HELP! Taurine Scare
I need your help.
I’m getting CRUSHED with panic about this Taurine Cardiomyopathy scare. CRUSHED.
I have multiple people EACH DAY now coming into the store in complete PANIC.
All anyone asks for is Eukanuba or Iams. (odd, don’t you think?)
Seriously. I had a hard core RAW customer come in and was so panicked her food was grain free, she threw everything out and came in for Euk or Iams!
It took me more than 30 minutes of very tense dialogue to get her to calm down and realize what she’s feeding is just right. (reading ingredients to people does wonders – if they will listen)
From what I’m experiencing – No brand is exempt from this scare.
People see the word PEA (even if it’s #10 ingredient) and they flip out.
Vets around me are handing out articles to their patients. Breeders are calling local dogs and telling them to IMMEDIATELY switch to Euk or Iams.
When the press announcement in summer of 2018 decreed boutique, exotic, grain free foods as the cause of DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) I warned our members of the possibility of misinterpretation by the public. This has now happened. Repeatedly, as evidenced in the above e-mail excerpt from a retailer to her raw pet food suppliers.
Incomplete information is leading people (including conventional veterinarians) to recommend pet owners return to grain-based kibble diets to avoid the perceived risk of DCM; these recommendations include turning away from minimally processed, balanced healthy diets made from real food ingredients and returning to highly processed foods made with inflammatory, inferior ingredients.
As all of our members know, taurine, the amino acid essential to prevention of DCM in some dogs, is found naturally in meat. Not grain. Not corn. Indirectly, through corn distillers by-products, fermentation provides for cysteine and methionine – two amino acids the dog’s body may be able to use to synthesize taurine. Not cats – they need the amino acid directly as taurine; distillers grains will not provide what cats need.
Real food, made with real ingredients, including meat that is not over cooked, provides more than sufficient amounts of dietary taurine. Directly, as bio-available, non-synthetic taurine. This is what our manufacturers produce – foods naturally high in taurine.
But you knew that. The problem is no evidence has been presented that our manufacturers’ diets exceed the basic biochemical needs of pets.
In the fall of 2018, Next Gen PFMA began an effort to collect taurine data from its members. We asked for laboratory confirmed levels of taurine, cysteine and methionine in representative diets from each manufacturer. We also asked those who had access to provide blood taurine levels for animals, especially golden retrievers, who had been eating their diet for more than a year. Very limited information has been provided to the trade association – certainly not enough to provide data to the FDA or to make a public announcement.
It may look like the DCM issue has tamed – it has not. Incomplete information may be being used to manipulate 100’s of thousands of pet owners either directly or indirectly simply through lack of data. It behooves our members to provide the rest of the information needed to accurately inform the public about the true dietary advantages of real pet food.