FDA Update on Grain Free Diet and Canine DCM

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Scout the Faithful Companion

In mid-March I wrote a post about DCM, a fatal heart disease, and its relationship to grain-free diets. I mentioned that I had been feeding Scout that diet and fortunately upon his vet visit, he was declared wonderfully healthy for his age with no sign of DCM. While we were lucky there have been many not so fortunate dog owners. If you are feeding your dog a grain free diet, please read on for more information about the research the FDA is performing.

FDA Investigation on Grain Free Diet and Canine DCM

While the FDA is still researching this issue, they published another report yesterday on their findings. Linked in that article is another article, FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy,” that presents particulars regarding

  • the number of cases that have been filed;
  • what types of dog breeds have been affected (you can check to see if your dog is listed, but frankly at this stage I think you’d be better off changing your dog’s diet if you’re feeding grain-free);
  • product testing; and
  • next steps.

In a separate report, the FDA has listed the brands of dog food that are currently under investigation:

“Brands named most frequently in reports submitted to the FDA (as of April 30, 2019) that had at least ten reports, include Acana (67), Zignature (64), Taste of the Wild (53), 4Health (32), Earthborn Holistic (32), Blue Buffalo (31), Nature’s Domain (29), Fromm (24), Merrick (16), California Natural (15), Natural Balance (15), Orijen (12), Nature’s Variety (11), NutriSource (10), Nutro (10), and Rachael Ray Nutrish (10).”

from Questions & Answers: FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Investigation into a Possible Connection Between Diet and Canine Heart Disease

If you’ve been feeding your dog one of boutique grain-free diets and are wondering what the symptoms are for DCM, you can find that information here.



7 thoughts on “FDA Update on Grain Free Diet and Canine DCM

    1. I am feeding royal canin. Scout is on prescribed renal food and Sophie on a food for medium sized dogs. The irony is that my feeding a boutique brand may have lengthened the lives of my guys when melamine was discovered in the now “good” brands of dog food. If I had my druthers, I would start home-cooking for them again. Maybe I will.

  1. Wow, I just don’t see how it’s possible really. It’s not like dogs would eat grain in the wild, right? I can see them eating meats, grass, vegetables, etc. This is very thought-provoking. I’m wondering how not eating grain, which would just offer sub-nutrients anyway, can cause this condition. You’ve really sparked my interest! Thank you for sharing this because all my border collies are on grain free food. (4Health) is what we buy. ❤

      1. It’s mainly the suppression of taurine (they think) that’s the issue and that in part keeps the heart healthy. If you can, put a call in to your vet regarding the diet your pup’s on. When I saw the notification that prompted my first post, I immediately stopped feeding Scout and Sophie Taste of the Wild and am glad I did seeing that it has 53 reported cases of DCM. Who knows how many more there might be if dog owners are unaware of the situation.

      2. Wow, yeah I looked ours up because it’s on the list too. I noticed that the ingredients they say are controversial like lentils, etc., aren’t in there. I haven’t checked the taurine content, but it seems like it would be okay with the food having plenty of meat products. I’ll do more research. Thanks for sharing this. 😊 Very helpful.

      3. Right now I think the problem is that they don’t understand the interactions of any of it. There is a group on FB that talks about DCM. It can be a sad place to be but very informative. I can give you the exact name or send a link if interested.

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