Why are we worried about Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)? Because we all LOVE OUR DOGS!? 

(This is LONG because it's important. Please take a couple of minutes to read....) 

If I heard anyone say to me "don't feed that food, it can kill your dog", I'd be scared too. I ask everyone again to take a deep breath, don't panic, then hug your dogs/cats (if they let you ?? ), take your dog for a walk, play with your kitties, and know that I will always stand with YOU, our long time and new, clients and customers. Always!


▶️I totally get why these statements/status reports that come out from the FDA are scary. We love our pets! We want the best for them. We worry about them every day... But today, I'd like to help you all to muddle through what came out most recently from the FDA. 

‼️With this, never have any doubt about me taking all pet health issues VERY seriously. They are our family members.‼️ 

☑️Please be aware that I am providing stats here not to downplay the issue but to help all understand. 

?I know for those 560 pet owners affected and reporting that they don't care about percentages. They care about their dogs and their disease. My heart hurts for them as if it were my dog that was one of those stats, I'd be CRUSHED... What an awful experience to go through - They must have felt so very alone..... My whole heart goes out to them. ? 

With that in my mind and in my heart every day, I do have to discuss what the FDA has released. 

?‍?Regarding the FDA 3rd status report released on June 27th, here is what I know. First, I would like for people to note this most important statement from the FDA in their status report: 

"Therefore, we do not think these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer.To put this issue into proper context, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. As of April 30, 2019, the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM." 

✅To repeat what the FDA has stated - out of an estimated 77 million pet dogs in the US, there are 560 dogs reported (from 2014 to 2019) with suspected diet related DCM. Tens of millions of dogs are eating these quality foods every day for years and yes, even their lifetimes, and are unaffected by DCM. 

?That is literally just .000007% that are suspect of diet related DCM out of ALL dogs in the US 

A few more stats from their status report. 

Most linked with DCM: 

1. 75% of the proteins are not exotic - mostly chicken (no I'm not saying there's anything wrong with chicken, but I am saying that they are average proteins, not Exotic). 

2. Over 95% of all dog cases reported were fed only dry kibble. 

3. 1/4 of the 560 dogs reported have a genetic predisposition to DCM regardless of what they eat.

⏳Next - the study is ongoing and there is NO answer from the FDA. There is no recall order. There are no results. There is no link solidified or stated by the FDA. 

❓So where do we go from here? 

For me and my store and our much-loved customers and clients, I always defer back to what my foundation of my business is and has been for OVER 14 years now: 

✅Rotate your foods  

➡️Change proteins 

➡️Change manufacturers 

➡️Add in variety

✅Add in Fresh where you can - something every day  

➡️Goat's Milk or Kefir (raw unpasteurized)  

➡️Eggs - raw is best, duck, chicken, goose - farm fresh 

➡️Canned sardines in water 

➡️Consider a raw food/fresh food or at least add in 

➡️Remember that the amino acids in question for our pets' heart health only come from fresh animal protein sources. Taurine, Cystine and Methionine. Most dry foods must add them back in after cooking. Please add animal protein rich fresh foods where you can.

✅And most importantly support and protect your pets tummy and general daily health!  

➡️Probiotics - GOOD probiotics made for pets. ? 


➡️No-toxins in/on their bodies or around your homes 

➡️Titer test vs. vaccinating yearly  

➡️Use caution with your treats that you choose. Low carb/starch, no sugars included. Go for meaty treats for a bonus!  

➡️Find a holistic/integrative vet in your area to help you with any and all health concerns. Holistic & integrative veterinarians are our pet doctors that are most educated specifically in pet nutrition. (I have a couple of great referrals BTW.) ?‍⚕️

With that, if you are still worried about feeding a grain free food until the studies are actually concluded, know that at Wags to Whiskers Pets stocks a very wide variety of foods in our store that are not considered grain free including over 20 varieties of legume free/grain-in/low-grain dry food, over 2 dozen varieties of raw foods, multiple fresh add ins loaded with amino acids, over 150 flavors/varieties of canned foods, multiple freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, etc. We specialize in fresh foods and add ins to fit everyone's budget and needs.

We of course carry grain free foods too. Many of our customers dogs health has improved tremendously by just switching off common grains to low-carb, grain free foods. I will always stand with those customers also and with the foods they choose to feed from our store.  

Variety = Vitality! 


?‍A bit about me Janelle Peters Pitula: I just freakin' love dogs and cats. My whole life is about dogs and cats. I take classes regularly, I research nutrition, I study daily, and I educate myself for the benefit of our clients and customers and of course, all dogs and cats. I am a Certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist, a member of the Association of Holistic Pet Professionals, Pet First Aid Certified, and I have been in the industry of pet nutrition and dog grooming for over 14 years. My day, every day is DOG, CAT, DOG, CAT. Pets are my passion and my life.

I am in this industry due to low quality pet foods made with inferior ingredients making my dog Tally very sick as a puppy, and I will never advocate feeding a food that is not first at the least made with ingredients that are fit for human consumption, no food ingredients from China. When I discovered what was going on in commercial pet food, I had to do something to help everyone discover the ills of the commercial pet food industry and have access to information to be able to learn what I learn!

Pet health should not be a SECRET! Knowledge is power for our pets. 

???I will always advocate raw/fresh feeding first, but I understand that this is not within the budget for every pet owner. I then encourage adding fresh food wherever you can to a good dry food base. Daily fresh add in is best, then several times a week at minimum. And if you just can't do that, please, please, please, rotate your foods, use a digestive enzyme and probiotic with a (small) fish oil like sardine/krill.


I own Wags to Whiskers in Plainfield Illinois that I established in 2005. You can reach our store at 815-436-5957 and I am willing to meet with anyone who needs help with their pets. Also, the majority of our team members have been with us for over 8 years, and even our newest team members support our customers and clients by studying nutrition to help enrich the lives of dogs and cats... 

We will always act for you and your pets. 

I thank you for your continued trust in us. 

~Janelle Pitula  

Wags to Whiskers