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Indie Pet Stores Respond to Latest FDA Update on Grain-Free Food and DCM

Many are educating customers via Facebook.

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In the latest update on its investigation into reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in pets eating certain commercial foods, the FDA included a list of “Dog Food Brands Named Most Frequently to DCM Cases Reported to FDA.” Among them are many favorites of independent pet stores.

Since the update June 27, indies have taken to Facebook to provide necessary context on the investigation for their customers and to help guide them toward making the best food choices for their pets.

Dog Krazy, VA

This lengthy post from Dog Krazy’s Nancy Guinn shares the FDA update but puts it in perspective for her customers, and also shares that she feeds one of the brands on the list: “Now here’s a more comforting fact. Millions of dogs and cats are eating the foods listed and are 100% healthy. My own Bulldog is eating Zignature Kangaroo and I am not changing his diet. Both myself and my numerous vets (he has several vets and specialists) all know that this is the best diet for his allergies. After starting him on Zignature Kangaroo his allergies cleared up, his IBD is under control and he no longer has constant diarrhea. And as much as I hate bringing this up, I lost my first Bulldog to heart issues. And she was eating grain in food for most of her life, not grain free.”

The Green Spot, Omaha, NE

Jessica Ellis and Whitney Kamish also went long, telling customers in their post on the topic, “This is LONG because it’s important. Please take the time to read through to the end, especially if you are concerned about your pet’s diet.”

The heartfelt message addresses the news and encourages customers to read beyond misleading headlines. “While our hearts go out to anyone who has lost a dog to DCM, please know that IT IS EXTREMELY RARE. … do your own research and don’t rely solely on headlines to tell you the whole story. You are your pets’ BEST advocate!”

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Furry Friends, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO

This store shared a blog post on its website that puts the update into perspective and also delves further into the issue of taurine deficiency.

Treats on a Leash, Ames, IA

GRAIN-FREE FOOD/DCM UPDATE! Please let us know if you have questions or if we can help you with anything..

Posted by Treats On A Leash LLC on Saturday, June 29, 2019


Barb Morris went live with her “GRAIN-FREE FOOD/DCM UPDATE!” and said, “Please let us know if you have questions or if we can help you with anything.” She also included a bit about the history of kibble and how highly processed food affects both pets and people.  

All for the Pet, Severna Park, MD

Lee, Mark, Olivia and Alex of All For the Pet made it clear in their post to customers that, “There is no recall. The FDA simply listed some of the foods dogs were eating.” The post includes a long list of food alternatives and makes a pitch for raw as the best diet to prevent health problems.

Brown Dog Bakery, Ankeny, IA

This store shared the article “Please Don’t Panic About the Grain-Free Thing” from respected publication Whole Dog Journal, and used the comments to further explain that the article takes an unbiased approach to the topic. 

Flying M Feed Co., Houston, TX

The Triple AAA solution to the DCM dog food debate…

Posted by The Flying M Feed Co. on Monday, July 1, 2019

Trace Menchaca went live in personable videos to advise customers, but also to give tips to fellow retailers on turning this news to their advantage. “I come from the Container Store world of retail,” she says. “Accommodate your customers. Astound your customers!”

Loyal Biscuit Co., ME

Heidi Neal shared with her informative post a link to Primal Pet Food’s statement on the topic, and she also included a collage of photos featuring Loyal Biscuit Col staff and their pets.

Happy Dog Barkery, Downers Grove, IL

From Beth Staley, another lengthy post that provides information, context and support, with additional links in the comments.

Abby’s Road Veterinary Care, IA

Dr. Abby Strobbe weighed in from an integrative vet’s perspective.

Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA

Shane Sommerville went live on the topic.

Wags to Whiskers, Plainfield, IL

Janelle Peters Pitulla created a post that other retailers have used themselves, either in whole or part.

Felix & Oscar, Springfield, VA

This store not only provided context on the FDA update, but also encouraged customers to ask questions regarding ingredient sourcing, recalls and other important factors when choosing food.

If you would like to share your responses to customers and discuss this topic with your fellow indies, join the PETS+ Facebook community. We’ll add to this story as examples come in.

Michelle Lange writes about hamster food, bath scrubbers and bird toys — all the new pet products coming to market.

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