In July 2018, the US FDA released a notice regarding reports from veterinary cardiologists of suspected diet-associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs not typically predisposed to DCM. Since then, the FDA has released an additional update on their investigation, reporting over 300 dogs with suspected diet-associated DCM as of November 2018. Diets of concern include pet foods containing peas, lentils, fava beans, tapioca, barley, chickpeas, other legume seeds, and potatoes as the main ingredient and/or exotic ingredients (eg, kangaroo, duck, buffalo, bison, venison). Pet food from boutique companies (ie, small manufacturers) that contain exotic ingredients (eg, nontraditional protein sources) and/or are grain-free are also suspected to be linked to diet-associated DCM. It is important to note that diets that meet minimum nutrient standards and that are formulated based on Association of American Feed Control Officials recommendations do not necessarily ensure a balanced or regulated diet. There have been no documented cases of diet-associated DCM in dogs eating a commercial diet from an established major pet food company. Pet foods should ideally undergo feeding trials to verify complete and balanced nutrition.
Please call your veterinarian if you are concerned that you may be feeding a grain-free diet that may be linked with development of DCM.