In July 2018, the FDA released a warning concerning grain-free diets and their possible connection to a serious heart condition in dogs. Several decades before that, researchers had concluded that several feline health problems could be largely attributed to a lack of adequate amounts of taurine in the commercial cat foods available at the time. Fortunately, taurine-related feline disorders are rare today among domestic cats that thrive on commercial foods, dry as well as canned, notes Dr. Heinze.
The link between taurine and dilated cardiomyopathy has been known for several years now, it is the simple fact that some dogs cannot make their own taurine and need it supplemented through proper nutrition. Research shows that certain breeds like Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, and Newfoundlands are known to develop the same taurine-dependant form of DCM that had wiped out the population of thousands of cats several decades ago. The FDA reported a link between DCM and “grain-free” dog foods. Vegan and homemade diets were also reportedly involved. This caught the FDA’s attention because a large majority of the dogs that were on these “grain-free” diets and developed DCM were not only the dogs you regularly see with DCM like Golden Retrievers and Newfoundlands, but also various other breeds.
As pet owners, the first step you should take if your pet is on a “grain-free” diet is to contact your veterinarian immediately. We are now offering Taurine Testing at a great affordable price for pet parents that are concerned with the recent alerts from the FDA. Our Veterinarians will help guide you and together you can decide what the best nutrition plan for your furbaby is.