If you share our love for dogs, you probably have a few questions stemming from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s ongoing efforts to research a potential link between a dog’s diet and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We know this is a complex topic and want to help by sharing what we know, and what we’re doing to ensure the health and safety of our four-legged family members.
How Did the Grain Free Food Debate Begin?
In July 2018, the FDA announced that they were investigating recent reports of DCM in dogs not genetically predisposed to the disease. They cited a theory that some dogs with DCM may have been fed certain types of diets, and that further research was needed to determine if that theory had merit. That research has not been completed and is expected to take several years.
The latest update from the FDA (June 2019) hypothesized that grain free diets formulated with legumes (peas, chickpeas, lentils) as a main ingredient or a lack of taurine might be contributing factors to this complex issue. It’s important to note that these findings are not conclusive and that the FDA is NOT recommending diet changes based on the information they’ve gathered so far.
What is Merrick Doing About This?
As pet parents ourselves, we are dedicated to making the safest and highest-quality food for dogs and cats. We have been crafting natural recipes from the highest-quality whole ingredients for more than 30 years. Providing your dog with the most nutritious food made from the best possible ingredients has always been, and remains, the mission that drives everything we do at Merrick.
Our experienced team of animal nutritionists and veterinarians have proactively taken the following actions to help alleviate any concern you might have about your dog’s health:
- We vigorously reviewed all our recipes that contain legumes (peas, chickpeas, lentils) to make sure that the inclusion percentage of these ingredients are in line with recommended levels based on the latest research.
- We have been supplementing taurine across all our Merrick dry dog food recipes, including those that are grain free, since August 2018. And, all our updated Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet recipes are supplemented with DL-methionine, in addition to taurine, to ensure they deliver a strong amino acid profile.
We are doing everything in our power to stay abreast of the latest science on this potential dietary issue. Our team is working closely with other members of the Pet Food Institute (PFI) as well as our global nutrition colleagues at Nestlé Purina PetCare to research and better understand this complex topic. And we will share recent developments with you as we receive them.
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