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September 12, 2018

What started as a warning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July on a possible link between dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs and a diet rich in legumes and/or potatoes has—thanks to a few outspoken social media personalities—turned into something of a witch hunt implicating all grain-free dog foods.

The FDA alert, while alarming, clearly states that the investigation has not been completed. As the organization is examining “certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients,” it is not advising dog owners to make any dietary changes. While several of the dogs in reports that the FDA has received had a deficiency of the amino acid taurine in their blood, which is documented as being linked to DCM, other dogs in the reports had normal blood taurine levels. However, those facts didn’t prevent a few social media influencers from prematurely proclaiming that grain-free diets, even naming several popular brands, could cause heart disease in pet owners’ beloved dogs. Such an overstatement is irresponsible, and to name specific brands in attention-seeking social media posts is beyond distasteful.

Another hot button topic is cannabidiol (CBD) products, which are proving to be an effective tool in providing pain relief for aging pets and treating those suffering from anxiety issues and seizures. Pet Age looks at the CBD trend from a few different angles, including what retailers should know about pet cannabis in order to be able to educate consumers.

On a lighter note, pet toys have been a mainstay since the 1950s. Today, toys are limited only by the imagination of the manufacturer. One glance at this month’s cover story will reveal that creativity is key to a toy’s popularity.

In addition, we’re excited that Jacinthe Moreau, president of the World Pet Association (WPA), is sharing her thoughts on the aquatic pet industry as well as what the WPA and upcoming Aquatics Experience can offer independent retailers. We’ll be attending the conference next month, and we hope to see you there!

Until then, we encourage you to read this issue, which has valuable information on bearded dragons to litter boxes to bathing needs. Also check out the 45 products in the Stockroom section. What are you waiting for? Turn the page and enjoy!

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