Update on Grain Free Food Concern

by in Frontpage Article March 29, 2019

One of the hot button topics in the pet arena the past year has been an increase in the reported cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).   From January 1, 2014 to November 30, 2018 the FDA received 300 case reports of diagnosed DCM.  The FDA does not disclosed how many of these cases involved Golden Retrievers, a breed that is known to have taurine and heart issues that the FDA does not believe are representative of the overall population of dogs.

Recent updated reports and filings from the Pet Food Institute and the FDA probably raise more questions than they answer at this time but here is an attempt to summarize key points:

  • “FDA has not linked any specific pet food or ingredient to incidents of DCM and has not recommended removing or recalling any pet food from the market.”
  • “Millions of dogs are thriving on grain-free dog food every day. In comparison, FDA has received to date a relatively small number of valid reports indicating that certain grain-free diets may possibly have played a role in DCM.”
  • “The exact cause of recent reported incidents of DCM has not yet been identified. One avenue that FDA is investigating is the possible role specific ingredients and formulations in certain dog food recipes may play in development of DCM in some dogs.”
  • “At this time, it is not clear what it is about these diets that may be connected to DCM in dogs. There are multiple possible causes of DCM. Taurine deficiency is well-documented as a potential cause of DCM, but it is not the only cause of DCM. Nutritional makeup of the main ingredients or how dogs process them, main ingredient sourcing, processing, amount used, or other factors could be involved.”
  • “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. This is why we do not think these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer.”

We maintain a high level of confidence in all the products we carry here at Wholesome Pet Essentials.   They are all very high in meat which contain natural amino acids methionine and cystine which you dog uses to produce taurine.   In addition, almost all contain additional taurine supplementation.  This is not true of many big box and grocery store “grain free” brands.   However, should you have a Golden Retriever or have a concern about feeding a grain free diet we do have many alternatives to consider that do not contain legumes and/or potatoes.