Another Update on Boutique, Exotic and Grain-Free (BEG) Diets for Dogs

By July 15, 2019 Uncategorized

By: Dr. Laura Carpenter, Veterinarian

Two weeks ago, the FDA released the newest update regarding the link between certain pet foods and development of Nutritional Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a life threatening condition.  The report shows that 91% of affected pets are eating a grain-free diet.  Many of these diets are heavy in peas, lentils, or potatoes.  So far, 100% of cases are within brands that are considered “boutique.”  These are generally newer, smaller companies.  The research is still preliminary and it will likely be many years before we have an answer as to why this is happening.  In the meantime, the FDA has found this issue to be concerning enough to publicly list the brands that have had confirmed cases.  If you are feeding one of these brands or a food from any “boutique” company, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian.

Brands Associated with Nutritional Dilated Cardiomyopathy reported to the FDA (10 or more cases reported):

Acana
Zignature
Taste of the Wild
4Health
Earthborn Holistic
Blue Buffalo
Nature’s Domain
Fromm
Merrick
California Natural
Natural Balance
Orijen
Nature’s Variety
NutriSource
Nutro
Rachael Ray Nutrish

While we are primarily focused on dogs, there have been 14 cats reported to the FDA with Nutritional Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

Resources:

You may read the full FDA report here: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

UC Davis Cardiology Service Recommendations for dogs being fed a suspect diet: https://ccah.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk4586/files/local_resources/pdfs/ucd-diet-and-dcm-handout.pdf

WSAVA Recommendations on Selecting a Pet Food: https://www.wsava.org/WSAVA/media/Documents/Committee%20Resources/Global%20Nutrition%20Committee/English/Selecting-the-Best-Food-for-your-Pet.pdf

WSAVA Pet Food Myths: https://www.wsava.org/WSAVA/media/Documents/Committee%20Resources/Global%20Nutrition%20Committee/Frequently-Asked-Questions-and-Myths.pdf

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