A Statement From AvoDerm on Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

July 2, 2019, updated August 12, 2019

On June 27, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the third status report on its investigation into any potential connection between certain diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Although there are no Breeder’s Choice brands listed in the report, we are diligently working with the Pet Food Institute (PFI) and the FDA to help determine the issues between certain diets and DCM.

Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the FDA has not yet established why certain diets may be associated with the development of DCM in some dogs and believe it is a “complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.”

Pet food safety and the health of pets is our company’s top priority. We will continue to share information and cooperate with the FDA to help further their investigation.

We encourage you to review the full report. A few key points from the report:

  • There are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Most have been eating pet food without developing DCM.
  • There are 560 reported cases of DCM in dogs and 14 in cats since 2014. Cats are generally more likely to develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart disease) vs DCM.
  • DCM cases reported to the FDA have involved a wide range of dog breeds, ages, and weight.
  • Most reports of DCM were for dry dog food formulations but dogs eating raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were also affected.
  • The DCM cases reported to the FDA included dogs who ate both grain and grain-free diets, and no one animal protein source is predominant.

To view the June 27, 2019, FDA Report:


To view July 31, 2019, PFI’s FAQ’s DCM resources for Veterinarians



What should I be feeding my dog now? Should I change what I am feeding my dog?

The first step you can take is to make sure your dog is receiving a complete and balanced diet that is formulated for his or her life stage. PFI has an interactive infographic series “Nutrition from Nose to Tail” https://www.petfoodinstitute.org/nosetotail/ that provides fast facts on why a complete and balanced dog food recipe is critical in supporting your pet’s health. If your pet does experience a change in health, it is important to consult with your veterinarian.

If you have questions about a specific product, we recommend that you contact Breeder’s Choice at 866.500.6286 to learn more. The FDA is also recommending that pet owners seek dietary advice from a trusted veterinarian who knows your pet and can provide information tailored to their needs. FDA has not advised that pet owners change their dog’s diet based on the available information.

Is grain-free pet food safe for my pet?

Millions of dogs eat and are thriving on, grain-free dog food. FDA’s investigation focuses on certain ingredients that figure more prominently in some pet food products labeled as grain-free, including legumes like peas or lentils, other legume seeds, and potatoes. FDA has not identified any established link between certain ingredients and incidents of DCM.

The exact cause of these cases of DCM is still unknown and may be the result of many factors, including a recipe formulation and processing, and your individual pet. If you have a question about your dog’s food, we recommend that you contact Breeder’s Choice at 866.500.6286.

Why may pet food makers use certain ingredients in dog food?

Pet food recipes that are formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition offer the essential nutrients that a pet requires for his or her specific life stage, and at the proper levels. The ingredients used in pet food will help to deliver those nutrients and some ingredients may help deliver multiple nutrients. When developing a recipe, pet food makers consider many factors, such as an ingredient’s nutrient profile, its role in helping the food hold shape, flavor, digestibility, and shopper preference.

Should I avoid certain ingredients or grain-free dog food as a whole?

The FDA stated in all three updates, including the most recent June update, that the agency does not advise any dietary changes based solely on the information gathered so far.

Should I be concerned if my pet’s food contains one of the ingredients mentioned by the FDA?

FDA has not linked any specific pet food or ingredient to incidents of DCM and has not requested removing or recalling any pet food from the market. It is important to make sure the food you are feeding your pet is formulated to be complete and balanced for a pet’s life stage. If you have additional questions related to a specific ingredient, we suggest reaching out to Breeder’s Choice at 866.500.6286. For concerns about your pet’s health, we recommend reaching out to your veterinarian.

Will you begin adding Taurine to your products?

The FDA is still gathering information to better understand if (and how) taurine metabolism may have a role in these reports of DCM. As a member of the Pet Food Institute, we are working diligently with the FDA to determine the connection between certain diets and DCM. Once the FDA’s investigation is complete, we will quickly make any formula changes, if they are needed.

Are pet food ingredients safe?

Yes. Breeder’s Choice and other members of Pet Food Institute, hold pet food safety as the number one priority. U.S. pet food makers use ingredients that have been accepted by the FDA, meet the agency’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) standard, or have been recognized by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Click this link for information on how pet food is regulated in the United States: https://www.petfoodinstitute.org/pet-food-matters/commitment-to-safety/pet-food-regulations/about-aafco/

July 2, 2019

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