What is DCM? DCM, or dilated cardiomyopathy, is a disease of the heart muscle and results in an enlarged heart. As the heart and its chambers become dilated, it becomes harder for the heart to pump, and heart valves may leak, which can lead to a buildup of fluids in the chest and abdomen (congestive heart failure).
What causes DCM in dogs? While the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs is still unknown, it is widely recognized as a genetic condition.
Does DCM affect dogs of all breeds? DCM typically affects giant or large-breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, Great Danes, and Irish Wolfhounds. It is also seen in Cocker Spaniels, associated with taurine deficiency. It is believed to be less common in medium and small-breed dogs.
Can certain foods cause DCM? There is no scientific evidence that diet (grain-free or otherwise) contributes to DCM. The FDA has stated that they cannot find a causative link between diet and DCM. Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.1
Are grain-free foods a concern? The FDA is unable to identify a causative link between DCM and ANY brand of food, grain-free or otherwise. While it has been speculated that grain-free foods containing a high proportion of legumes (such as peas and lentils) could potentially lead to a deficiency of the amino acid taurine, the FDA agrees that the widespread popularity of grain-free foods and certain brands is just as likely a factor in any association.
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.1
Do ACANA and ORIJEN feature legumes? Biologically Appropriate ACANA and ORIJEN feature industry-leading fresh and raw meat inclusions, with total animal-derived ingredients ranging from 50% to 90% of the finished product. That means our foods are naturally rich in taurine, and legumes have never been significantly featured.
How many dogs are affected? The issue of DCM should not be minimized – one dog with DCM is one too many. The following is from the FDA’s June 2019 DCM update: To put this issue into proper context, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. As of April 30, 2019, the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM.1
What should I do? The issue of DCM is very concerning, however, there is simply not enough evidence available to infer that certain diets cause DCM. Champion, and the rest of the industry, are working hard to find the answers. In the meantime, stick with the people and brands you trust. The FDA is not advising dietary changes based solely on the information we have gathered so far.1
Trusted By Pet Lovers Everywhere – For Good Reason Champion is grounded in the Biologically Appropriate mission that we established over 30 years ago. Our commitment to our mission and to maintaining the highest standards for fresh, regionally sourced ingredients, and food safety are how we’ve earned the trust of Pet Lovers everywhere. We have the most sanitary, state-of-the-art pet food facilities in the world. In fact, our operations surpass most human food production facilities. We make our food ourselves; we don’t use contract producers. We employ food scientists and nutritionists who hold numerous PhDs and MScs, and who, along with our in-house veterinarian, rigorously research, test, and validate our foods. Champion’s goal has always been to make the world’s best pet food and to earn the trust of Pet Lovers everywhere.