Riversong Veterinary Clinic

Recent FDA Report on Canine Cardiomyopathy

Many of you may have heard or read about the FDA’s recent investigation into Canine Cardiomyopathy (DCM). An article from the FDA regarding the study can be found here.

This news could affect your decisions about what food to feed your canine friend. At the core of this issue is the process by which dry dog food is manufactured. The “kibble” must contain starch in order to form into solid pieces during the extrusion process. Several of the “grain free” forms of starches used are peas, lentils and potatoes.

The FDA is investigating a potential (not yet proven) link between these starches and DCM in some dogs, as well as a possible link between DCM and foods produced by newer pet food companies. During this investigation process we may see grain free dog food makers modify their formulas to address the potential concerns mentioned in the above article.

As always, it is very important to read the label of the food you choose for your pets. To continue to feed dry kibble not containing peas, lentils or potatoes, the best option may be a grain-containing diet with high quality grain such as barley, oatmeal, or brown rice.

In an effort to help owners still provide a quality diet but avoid these foods in question, we have found the following foods that we feel are safe options:


  • Purina Beyond Simply 9 Lamb & Barley (dry)
  • Purina Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach (dry and canned)
  • Hill’s Bioactive Line (dry and canned)

A balanced, homemade diet is also an option. If you are interested in this, please ask us about a nutritional consult with Dr. Sowers to create a diet for your dog.


  • Purina Beyond Simply Salmon & Brown Rice (dry)
  • Purina ProPlan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Turkey & Oatmeal (dry)
  • Purina Beyond Alaskan Cod or Canadian Duck (canned)

Please note that these are very specific formulas listed. Other formulas, even within the same product line, can have very different ingredients. If you wish to choose another food, the following guidelines may be helpful:

Ingredients to Avoid:

  • corn products
  • grain by-products or meat by-products
  • non-specific proteins (i.e. “meat meal,” “animal digest”)
  • lentils, peas, or potatoes listed in the top 3 ingredients

Ingredients to Look for:

  • quality whole grains such as oats (oatmeal), barley, brown rice
  • specific named protein sources (“Chicken,” “Chicken Meal,” etc.)

As always, please contact us if you have any questions or concerns!

Office Hours:

Monday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Tuesday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Wednesday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Friday: 8:30am - 5:30pm

4 Market Street, Suite 4105
Brevard, NC 28712

PHONE: (828) 392-7296

FAX: (828) 862-8250