June 2019 DCM Update

June 2019 DCM Update

Jul 01, 2019Jamie Shindler

As a leader in pet nutrition, Healthy Spot will always provide the latest updates and our thoughts on important topics to help you make the healthiest lifestyle choices for your pet.

On June 27, 2019, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued their third status report on their dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) investigation and its possible connection to diet.  DCM is the second most common form of heart disease, where the pet’s heart fails to pump effectively. 

What’s unique and meaningful to the latest report is that they have released pet food brands most frequently identified in these adverse event reports.  However, equally important is that they do not yet know how certain diets may be associated with DCM in some dogs. 

The release of the pet food brands is with the intention of transparency of the FDA’s ongoing investigation.  There is no specific recall or proven scientific causation that the FDA is claiming for DCM in these foods.  Rather, the results of the certain brands reported related to their investigation. 


Below is the list of the reported food brands associated:


Note that this report was based on data from January 1, 2014 and April 30, 2019, where the FDA received 524 reports of DCM of which 515 were canine and 9 were feline. Majority of the reports were submitted after its first public alert in July 2018.

The investigation looked further into the ingredients or characteristics of the foods.  In most cases, the foods were dry food formulations (kibble).  90% of the diets were “grain-free” and 93% had peas and/or lentils.

Large and giant breed dogs were most typically affected with cases with Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and mixed breeds.  There were also smaller cases, which may suggest a lack of genetic connection.  However, most typically affected are breeds that have genetic disposition to DCM.

While we are concerned and continue to monitor this situation closely, we still believe that the evidence is not conclusive in any direction. From an aggregate level, the total number of reported cases (524) is a statistically insignificant number relative to the total population of pets feeding grain-free diets during the same time period (which was extended).  We believe this still represents less than a 0.01% risk factor that feed these diets. 

Regardless of the statistics, our hearts and compassion continue to go out to those pets and parents affected by DCM.  Each pet is family and, in our statement,, we want to acknowledge how horrible DCM is, especially in the cases where fatal.

Given the newly published data with the pet food lines, if you are still uncertain about your next steps, we suggest that if you have a large or giant breed and are feeding any of these food brand, that you allow our team members to help you find an alternative food that best fit your pet’s individual needs.

At Healthy Spot, we believe in personalizing the best nutritional plan based on your specific pet’s need. We recognize that a grain-free diet is not the solution for everyone; however a grain free diet can be a beneficial option for many pets including those affected by food sensitivities and obesity.


We will continue to remain vigilant on the latest news, reports and studies regarding this topic, and remain in close communication with the food brands we carry that are mentioned in this report.  Our pet’s nutrition is our business and healthy pet lifestyles is our mission. We encourage you to speak to any Healthy Spot team member at all our locations about the right diet for your pet. See your closest location here!

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