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Dogs Fed Grain-Free Kibble May Be at Risk for Heart Disease

Researchers have uncovered a connection between grain-free kibble, taurine deficiency and heart disease in certain breeds of dog. Here's what to do if you have a susceptible breed, are feeding grain-free kibble, or if your dog is showing signs of dilated cardiomyopathy.

link between dog food taurine deficiency and dcm


  • Veterinary researchers have uncovered a link between grain-free kibble, taurine deficiency and the heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in certain breeds of dog
  • It appears feeding grain-free/low-protein kibble to large dogs, especially predisposed breeds, increases their risk for taurine deficiency-related DCM
  • The high starch/carb content of grain-free kibble, along with other ingredients and anti-nutrients in the formulas, as well as the manufacturing process used to produce dry pet food, depletes taurine levels and may inhibit a dog’s ability to absorb and process the remaining taurine
  • Until there is much more information on what is causing the uptick in taurine deficiency-related DCM in dogs, I recommend all dogs be supplemented with high-taurine foods, regardless of their current diet
  • Pet parents concerned about their dog’s heart health, especially owners of DCM-susceptible breeds eating grain-free kibble, should discuss their concerns with their veterinarian

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