The Mystery Behind Orijen Dog Food and DCM in Dogs

Are you ready to unravel the enigma surrounding Orijen dog food and its association with Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM)? Buckle up, because things are about to get interesting.

A Curious Ranking

The US FDA recently released a list of the top 15 dry dog foods allegedly linked to DCM based on reports they’ve received. Surprisingly, Acana claimed the top spot with 67 cases, followed by Taste of the Wild with 53 cases. But what’s really perplexing is that Orijen dog food, known for its quality ingredients, is ranked 12th with just 12 cases. Quite the conundrum, wouldn’t you say?

The DCM Dilemma

DCM, a heart condition, first gained attention in the 70s due to the low meat content in pet food. Cats suffered the most, going blind and dying until taurine was added to their nutritionally deficient dry food. But DCM in dogs has multiple nutritional causes. It’s not just about the amount of meat or taurine, but also the type of fiber and cooking process.

Grain-Free, the Culprit?

While outbreaks of DCM have occurred in cereal-based pet food before, the recent one pointed fingers at grain-free options. Coincidentally, this served as a golden opportunity for the struggling cereal-based pet food sector, as grain-free and meatier options gained popularity. They took the chance to spread the word about the alleged dangers of grain-free food through their preferred channels.

The Taurine Puzzle

Taurine, abundant in meat and especially in the heart, is crucial for preventing DCM. The general belief is that the more meat used in pet food, the higher the taurine content, and the lower the risk of DCM. So, while it’s expected to see brands like Taste of the Wild on the list, with their meat meal and carb filler, it’s shocking to find Acana, which uses a good amount of fresh meat and fewer carbs, ranking so high. Could the inclusion of lentils be a potential issue?

Further reading:  Say Goodbye to Stubborn Pet Hair: Spring Cleaning Tips

Orijen, the Unexpected Candidate

What really caught everyone off guard is seeing Orijen, a brand that recently topped the list of the best 80:20 pet foods, among the DCM suspects. Orijen prides itself on using real meat and no fillers. With ingredients packed with taurine, how can animals suffer from a lack of taurine on this mix? The only remaining factor is cooking. If the meat used includes leftovers or waste from the meat industry, it may contain high levels of microorganisms. Natural-minded manufacturers, who avoid using excessive anti-bacterial chemicals, must sterilize their food at high temperatures, even if they claim it’s “cold pressed.”

Cooking Conundrum

Could it be that some pet food manufacturers are cooking their mixes too much? It’s challenging to find another explanation that applies across brands. In that case, the FDA’s list might just reflect the dry foods most commonly fed in the US. It raises another question, though: why aren’t popular cereal-based brands like Hills and Royal Canin at the top? Historically, cereal-based foods have been closely linked to DCM in dogs. These brands, despite their popularity in the US market, didn’t make the list. The focus seems to be on meatier, more natural products with higher taurine levels.

The Suspicious Side

Let’s not forget about the FDA’s integrity. They handed over pet food regulation to AAFCO, a board dominated by major pet food manufacturers. This raises eyebrows, especially considering that in the last six years, 70,000 tonnes of kibble were recalled for salmonella, while only 900 tonnes of raw food were recalled. Yet, the FDA decided to stop looking for salmonella in dry food four years ago. It’s hard not to find this a bit… odd.

Further reading:  Storing Your Pet's Food: Keeping It Fresh and Safe

A Skewed Perspective?

Although more natural and grain-free pet food makes up less than a quarter of the market share in the US, the FDA’s list doesn’t seem to reflect the dominance of popular cereal-based brands. One might assume these brands are more prone to taurine deficiency compared to meatier grain-free options. It raises suspicions that the list may have been artificially skewed.

Now, my curious friend, the mystery of Orijen dog food and DCM in dogs deepens. As we tread into the murky waters of pet food, remember to question everything and keep your eyes open for hidden truths. And if you’re looking for high-quality dog collars, check out Karen’s Kollars for some stylish options.