Our Commitment to Pet Health: The FDA's DCM Update

Open Farm's Commitment to Pet Health: The FDA's DCM Update

2020 Update

In 2020, Vet-LIRN (the veterinary laboratory network that FDA partnered with for the investigation into DCM in dogs) closely examined a set of approximately 150 dogs diagnosed with DCM to identify potential causes and recovery factors. The results showed that DCM is a complex issue with potential variables including, but not limited to, breed, age, weight, gastrointestinal disease, infection and more.

FDA also noted that diet changes, including grain-free diets, were not necessarily responsible for dogs that experienced partial or full recovery, since nearly all dogs were also treated with supplemental taurine, pharmaceutical drugs (e.g., pimobendane, ACE inhibitors) as well as other drugs and/or supplements.

We will continue to post updates here as we learn more from the FDA's investigation.

Open Farm is a family business that was founded with a vision to contribute to a happier and healthier life for pets and farm animals. We started Open Farm because we love animals, and their wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do, and every decision we make. The fact that our customers put the wellbeing of their pets, their family, in our hands is something that we have never taken lightly. To live up to this responsibility, we are committed to being fully transparent, to choosing the best ingredients no matter the cost, and to driving positive change in our industry and food system through our sourcing and production practices.

To ensure that our products are as safe and healthy as possible, we regularly monitor new nutritional findings, advances and concerns within our industry. Over the last year, we have been closely following the US Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) examination of a possible link between certain diets and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (“DCM”). We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you our thoughts on the recent FDA update on this topic, released June 27, 2019, and provide additional information that may be helpful to you as a pet parent.

The FDA’s most recent status update provided a detailed list of the 524 reported cases of DCM, collected by the FDA between January 1, 2014 to April 30th, 2019. The reported cases involved a wide variety of dog breeds who were being fed a variety of diets. Given the data collected thus far, the FDA has stated that it still cannot attest to “whether or how these case reports are linked to diet”, and that “the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors”.

Open Farm has not been contacted by the FDA and has not been included in any of its reports to date. However, please be assured that we will continue to monitor the FDA’s investigation and keep you updated with any information that is important for the health of your pets.

We also want to assure you that, as always, we remain laser focused on producing the highest quality foods to support the best health outcomes for your pets. We wanted to share just a few of the key practices that support our efforts to create our premium, trusted foods:

Developed by experts:

We work with a team of Ph.D. animal nutritionists and food scientists to custom formulate each of our recipes to deliver the nutrition pets need to optimize their health and longevity. Beyond delivering the critical building blocks of health and nutrition, our recipes are formulated to ensure that pets are energetic, have strong digestive tracts and immune systems, and enjoy their food.

Only the best ingredients:

Open Farm’s mission has always been to deliver the highest quality ingredients from humane and sustainable sources. We partner with the best family farms in North America, New Zealand and Australia to deliver premium meat ingredients from farm animals that are raised the right way. 100% of our meat ingredients are antibiotic and growth hormone free, as well as certified by Certified Humane® or Global Animal Partnership®. Ingredient quality is at the core of our mission because we believe that the way an ingredient is grown and raised, and transparency into this process, has a direct impact on its quality, and ultimately the nutrition it delivers.

Balanced diets delivering premium nutrition:

All of our diets are meatfirst recipes and our dry foods are no different, with the vast majority of protein in these recipes coming from animal ingredients. These ingredients are a rich source of natural and bioavailable vitamins, minerals and amino acids. One of the focuses of the recent discussion around DCM has been the taurine levels of the diets in question. Due to the higher levels of meat inclusion in our recipes, our foods provide an abundance of these critical amino acids – delivering taurine levels of ~0.25%, through a combination of natural sources and supplementation, and cysteine and methionine levels that exceed AAFCO requirements by over 30%.

We all know that nutrition has a huge impact on the way our pets feel every day and on their overall health. We will continue to closely monitor developments from the FDA, while staying true to our mission to deliver the best nutritional solutions for pets through continual innovation and improvement. We are an open book and always available to talk – please reach out to us if you have any concerns about DCM or questions about our products at Support@OpenFarmPet.com or toll free at 1-833-399-3403.

All the best,

Jacqueline, Isaac and Derek

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