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Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a medical condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is lessened. DCM is a known genetic condition in many breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher, the Great Dane, the Boxer, and the Cocker Spaniel.

Image by Debby Hudson

So what does DCM have to do with our fresh food community? We use peas in a number of our recipes to easily meet Zinc requirements. However, unlike grain-free dry foods which the FDA outline use large amounts of peas, lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), and/or potatoes in various forms (whole, flour, protein, etc.) as main ingredients, we use them in tiny amounts, typically at around 2% or less.

According to a research review of 150 studies on the topic, scientists feel more research is needed but right now the indication is that DCM is inherited in dogs.


They found:


  • NO 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻-𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝘂𝗺𝗲-𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗗𝗖𝗠.


  • 𝗙𝗗𝗔’𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗗𝗖𝗠 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 (𝗲.𝗴. 𝗻𝗼 𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗮 𝗱𝗼𝗴’𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘁 𝗵𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆, 𝗮𝗴𝗲, 𝗲𝘁𝗰.), 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗮.


The peer-reviewed article also discusses published research that looks at other factors that could contribute to the presence of DCM, including nutrient deficiencies, myocarditis, chronic tachycardia, and hypothyroid disease.



Review of canine dilated cardiomyopathy in the wake of diet-associated concerns

Sydney R McCauley, Stephanie D Clark, Bradley W Quest, Renee M Streeter, Eva M Oxford

Journal of Animal Science, Volume 98, Issue 6, June 2020, skaa155,

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