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Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dear Agri Feed Pet Supply Pet Parents,

Agri Feed Pet Supply is committed to providing the best for your pets to help you give them the happiest, healthiest lives possible. We love pets and know what an important part they play in your family. We also understand that when a scary headline pops up about what dogs are eating that may be causing them to become ill or die, it can certainly be cause for alarm. Recently a new report was released from the FDA, following up a report from a few months ago in regards to a potential link of grain-free foods causing diet-related canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Having been in the pet industry since 1976, we've seen our fair share of recalls and safety issues in regards to pet food, as well as big business trying to scare people. So we want to help our customers understand this recent announcement from the FDA: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

While our hearts go out to anyone who has lost a dog to DCM, please know that IT IS EXTREMELY RARE. The FDA report is based on 560 dogs out of 77 million which includes many who were genetically predisposed to the disease.

Over 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year. That's something to be concerned about, in comparison to the 0.000007% chance of DCM. Now we're definitely not saying to ignore this, (we have always encouraged adding FRESH foods to your dogs and cats diets) but if you're considering changing foods that are full of fillers and ingredients your dog is allergic to because of a .000007% chance, please take a deep breath and keep reading. Even better, do your own research and don't rely solely on headlines to tell you the whole story. You are your pets' BEST advocate!

Regarding the FDA 3rd status report released on June 27th, here is what we know:

First, here is the most important statement from the FDA in their status report:

"Therefore, we do not think these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer."

To repeat what the FDA has stated - out of an estimated 77 million pet dogs in the US, there are 560 dogs reported (from 2014 to 2019) with suspected diet-related DCM. Tens of millions of dogs are eating these quality foods every day for years and yes, even their lifetimes, and are unaffected by DCM. That is literally just .000007% that are suspected of diet-related DCM out of ALL dogs in the US.

A few more stats from the FDA report:

Protein most linked with DCM:

  1. Mostly chicken (there's not anything wrong with chicken, but it is an average protein found in pet food, 75% of the proteins in the diets reported are NOT exotic).
  2. Over 95% of all dog cases reported were fed only DRY KIBBLE.
  3. Twenty-five percent of the 560 dogs reported have a genetic predisposition to DCM regardless of what they eat.

Next - the study is still on-going and there is NO official answer from the FDA. There is no recall order. There are no results. There is no link solidified or stated by the FDA. The FDA is NOT recommending any change in foods at this time. It is also important to know that there have been no control studies performed so far.

So where do we go from here?

We refer back to our care nutrition recommendations:

  • Rotate your pet's food
  • Add in Fresh where you can - something every day
  • Change proteins
  • Add in variety
  • Goat's Milk or Kefir (raw unpasteurized, fermented)
  • Consider a raw food/fresh food or at least add in, once or, twice a week, whatever your budget will allow.

Remember that the amino acids in question for our pets' heart health only come from fresh animal protein sources. Taurine, Cystine and Methionine. Most dry foods must add them back in after cooking. Add in animal protein-rich fresh foods where you can.

And most importantly support and protect your pets tummy and general daily health!

  • Probiotics - GOOD probiotics made for pets.
  • Enzymes
  • No-toxins in/on their bodies or around your homes
  • Titer test vs. vaccinating yearly
  • Use caution with your treats that you choose. Low carb/starch, no sugars included. Go for meaty treats!

Find a vet in your area to help you with any and all health concerns. Holistic & integrative veterinarians are our pet doctors that are most educated specifically in pet nutrition.

With all of that said, if you're still worried about feeding a grain-free food until the studies are actually concluded, know that Agri Feed Pet Supply stocks a very wide variety of foods in our store that are not grain-free including over 20+ varieties of legume-free/grain-in/low-grain dry food, 100+ varieties of raw foods, fresh add-ins loaded with amino acids, over 250 flavors/varieties of canned foods, multiple freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, etc. We specialize in fresh foods and add-ins to fit everyone's budget and needs.

We carry lots of grain-free dry foods too. The health of many of our customers' dogs has improved tremendously by just switching off common grains to low-carbohydrate, grain-free foods. We will always stand with our customers and with the foods they choose to feed from our store.

Variety = Vitality!!

Grain-In vs. Grain-Free food is NOT the real issue here.. instead, focus on giving your pet a variety of as much protein-rich food as you can, and as few carbs/starches as possible.

Pet health should not be a SECRET! Knowledge is power for our pets.

We will always advocate raw/fresh feeding first, but we understand that this is not within the budget for every pet owner. If that's the case, we then encourage adding fresh food, or freeze dried/ dehydrated toppers wherever you can to a good dry food base. Daily fresh add-ins are best, then several times a week at minimum. And if you just can't do that, please, please, please, rotate your foods, use a digestive enzyme and probiotic with a (small) fish oil like sardine/krill. Dry food (kibble) was created for human convenience, not for the benefit of your pet's health. Strive to feed as much biologically appropriate food as you can.

If you are still concerned and want to change your dog's diet, please come speak to one of our team members who would love to help you find the best options for you!

We carry a large variety of foods because at Agri Feed Pet Supply we recommend what is best for your pet. There is no one diet or one food that works best for every pet. We carry grain-free, grain-in, dehydrated, gently-cooked, canned, air-dried, freeze-dried and raw.

Our customers are the best and we know how much you love your pets. We will be keeping a close eye on this developing situation and will, of course, keep you updated as further information about this emerges.

PLEASE reach out to us if you need us. We are always here to help. There's a LOT of information (and opinions) out there and at Agri Feed Pet Supply, we are here to support your efforts in giving your fur-family the best nutrition possible!

We thank you for your continued trust in us with your pets.

- Melissa Sturm and Britt Sturm
Agri Feed Pet Supply
Family Owned since 1976


Zignature Statement
Fromm Statement
Champion (Orijen & Acana) Statement
Truth About Pet Food Statement
FDA Article
Tuffy's Statement
Midwestern Pet Food Statement
Farmina Statement