I just made a wasted trip to my local Agway looking for new cat and dog food. For years, my fuzzies have been eating what is rated as the best of the best; until recently. Please read this SUPER important letter I recently received from my Veterinarian!!
|Mid-State Mobile Veterinary Clinic|
PO Box 1155
Leominster, MA, 01453
Dear Stacey & Brian Chapman,
We would like to share with you some information regarding the current FDA advisory with regards to certain pet foods contributing to an increased risk of an unusual heart disease known as DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy). This warning was issued in July 2018 and remains in effect as research continues in hopes of shedding further light on the connection between diet and DCM. The vast majority of cases have been dogs with only 9 reported feline cases of DCM since 2014, versus 515 canine cases.
DCM is known to occur as a genetic disorder in certain breeds of dogs including the Doberman, Great Dane, Cocker Spaniel and Irish Wolfhound – but is exceedingly uncommon in other breeds and in dogs of a young age. Since 2014 FDA has reported a spike in reported DCM cases involving young dogs and breeds not genetically predisposed to this condition.
Upon investiagtion, it was determined that 90% of the cases were animals being fed a grain-free diet. In particular, the diets in question contained a large concentration of legumes and potato (peas, lentil, chickpeas, sweet potato, and potato). In general, an ingredient is considered a major component of a diet if it is listed before the first vitamin or mineral ingredients on the bag’s analysis. In many cases, dogs affected with DCM were being fed diets that had more than one legume/potato as a main ingredient. It is worth noting that there are some non-grain-free diets (often referred to as boutique diets) that contain a large percentage of legumes/potato and lesser amounts of grains such as brown rice, barley, etc. These diets would also be considered of concern, so it is important not to focus solely on “grain-free”.
Below are a few links to current updates and information on this ongoing investigation.
Until more information is uncovered to explain the risk of these diets it is our recommendation to avoid feeding foods that have legumes and potatoes listed as main ingredients. As always we are here to answer any of your questions and concerns – our top priority is keeping your pets healthy!!!
Michelle Bianco, DVM
Jacqueline Marble, CVT
Elizabeth Torello, CVT
This is now the second time I have been made aware of such issues with pet food by a Veterinarian, so there’s no more fooling around. What’s even more nerve wracking is that after spending 15 minutes at the local Agway, I could not find ONE food that was not grain free. For years, my pets have been eating Wellness. Every Wellness bag for both cats and dogs are grain free. Prior to them eating Wellness, they ate Blue Buffalo. We switched from Blue Buffalo when it was bought by one of the “conglomerates” and was no longer a family owned company; which incidentally was when their food started to be frequently recalled. Every Blue Buffalo, also grain free.
Aside from the dangers of grain free food, the concern also extends to manufacturers using potato and peas as the main ingredient, instead of grain.
After much searching, here are the two I have settled on:
Both of these foods can be purchased online and both Merrick and Solid Gold are family owned companies that use human grade ingredients (at least last I knew). The woman at Agway told me that the Merrick Sales Rep will actually EAT their pet food to demonstrate the level of quality that their food is made with.
I don’t know about you, but my pets are not just animals. They are my family, my friends, my confidants and my comfort. So as much as I take my own diet seriously, I take theirs just as seriously, if not more so. Their bodies are much smaller and it is my sole responsibility to guard what they eat. From what I hear from most of my followers, you feel the same way too. So while not a post pertaining specifically to Chronic Illness, this is still a post I feel passionately about and wanted to share with all of you.
Love to all my fuzzy followers from Lola, Oliver and Noelle <3