FDA Investigation into  

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

in dogs and cats

What is DCM?

Canine DCM is a disease that causes thinning of cardiac muscle that results in a decreased ability to pump blood through the circulatory system, possibly leading to heart failure. 

What Do We Know?

Between Jan. 1 2014 and April 30 of this year, the FDA received 524 reports of DCM, and all but nine of them in dogs (the rest were in cats). Even given some unreported cases, with 77 million dogs in the USA, DCM is a rare event, dwarfed by other health issues such as cancer and chronic kidney disease. 

Per the FDA's website, they are "investigating a potential dietary link between canine dilated

cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dogs eating certain pet foods containing legumes like peas or lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), or potatoes as main ingredient".  It is important to note however, that the FDA has not yet found a definitive cause and there is no evidence that points to specific conclusions about DCM. They do say that a combination of genetic and environmental components is likely responsible.

What Outcomes Have Been Determined?

As of the July 2019 report, the FDA has concluded that “DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.” Currently, the FDA is not recalling any food and has not recommended that pet owners stop feeding any specific food. Additional long-term studies on nutrition and genetic factors are underway, but may not provide meaningful and conclusive answers for some time.



While the FDA is searching for a cause for these DCM incidents, there are some sound nutrition steps you can consider to support a healthy immune system and GI tract.

Rotational Feeding

  • Sample different proteins and binding ingredients. Don’t be afraid to mix brands.

Throw Fresh Ingredients Into the Mix.

  • Don’t rely on one formula to provide all the nutrients your dog needs. Include frozen raw food, goat's milk with its healthy probiotics, or simply add a sprinkle of a freeze-dried protein or a meal-topper with your kibble.​​

One Diet/Food Does Not Fit All

  • We’ve always believed that no one diet or type of food is right for everyone. That’s why we carry a variety of foods from canned, grain-free, grain-inclusive, raw, dehydrated and freeze-dried.

How Can PetPeople Help?

  • PetPeople associates are available in our stores to discuss your concerns and help you understand all available pet nutrition options.

  • PetPeople offers a 100% food guarantee: If your dog is doing well with your current feeding regimen, you may not want or need to switch. If you’re not comfortable feeding the food you are currently using, please bring it back and we’ll be happy to recommend other pet nutrition options for you to consider and try based on your specific concerns and your pet’s specific dietary needs.

  • We’ll continue to be your pet nutrition partner, working with you to find foods that your pet will love and that you can feel good about.  

Where to find additional information from our partners.