On June 27, 2019, the FDA released a statement regarding Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) that has caused much confusion among pet owners, including many Boofy’s customers. We at Boofy’s would like to assure you that pet food brands that we carry are all safe to continue feeding, including any and all varieties of grain-free pet foods.
In fact, it is important to understand that out of the 77 million dogs in the US, over 99.999% of dogs have eaten a variety of commercial dog foods for years without any potential diet-related link to DCM.
Boofy’s considers the recent glut of news articles implicating grain-free pet foods as being dangerous for pets to be inflammatory, defamatory, and an extreme misrepresentation of the facts that are known about this rare health condition. In short:
- Heart disease has been recognized in 0.56% to 0.85% of dogs for over 50 years (Detweiler and Patterson, 1965). This far pre-dates the advent of any grain-free pet food on the market today.
- Of the 77 million dogs in the country, the FDA is investigating reports from 560 dogs over a 5-year period, or less than 115 per year, which may have a diet-related component to DCM. That is 0.0007% of all dogs over a 5-year period.
- That means that over 99.999% of all dogs have eaten a variety of commercial dog foods, ranging in quality from very poor to very high, without developing diet related DCM.
- The FDA states that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors and that the actual cause has still yet to be determined. They do not claim that any specific food ingredient is known to cause DCM.
- Lack of grain in a diet is not in any way a suspected cause of DCM. Dogs have no dietary need for grains. Grains are just one of several options for being the carbohydrate binder that holds dry food together; potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, and tapioca are some of the other options.
- At Boofy’s, we regularly speak with pet owners about a variety of health concerns with their pets, including food allergies and sensitivities, skin and coat quality issues, gastrointestinal issues, excessive weight, and much more serious systemic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. These and other common health issues in dogs and cats can be easily prevented or remedied by making simple dietary improvements, and affect far more dogs and cats every day than DCM.
- While Boofy’s has a huge selection of food products, including both whole grain and grain free kibble recipes, we do not recommend switching from a grain-free diet to a whole-grain diet based solely upon any potential dietary link to DCM.
So what is your dog's best defense against DCM? We believe that feeding a wide variety of foods, including daily servings of fresh or minimally processed foods as part of the diet, is the best way to improve absorption and utilization of nutrients needed to maintain a healthy body.
As always, we at Boofy’s Best For Pets are deeply concerned about the health and well-being of your companion animals. Our experts can help answer your nutritional questions and find foods, treats, and nutritional supplements that are right for your pets.