Recent research has emerged associating the development of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with long-term use of some grain-free diets. While this is a very active point of research, we want you to have information to make safe decisions for your pets.

Here is what we know:

More than 240 dogs, who are not the typical age or breed for DCM, have developed taurine-responsive DCM and have been on a grain-free diet for years. These dogs do not show signs until they are in heart failure. They can improve with treatment but will not be cured.

The grain-free diets that have been implicated in Minnesota include Zignature, Taste of the Wild, Acana, and Wellness. Other brands include Fromm’s, Nutrisource, Canidae, Rachel Ray, Primal, and more.

Here is what we recommend:

Make sure that your grain-free diet has a statement that it has gone through feeding trials to meet AAFCO standards. Even if the company adds taurine to the diet, it does not mean that the taurine will be absorbed.

Avoid using exotic meat sources, such as kangaroo, bison, etc.

Transition your pet to a diet with grains. Although many have noted positive effects after starting a grain-free diet, there is no scientific evidence that grains provide any health risk, including allergies. We recommend Royal Canin. Their diet trial actually exceeded the AFFCO standard.