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By: Dr. Laura CarpenterVeterinarian

Serious heart problems (dilated cardiomyopathy), secondary to certain types of dog food, are an emerging concern.  Please be aware this is an area of active research, and until the underlying issue is determined, we don’t have all the answers.  Several dog food companies have assumed the problem is simply low taurine levels in the food, however, it appears it is much more complex than this.  The current working theory is that the ingredients used in the diet block absorption or inhibit taurine in some way.  Simply adding taurine to the diet has not solved the issue and your dog may still be at risk.  There is also the potential that they are not caused by low taurine at all.  If your dog’s food is a BEG (boutique, exotic, or grain-free) diet that is advertising its safety on the basis of added taurine, please be aware this is not a sufficient remedy and a diet change is still recommended.

As of today, over 50% of the reported cases are linked to the following brands: Acana, Zignature, 4Health, Kirkland Nature’s Domain, and Taste of the Wild.  There are many other brands that have a smaller number of affected pets reported.

If you need help choosing a food for your dog please let us know! You can call us at 410.768.3620 or schedule an appointment online. We recommend dog (and cat!) foods that meet WSAVA guidelines (

Please see the following links for more information.

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