How Diet and Heart Disease Are Linked

with Veterinary Cardiologist Dr. Josh Stern

Welcome back to Your Dog Wants You To Know This!  


You might have heard about a link that has been found between certain diets and a type of heart disease in dogs called DCM or dilated cardiomyopathy. 


Despite the fact that this link has been found across at least 7 publications and 1,100 cases, pet food companies still want us to believe that these diets are safe for dogs. 


Dr. Josh Stern is here to explain the controversy and share his research findings. He’s also sharing some of his new research with pharmacogenetics.


Dr. Josh Stern DVM, PhD (Genetics), DACVIM (Cardiology) is chief of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's cardiology service and has authored or co-authored more than 80 publications. He runs the Stern Cardiac Genetics lab at Davis, where he's already had significant breakthroughs and contributions to science.


In Today’s Episode We Discuss: 

  • The link that has been found between diet and heart disease 
  • What dilated cardiomyopathy is 
  • Causes of dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Breeds that are genetically predisposed to dilated cardiomyopathy
  • The role of taurine in heart health 
  • How to get your dog’s taurine levels tested 
  • What diets have been identified as a concern 
  • How to figure out if you’re feeding your dog an appropriate diet 
  • The importance of listening to people with expertise 
  • Signs of heart disease to look for 


Hopefully, this episode cleared up some of your questions around this topic. I know that choosing your dog’s food is a very personal and important decision, so I hope this helps you make a more informed decision. 


Resources Mentioned:

Stern Translational Cardiac Genetics and Pharmacogenomics Laboratory 

UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: UC Davis Investigates Link Between Dog Diets and Deadly Heart Disease 

FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy 

WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee: Recommendations on Selecting Pet Foods 

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