Finger on the ‘pulse’ of dog diets & DCM

Heart of the Matter: V-day edition: 2019

Perfectly ‘pulsed’, heart-themed and evidence-based, comes another publication on the topic of dog diet, taurine and the potential association of both with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM):

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Similar to previously posted about (original post here, Nov 2018 update here. Dec 2018 update here) articles on this palpitating subject, there are solid reasons for anyone with an interest in educating themselves on dog diet to take the time to read beyond this pub’s abstract.

Perhaps the top 3 being,

1) Representative author list, i.e. vet boarded nutritionists, PhD nutritionists, industry and academia,

2) Once again learning that there is a lot we (and the ‘experts’) don’t know about animal nutrition and that these needs may vary between dogs, and

3) That pet-food should be manufactured by people who have been educated on (and understand) ingredient components, e.g. pulses (peas, lentils, chickpeas, etc.) and requirements for nutrient balances in diets fed long-term, i.e. what the vast majority of pet-owners do and as typically advised by their veterinary team.

Once again, I was thrilled to see a group of folks collaborate to try and identify nutritional concerns related to keeping animals (dogs mainly) safe. This included the article tackling topics and raising questions like, ‘What might processing do to nutrients?’, along with providing recommendations (and aid) for formulating dog foods with specific ingredients, e.g. novel ingredients, higher fibre, and closing their discussion with a helpful review and effective referencing of recent publications on the topic of DCM and dog diet.

The researchers concluded with a heart-felt statement regarding dog diet manufacture accountability,

“It is the responsibility of animal nutritionists to formulate balanced diets for dogs, and other animals, by looking beyond the goal of meeting AAFCO recommendations or satisfying unsubstantiated market trends.”

The statement above, combined with the article’s call for action and mini-plan towards learning what dogs might need nutritionally, i.e. “ Greater awareness of amino acid (AA) balance is crucial for ensuring that AA requirements are met for dogs consuming static diets.”, made my wish for veterinary nutrition awareness and start to the Year of The Pig complete.

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