Little dog digging a deep hole on the beach

Digging into DCM

Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Our dogs are members of our family and we want nothing but the best for each of them. The reports from the FDA regarding their research into grain-free foods as a potential factor in a small percentage of dogs developing DCM has everyone full of questions. Misleading headlines and editorials are feeding the fear rather than helping pet owners find answers. As dog parents ourselves, us Kahooligans understand your concern and desire for clear, concise information about what is really going on. Unfortunately, the latest FDA report regarding DCM doesn’t answer our questions, but we’re confident both the FDA and dog food manufacturers are hard at work in getting to the bottom of this and will have more answers soon.

Golden lab lying in the sun on the beach

What is DCM?

DCM or Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease in dogs that affects the heart muscle, decreasing the ability to pump blood through the body. This can lead to congestive heart failure. Nearly three decades of research into the cause of DCM points to a combination of nutrition, infection, and genetic predisposition. If you feel that your dog is at high risk or is exhibiting any symptoms of DCM such as excessive panting, coughing, and lethargy, make an appointment with your vet right away!

Taking Action? You Have Choices!

Even without definitive answers, many people want to take action now to reduce the risk of DCM in their dogs and we completely understand! That's why we not only carry a variety of different food options but our knowledgable and friendly Kahooligans are here to listen to your concerns and offer suggestions such as:

Add a topper to your kibble - Enhance their diet by 'topping' kibble with nutritious additions such as bone broth, canned food, or our Tasty Toppers.

Switch to a minimally processed diet - Feed a biologically appropriate kibble alternative that is lightly cooked or raw. These foods more closely resemble a dog's natural diet and minimal heat processing can improve protein digestibility.

Grain-In kibble - If your dog can tolerate grains, switch to a high quality kibble with brown rice, millet or oatmeal such as our Kahoots Chicken Meal & Brown Rice or our Kahoots Lamb Meal & Brown Rice.

No matter what you feed your dog, change up their diet - Just like for people, a varied diet offers dogs the best nutritional range and minimizes the impact of any potential deficiency any one food may have.

Note: Supplementing with probiotics a few days before introducing new foods can reduce or alleviate any transition issues.

Making Sense of the Data

There is a lot of information out there and making sense of it can be tough. The latest FDA report includes a graph showing the number of confirmed DCM cases per brand of food. This data has raised a lot of concern for those who currently feed the brands listed. Keep in mind that this data is incomplete and they are only in the early stages of investigating a potential link between diet and DCM. The June 27th report is looking at just 515 cases out of the millions of American dogs being fed a grain free diet, many on these same brands that are listed. The FDA's actual statement states, "based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors."

Bulldog making a funny face at its owner

Be Informed and STAY Informed!

Kahoots is proud to have passionate, informed customers and we want to make sure you have the latest information available online. We recommend you read the various reports and responses to Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy to make the best choices you can.

FDA Release - official statement

Truth About Dog Food - a clear analysis of the information in the FDA release

From the Pet food companies named in the FDA release that we carry:

Acana & Orijen


Taste of the Wild

Blue Buffalo



Natural Balance


You Are not Alone!

We hope this helps you feel more informed. If you would like to make a change to your dog's diet, we are here to help you with the transition. We will also continue to keep you updated as we receive more official information. Please feel free to stop in to any of our Kahoots stores and speak with You can also contact us via email at

Together we will keep our dogs healthy and happy!

Your neighborhood feed and pet store,