Grain Free Food – DCM – Heart Problems?

This topic is being blown way out of proportion!

The FDA reports that in 2018 & 2019 they had 517 reported cases of dogs & cats diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Yep, 517 cases out of 77 MILLION DOGS IN THE USA! Why is this a big story when it is affecting a fraction of a percentage of dogs? 

The cancer rate in dogs is 50 percent! Yes, half of our dogs will get cancer. Now, that’s concerning.

Back to DCM and grain free food. The FDA does not know what is causing an increase in reported cases of DCM. They suspect grain free foods and then go on to target certain brands. It’s interesting to me that none of the pet food giant brands are targeted. How bout that?

This whole mess is based on reported cases, NOT SCIENCE. Yes, there are more cases of DCM being reported , but please look at the numbers before you panic.

Lack of taurine can cause DCM. Good sources of taurine include poultry, fish, liver, heart and fermented raw goat milk. The fact is most dry dog food contains very little meat or fish. They put pretty pictures of meat and fish on the dog food bag and they might even list it as the first ingredient, but the dog food industry has so many tricks they are allowed to play on you that unless you study dog food, as I do, you will be tricked in to thinking there is a good amount of meat or fish in your dog food when there is typically just a sprinkling of this much-needed protein that naturally includes taurine. Dog foods that include grain are not the answer to this problem.

Certain breeds are more prone to DCM. Because Golden Retrievers are one of these breeds, I had FredMan’s taurine levels tested. Fredman is half Golden Retriever. He tested on the lowest end of normal. The low end of normal is not good enough for me or FredMan LOL. He tested low in taurine even though he doesn’t eat grain-free food. He eats a raw diet that includes heart and liver. I suspect in FredMan’s case this is a breed specific problem.

I am addressing FredMan’s low taurine level by adding more beef heart to his diet. I called my butcher and asked them to make me a big batch of ground beef heart in two-pound chubs. I am adding this to Fred & Ginger’s food twice a day. I’ll re-test FredMan’s taurine levels next year. These chubs of beef heart are now available for you at Woofers. 

What should you do? If you are feeding dry dog food, I suggest adding fresh or freshly frozen foods to their bowl. Try Green Juju, Primal Bone Broth, Answers Kefir or Answers Goat Milk. Want to add taurine? Add poultry, fish, liver, heart and/or fermented raw goat milk. It is also a good idea to rotate foods or at least flavors of food within your chosen brand.

The staff at Woofers is educated on this topic and we are more than happy to answer questions for you. Like you, we love our dogs like family. Our mission is to help dogs live longer, healthier lives. We believe diet and nutrition are the foundation for good health and longevity.

Want to learn more? Click on these links.