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FDA Update

To Our Valued Customers,

We are a small, family-owned business and stand by our products whole-heartedly. Quality & food safety are our top priorities to ensure our customers and their pets receive the absolute best nutrition possible. 

With that said, we would like to take the time to discuss the recent FDA Update regarding DCM issues with you and address your concerns about whether or not our ingredients or our pet food is linked to causing canine heart disease. We want to offer peace of mind as, we understand your concern as a dedicated pet owner and appreciate you taking the time to ask the important questions. We are pleased to inform you that our company and all of our pet food products have not been associated with any DCM related issues that you have heard about recently in the news related to the FDA's most recent June 2019 report.

Nature's Select continues to have award-winning recipes and highly rated pet food by the Dog Food Advisor. Our pet food has consecutively been on the "Approved Dry Dog Food List" by Whole Dog Journal for the past 6 years in a row. We are proud that our pet food has been recall-free since we started this business back in 1994. 

Nature's Select Pet Food is indeed guaranteed safe and we stand by our products. All of our pet food recipes are AAFCO certified and we continuously check that all of our ingredients and nutrient levels are complete, balanced, and exceed AAFCO requirements. All of our ingredients are locally sourced in the USA and proudly made in the great state of Texas.

We take great pride in our products being meat-based products. On average, 70% of our protein in all of our formulas come from a meat source...which is excellent for your pet! The problem arises when certain large pet food companies take peas/legume seeds and “split” the ingredients throughout the label. When they do this, it causes vegetables to become the main source of protein for the dog, rather than a meat source which is what a pet owner should always look for.

Back in February following the FDA's update regarding DCM in dogs, we wrote a response - Find the blog post here. We also recommend you read the most recent FDA update shared last week - find it here or see below. We encourage you to take the time to read it to fully understand what their findings are thus far. 


June 2019 FDA Update

Read it in full now by clicking here. This is the most recent update from the FDA, posted June 27th 2019, regarding the study between pet food ingredients and the link it has to the increase of canine heart disease (DCM). 

WHAT IS DCM? Heart Muscle Disease in Dogs. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle that is characterized by an enlarged heart that does not function properly. With DCM, both the upper and lower chambers of the heart become enlarged, with one side being more severely affected than the other.

  • While there are dog breeds (typically large and giant breeds, plus Cocker Spaniels) that are known to have a genetic predisposition to dilated cardiomyopathy, the reports to the FDA continue to span a wide range of breeds, many that do not have a known genetic predisposition. 
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy is recognized as a genetic condition in dogs, typically in large or giant breeds. It is believed to be less common in small and medium breed dogs. 

Key Facts from the June 2019 FDA Update:

We understand your concern regarding the recent FDA updates about the current DCM study and the potential connection it has to diet. While this study is frightening and overwhelming to pet owners, it is important to understand that it is still ongoing and there is still much to be discovered on what exactly is causing this issue to escalate in our beloved canines. 

See below for key facts & findings that stood out to us from the recent FDA June 2019 update.

Diet Information from Reported Cases

When examining the most commonly reported pet food brands named in DCM reports submitted to the FDA, it is important to note that the graph below is based on reports that included brand information and that some reports named multiple brands. Brands that were named ten or more times are featured below. 

(Note: Nature's Select is not on the above list because there have been ZERO reported cases of DCM related cases of dogs getting sick on our pet food.)

Pet Food Ingredients

*No one animal protein source was predominant in their findings.

*More than 90 percent of products were “grain-free”, and 93 percent of reported products had peas and/or lentils. 

*Since the July 2018 DCM Update, Vet-LIRN tested both products labeled as "grain-free" and those containing grain for the following:

  • protein, fat, moisture
  • crude fiber, total dietary fiber, soluble fiber, insoluble fiber
  • total starch, resistant starch
  • cystine, methionine, and taurine

Taurine

*Nutritional research indicates that taurine is generally not considered an essential amino acid for dogs, because these animals can synthesize taurine from cysteine and methionine. 

*The FDA is still gathering information to better understand if (and how) taurine metabolism (both absorption and excretion) may have a role in these reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.

Breed Specific Cases

  • FDA has observed a reporting bias for breeds like Golden Retrievers due to breed-specific social media groups and activities that have raised awareness of the issue in these communities and urged owners and vets to submit reports to FDA. Past publications and research suggest that Golden Retrievers may be genetically predisposed to taurine deficiency, which is well-documented as potentially leading to DCM.
  • Veterinary cardiologist Dr. Joshua Stern from the University of California at Davis has been studying the rise in cases of DCM in Golden Retrievers, including a potential dietary link. Many cases of DCM in Golden Retrievers are taurine-deficient. Pet owners who suspect their Golden Retrievers may be affected may wish to consult their veterinarian to discuss checking taurine levels or conducting an echocardiogram.
  • Another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases is that they have occurred just in the last few years. The FDA is working with the pet food industry to better understand whether changes in ingredients, ingredient sourcing, processing or formulation may have contributed to the development of DCM.
  • If a dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If the symptoms are severe and your veterinarian is not available, you may need to seek emergency veterinary care. Your veterinarian may ask you for a thorough dietary history, including all the foods (including treats) the dog has eaten.

Spike in DCM Cases - What's going on with the pet food industry?


*Another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases is that they have occurred just in the last few years. 

*The FDA is working with the pet food industry to better understand whether changes in ingredients, ingredient sourcing, processing or formulation may have contributed to the development of DCM.


IN CONCLUSION

Remember: The FDA is continuing to investigate and gather more information in an effort to identify whether there is a specific dietary link to development of DCM and will provide updates to the public as information develops.

If a dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If the symptoms are severe and your veterinarian is not available, you may need to seek emergency veterinary care. Your veterinarian may ask you for a thorough dietary history, including all the foods (including treats) the dog has eaten.


As a proud pet owner, you should feel confident in what you feed your pup and be able to use a brand from a company you trust.

All of us at Nature's Select Pet Food understand how frightening the recent DCM talk is that's been occurring online, in the news, and on social media. We want to be as open and honest as possible with you and offer our perspective about the FDA's findings, and let our customers and the public know that we are always willing to discuss in further detail and answer any pressing questions about our pet food, about pet health and nutrition, or to help you find a solution for your pet's overall health and well-being.

We continue to stand by our products and ensure that all of our pet food formulas are AAFCO certified. Our safety protocols and manufacturing processes have been improved upon drastically effective Spring 2019. We encourage you to discover the Nature's Select Difference by visiting the multiple outlets below:

As always, food safety and product quality remain our top priority for our customers and most importantly, for their pets. Should you have any questions regarding any of these topics, we encourage you to contact us, we would love to hear from you. Call us weekdays 8am - 5pm PST (714) 993-5500 or send us an email info@naturesselectcorp.com

We appreciate you taking the time to listen to our explanation, and we welcome all feedback.

Sincerely,

Nature’s Select Pet Food


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