For anyone out there with a furry friend, you might have heard about something called dilated cardiomyopathy – DCM for short – the last time you took your pet to the vet. DCM is a common heart disease in dogs, and the number of DCM cases has been on the rise as of late. Tons of research is being conducted on DCM and dogs, attempting to solve the puzzle on how to prevent this disease’s likelihood.

After extensive research on the topic, the findings have been conclusive; DCM – and many other canine diseases for that matter – can be prevented through a well-balanced diet. Just think about how the human body works; it is fueled by what we put into it. Dogs are no different, and a well-balanced diet optimizes health to the fullest.

Here you can find basic information on DCM, what causes it, the common symptoms, and how a well-balanced diet can help.

What is Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy?

DCM is a disease that has been found in many species, and it is something that dogs and humans can both relate to. However, DCM in humans is often the result of a heart attack, but in dogs, it can develop slowly over time. DCM in canines is when the heart is no longer strong enough to pump blood effectively throughout the body. This is caused by a thinning of the ventricular wall and dilation of the ventricles.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of DCM?

In the early stages of DCM, the disease can be very hard to detect since there are no physical symptoms. As the disease progresses, the symptoms start to appear. It is common for canines with DCM to become weak and lethargic. As the disease progresses even further, wheezing from congestion is common.

Here’s how the congestion and fluid build-up can affect a canine with DCM: “As the heart’s pumping ability worsens, blood pressure starts to increase in the veins behind one or both sides of the heart. Lung (pulmonary) congestion and fluid accumulation (edema) often develop behind the left ventricle/atrium. Fluid also may accumulate in the abdomen (ascites) or around the lungs (pleural effusion) if the right side of the heart is also diseased.”

How a Well-Balanced Diet Can Help

Dogs are known to be omnivores. So in order for a canine to be as healthy as it can be, it’s important for that animal to eat a balance of meat and plant-based products. Cats, on the other hand, are considered carnivores and can survives solely on meat products. A dog can survive off of meat alone, but if you’d like your dog to live a happy and healthy life, a balanced diet is a must. The first thing to remember when choosing a dog food is to focus on quality. Some of the highest quality dog fods on the shelves these days are labeled as “grain-free”, mainly because these brands don’t use low-quality grain fillers. A healthy balance between meat and plant-products – minus harmful grains like wheat – is the best way to promote a healthy lifestyle in your canine.