What brands were part of the FDA’s case study?
The link here will direct you to a report that compiles all complaints submitted to the FDA. The reports are in chronological order and does list all brands in the column “Product Name”.
When will the FDA complete their investigation?
At this time the FDA has stated that there is no way to know how long it will take.
3rd Party Links
Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Grain Free Diets: Thoughts on the FDA Update - Dr. Justin Shmalberg
FDA Investigating Potential Link Between Diet and Heart Disease in Dogs - DogFoodAdvisor.com
FDA Will Soon Release DCM Investigation Update - Susan Thixton | TruthAboutPetFood.com
FDA Reports Some Dog Foods May Cause Heart Disease - Julia Henriques | DogsNaturallyMagazine.com