Questions about Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs?
At PVPE, your pet’s health is the most important thing to us. When making decisions regarding pet food and supplies for our store, we are passionate about what we do, only offering products that we would feel comfortable feeding our own pets. We are also aware of the constant changes in the pet community and wanted to bring to your attention some news that was recently released. (This is a long read, but a VERY important one).
On June 27, 2019 the FDA released their 3rd update on DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) in dogs. This has caused great panic, many questions, and lots of concerns over what to feed our beloved pets and now we know some actual hard facts.
🐾According to the report, between 1/1/14 and 4/30/19, 560 out of approximately 77 million dogs in the USA were reported to have DCM- that’s 0.00000727% (seven millionths of one percent), or approximately 1 in 137,500 dogs. To put these figures into context, each year approximately six *million* dogs will be diagnosed with cancer.
‼️“The FDA is continuing to investigate and gather more information in an effort to identify whether there is a specific dietary link to development of DCM and will provide updates to the public as information develops.” In other words, this announcement provides no causative scientific link between DCM and specific ingredients or grain-free diets as a whole. The FDA readily admits that they do not know if DCM is related to grain free diets.‼️
😔Please also understand that the FDA states that 4D meats are OK in pet food. 4D meats are diseased, dying, disabled/downed and dead animals. If the FDA truly was concerned about the health of your pets would they allow 4D meats to be used in the food’s your pets are eating? Without going into a conspiracy theory rant, please understand that this picture is much bigger than it seems and may stem from a mindset of protecting the profit-centered pet food companies, allowing them to produce pet foods with inferior ingredients.
💔Of course, for the pet owners who have found their dogs afflicted, these statistics are irrelevant, and we sympathize completely with them. As you may have seen, the sensationalized headlines about this (many of which neglect to mention that there is no confirmed link at all) are failing to put the issue into perspective for pet owners, who all love their pets and want what is best for them! As the report clearly states, “Most dogs in the U.S. have been eating pet food without apparently developing DCM.” And of the dogs reporting DCM, a quarter of the breeds with it are already predisposed to DCM regardless of diet- an important thing to note.
✔️🐾While the FDA is not recommending switching your pet’s food at this time, your vet may be more insistent on switching pets to grain-inclusive foods, even if no symptoms are being observed. While we disagree with the panic, we understand the confusion surrounding this issue and your desire to do the best you possibly can for your dogs.
Here is what PVPE recommends:
✔️If you feel strongly about switching to a grain-inclusive food, please come see us to discuss options! We stock several healthy grain-inclusive options. There are a LOT of healthy diets in the space between grain-free foods and ones that include multiple fillers and unhealthy or even scary ingredients. Even in the kibble category, PVPE stocks many items that are cooked at a lower temperature to retain available nutrition. We would hate to see your pet’s food make a big slide in quality due to the DCM fear.
✔️PVPE has made it a goal whenever possible to discuss two important factors in your pet’s diet: freshness and variety. Humans know that we are healthiest on a varied diet consisting of fresh or gently cooked foods such as salad, steamed veggies, fresh fruit, baked chicken or fish. So why do we expect pets to thrive on a highly cooked and processed diet, often the same meal twice a day for months or years on end?
✔️We believe that ALL pets should be eating as much unprocessed or gently cooked foods whenever possible. It’s why we choose to feed exclusively raw, freeze dried, air dried and dehydrated foods to our own pets, and there are MANY options to choose from that can be fed instead of or as a compliment to dry food. We know that dry food is budget and time friendly, and those are very important considerations.
🐾There are many simple and cost effective ways to add in these components, including things like a partial raw diet (we have many options) and raw bones, raw goat milk (a terrific natural source of taurine), sardines in water or freeze dried, organ meat treats, etc. PVPE stocks a wide variety of fresh toppers. We think it’s the most important investment you can make in your quest for long lived, healthy pets.
✔️Variety in feeding is critical. Not just adding in those different types of fresh food mentioned above, but also varying the base diet your pet gets between different proteins and brands. Of course, if you have a dog (or cat) limited by allergies/sensitivities/medical conditions this may not be possible. We are happy to help you sort this out!
😀Bottom line….we understand why people may be scared! Our pets mean the world to us! All any of us want is to provide them the best we can to keep them healthy and safe. We want to help you navigate the information that is out there and help you make the best decision for you and your pets.
Please be assured that we are here to offer you any assistance you may need. We love our PVPE family and care greatly about the health of your animals.
Gordon & Sue Kriebel