Addressing the DCM Concern


Our Heed family is dedicated to staying ahead of the dietary curve in research and nutrition!

We’d like to take this opportunity to join the current discussion surrounding the second leading heart disease in canines, DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy), and the potential implications the contents of your dog’s diet may have on this condition.

Our pups are our family too. When you serve Heed at your doggy dinner table, we consider you part of our pack. A recent FDA study involving both grain-inclusive and grain-free dog diets has led scientists to look a little closer at what we are putting in our pups food. So what did the study say anyway?

The Bones of the Report

  • The study reviewed current pet food brands that include both grain-free and grain-inclusive ingredient diets. The FDA’s report does not cite a direct link between specific diets and canine DCM and states, “ 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.”
  • According to The American Veterinary Medical Association, there are approx. 77 million pet dogs in the USA. Between 0.5% - 1% of this sample report having DCM. Of those dogs with DCM, only 0.1% are considered to have DCM related to diet, however that is not scientifically proven.
  • Specific dog breeds may be predisposed to DCM. More than 30% of the 540 dog sample in the FDA research noted above were of such breeds.

    The Heed Difference

    Heed Foods has not been contacted by the FDA and we continue to have no indication that any of our products are involved in the investigation.  Since day one, our formula and ingredients have endured stringent testing. Every batch produced must pass a rigorous inspection to ensure food safety and quality. This includes review by our expert team of PhD animal nutritionists, including one with a specialty in gut health with over 20 years of experience. Our completed Heed products are double and triple checked for safety by independent third parties, always getting the official snoot sniff of approval before we send food your way.

    With the highest quality and results for our pup family in mind, our recipes will continue to deliver a complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages!  You can read Dr. Susan Lauten’s, of the American Association of Veterinary Nutrition, review here.

    What’s Inside?

    Curious what fills our pups’ bowls? Find full ingredient lists and guaranteed analysis for our two recipes here and here!

    We like to keep it local in the Heed family, ensuring ingredients of the highest quality and nutritional value are sourced from the safety of our backyards. Heed kibble is manufactured at our co-manufacturer in Pawnee City, Nebraska. Our freeze dried ingredients come from our suppliers in their human grade facility in Momence, Illinois and Albion, New York.

    Grains vs. Greens, Do Veggies Bite?

    The FDA report raised questions as to the safety of legume heavy diets for pups. Good news! The first three ingredients for all Heed recipe options are high quality animal protein and all our diets are potato free. Note sweet potatoes are NOT potatoes. Unlike regular potatoes, which are tubers, sweet potatoes are considered to be a root vegetable. See here for more detail. Peas and legumes are never used as a primary source of protein but rather as whole food complements in our balanced diets. At Heed we are all about the animal friendly, protein rich diets. We will continue to roll out recipes that have the right balance of meats, veggies and more as we develop new and tasty treats!

    What You Can Do

    Remember, when it comes to food, one size does not fit all, so keep a close watch on your pups body and temperament and work with your veterinarian to adjust feeding habits if needed. Heed is also a strong believer in the importance of protein and recipe cycling. Just as humans would not be able to thrive by eating the same thing, pups also need variety in their diets. Heed recommends changing your pups recipe once every 3-6 months.

    We remain extremely confident in our diets, however, as pup parents ourselves, we understand your concerns. Our Fresh Chicken and Ancient Grains Kibble is an easy to digest kibble which includes prebiotics and fiber-rich wholesome grains. 

    In the meantime, keep in touch! Please feel free to reach out to the team at with any questions! 

    We thank you for being part of the Heed family.

     [Updated on March 2, 2020]