DCM and dog food is a hot topic of conversation these days. The recent study performed by the FDA is to thank for this. This study points to dog food as a link to the heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy. But what pet owners don’t realize is that the findings of this study are extremely inconclusive and extremely flawed in many ways.
Grain-Free is Not the Culprit
Every study on DCM and dog food considers the link between the disease and “BEG” diets. BEG stands for boutique companies, exotic ingredients, and grain-free diets. For some reason, everyone is focusing on the “G” of BEG, and failing to consider the role of the “B” and “E”.
Rather than immediately putting the blame on grain-free, it is important to consider the role that boutique companies and exotic ingredients may also play. Some experts believe that the real reason for the spike in the frequency of DCM in canines is exotic ingredients. This includes ingredients like exotic meats, vegetables, and fruits.
Pet Owners are Turning to Raw Diets, Which is Never a Good Idea
There is a new fad in the world of canine diets, and that is the raw diet. Feeding your dog a raw food diet means that your dog eats an assortment of raw meats. Some pet owners choose to cook the meats ahead of time. No matter if you cook the meat or feed it to your dog raw, a raw diet is never a good idea. Here’s why according to Vet Nutrition at Tufts University:
“Out of concern, some owners are switching from BEG diets to a raw or home-cooked diet. However, we have diagnosed DCM in dogs eating these diets too. And raw and home-cooked diets increase your dog’s risk for many other health problems. So, forego the raw or home-cooked diets and stick with a commercial pet food made by a well-established manufacturer that contains common ingredients.”
The likelihood of a canine developing DCM with a raw diet is just as high as with any other diet, if not more likely. This shows that grain-free is not to blame here.
Giving Your Dog Supplements Could Increase the Chances of DCM
When pet owners choose to feed their dogs a specialized diet, such as grain-free or raw, they often compensate those diet changes through the use of supplements. But, unlike pet food, dietary supplements for pet are majorly lacking in quality control. This means that you could be doing way more harm than good by feeding supplements to your dog that are meant to boost well-being. You might even be increasing the risk of DCM.
Final Thoughts on DCM and Dog Food
The evidence that DCM is linked to any type of diet is inclusive. What is conclusive, though, is the link between DCM and genetics. For now, we’re still saying that the root cause of DCM is all about a canine’s genetic background. Until further evidence is released regarding dog food and DCM, there is no reason you should avoid a reputable grain-free dog food brand. However, you should avoid feeding your dog a diet comprised entirely of raw or lightly-cooked meat.