**In the new products showcase at SuperZoo 2019, dog food makers
displayed their reactions to ongoing concerns over dilated cardiomyopathy(DCM).**
In the new products showcase at SuperZoo 2019, dog food makers displayed theirreactions to ongoing concerns over dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). From taurinesprinkles to no-legume promises, new products addressed DCM in a wide array ofways. However, no definitive response or solution to the issue presenteditself in the new products, perhaps mirroring the uncertainties surroundingDCM’s correlation to grain-free pet foods.
Taurine supplementation to fight DCM
Pet nutrition researchers suggested taurine supplementation in dog food as apotential, stopgap measure to prevent DCM while scientists search for hardanswers, during a panel discussion at Petfood Forum 2019. One new product waspositioned to allow dog owners to do just that for themselves. InClover’sBioVibrant Taurine Plus comes in a shaker container like one used for spices.The dog food topper is marketed as providing “the missing piece for peace ofmind.”
Taurine supplementation may reduce dogs’ chances of developing DCM. A similarstrategy reduces the risk of DCM in cats. Cats can’t synthesize taurine intheir bodies. Cat food has to provide the chemical, just as prey animals oncedid for the felines. Scientists thought dogs were capable of synthesizingtaurine, although a few breeds such as Golden Retrievers are prone to DCM.Now, no one is 100% sure why some dogs seem to have problems with themetabolic pathway involving taurine, or if that is even related to the currentDCM cases.
Free-from claims related to DCM
Other new dog food products’ marketing focused on avoiding the ingredientsnoted in the FDA investigation, such as legumes, potatoes and peas. Forexample, Identity’s new dog treats were labeled as legume-free, along withgrain-free. Essence pet food marketed their new dog and cat recipes as freefrom potatoes and peas. Other new products, along with displays on SuperZoo’sshow floor, touted similar lacks of legumes, peas and potatoes.
Federal investigation of DCM correlation to dog
To date, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigators haven’t found acausal relationship between DCM and dog foods rich in legumes or potatoes.However, the majority of DCM cases reported to federal agents have involveddogs that ate certain grain-free dog foods. However, far more dogs who ate thesame foods for years never developed similar health issues. Neither federalinvestigators nor academics have any idea why thousands of dogs with similarbreeds and lifestyles eat grain-free diets heavy in legumes or potatoeswithout any heart problems, while their conspecifics develop DCM. Likewise,researchers don’t know why DCM cases started appearing in only the past fewyears, although grain-free dog food has been readily available for a decade.
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