BIG NEWS hit the pet world this past weekend!


There has been a new study about Grain-Free diets and DCM in dogs. In case you are unfamiliar with the whole Grain-Free/DCM argument let me catch you up!       

It all started in July 2018, the FDA had come out with an announcement that they had begun investigating reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs that had been eating certain pet foods, many of which were labeled as “grain-free.” When this report came out pet parents panicked… Veterinarians panicked… Pet stores panicked!             

Who can blame them?? The idea that your pet could get a serious and life threatening illness from eating their food is horrifying! But at this point they were still just conducting research and there was no link between the two.             

Then in June of 2019 the FDA comes out with a list of 16 brands of dog food that are “linked” to DCM. At this point people really started to panic. Pet stores all over the nation saw pet owners come in and switch their dogs over to a grain inclusive food. This caused arguments over the pet world and it started the huge DCM debate.             

The pet industry pushed back on these claims. They claimed there was a lack of science supporting this “link” between DCM and grain-free foods. The biggest issue which the FDA report is that pet owners took it as face value, many only read the headlines and not the actual report given by the FDA. The actual report was massive and had tons of pages to it. Most readers just saw the headline and ran with it. Industry experts claimed that is many pet parents would have done their due diligence, they would have seen that there’s no clear evidence of a direct link between DCM and grain-free foods.            

Since the 2019 report we haven’t heard much more from the FDA and anymore about their findings.             

Fast forward to last week! June 2020 a NEW STUDY has come out. This was conducted by a group of veterinarians, veterinary cardiologists and animal nutritionists from BSM Partners, a pet care research and consulting firm. Together they examined over 150 studies. They concluded that there is no definitive link between grain-free foods and DCM.             

BSM states that “the FDA’s reported cases of DCM include incomplete information, making it impossible to draw any sound conclusions from this data.”            

What they did find is that DCM is a largely inherited disease in canines but has nothing to do with a grain-free diet.            

The article also highlighted other factors that could contribute to the presence of DCM. Like nutrient deficiencies, myocarditis, chronic tachycardia and hypothyroid disease.             

The research doesn’t stop here. Dr. Eva Oxford, one of the co authors on the article says, “We believe that further research is needed in order to reach sound conclusions with respect to the relationship between diet and DCM. This is why BSM Partners has initiated multiple original research projects that will shed additional light on this topic.”            

So there ya have it. This is definitely a game changer in the ongoing DCM debate of the pet world. At the end of the day we all want our pet to live long and healthy lives. This has certainly brought attention to what we are putting in our pets bodies and to what our pets need to THRIVE on.. not just what they can survive on.             

We here at Southern Barker are committed to your pets health and giving them the absolute best pet food there is on the market. We are now offering nutrition consultations! We do have a certification in pet nutrition and we can help you find the best pet food that your dog or cat will THRIVE on. Call us today for a nutrition consultation!              

Woof Y’all,           


Read the latest article! 

FDA Investigation