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Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) and our members, who make the vast majority of pet food and treats in the United States, are committed to the health of pets and take seriously our responsibility to produce safe, nutritionally balanced dog and cat food. PFI member nutritionists, veterinarians and product safety specialists have been closely studying dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) to better understand whether there is a relationship between DCM and diet in dogs not genetically predisposed to the disease. Drawing on our review of both historic and recent scientific analyses and published papers, PFI members are devoting thousands of hours to improving our understanding of DCM and its causes, all with the goal of advancing pet well-being.

A range of stakeholders, including PFI, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), veterinary cardiologists and the veterinary nutrition community, participated in a virtual scientific forum hosted by Kansas State University in late 2020. This event provided an opportunity for researchers to share important learnings and advance our understanding of any potential relationship between DCM and diet. During the forum, FDA CVM stated, and PFI agrees, that this is a multifaceted, complex issue with many components. FDA also clarified and reiterated that this is not a regulatory issue and that the agency has not recommended the recall of any products.

PFI urges fact-based messaging around DCM. Since its initial announcements, FDA noted that information in its investigation updates has been inaccurately misinterpreted and misrepresented. Current research suggests that a variety of factors may influence the development of DCM in dogs. Tens of millions of dogs enjoy diets marketed as grain-free in the United States and the number of submitted DCM reports suggest that, if diet is a factor, it may be among several elements involved such as individual dog physiology. A questions and answers document on this issue can be found at www.petfoodinstitute.org/UnderstandingDCM.

PFI welcomes the continued dialogue among our pet food maker members, veterinarians, and ingredient suppliers to advance the understanding of DCM and its causes.

Dana Brooks
President and CEO
PFI

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