Thornapple Australian Shepherds and Nutri Source Dog Food Response To July 2019 Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) REPORT FROM THE FDA.

Nutri Source Dog Food is a label which is made by Tuffy Pet Foods Inc. Thornapple Australian Shepherds (TAS) have fed Tuffy Pet Foods to their own champion show dogs and recommended the same company to clients. Thornapple Autralian Shepherds has been a breeder of Australian Shepherd for 30 years and is recognized as a “Breeder of Merit” by the AKC.

Thornapple Australian Shepherds have been highly recognized and awarded in: conformation, obedience, dock diving, agility, flyball, herding, therapy dog work and much more. This is a family business which we take very seriously as well as love. Our Thornapple family of “Aussie” owners is global with an extraordinary high percentage of people who always own a Thornapple Australian Shepherd and/or multiple T-Apple Aussies. We think of every single client as part of our T-Apple Family and are available to them throughout their dogs’ life.

Needless to say we would never recommend anything that we do not use ourselves and/or have time tested success with. Thornapple Australian Shepherds does recommend Tuffy Pet Foods’ Nutri Source label but never have we recommended their grain free line or any grain free line. FDA’s report highlighting 16 brands of dog food as causing DCM in dogs included Nutri Source. Of course this concerned all of us at Thornapple.

Thornapple Australian Shepherds reached out to our Tuffy Pet Foods representative who sent us a statement from Tuffy’s President (this statement is below). We also had a phone conversation with our representative. Beyond that, we reached out to some of our T-Apple family who are experts in canine nutrition and FDA reports who have done extensive DCM research and had another conversation with our Tuffy representative.

The following are bullet points of what we found out:

  • The FDA report was released with very sparse details. The actual report shows of the 524 dogs in the study between 2014 and 2019, 12 were fed some form of Nutri Source alone or with another food. The very important details which were not in the report are: Of the 12 dogs, all but 2 were breeds with a high genetic rate of DCM. The 2 breeds non genetically disposed to DCM were fed a grain-free version of food or 1/2 grain free food or grain free at some point in their life for an extended time frame.
  • The Tuffy’s representative stated (all statements were further verified by our T-Apple experts): Tuffy’s is very concerned about this and is donating money, information, etc. to Kansas State University Vet School to further research DCM. In 2018, when FDA released their original statement about DCM, Tuffy’s immediately consulted their staff nutritionalists, staff PhD Nutritionalist and KSU about what the best course of action was. Based on the information at that time, Tuffy’s added Taurine to their grain free lines. Tuffy’s sources all their ingredients from trusted and tested suppliers and always local suppliers if possible. They stay with the same suppliers so the ingredients quality always meets their high standards.
  • Tuffy’s representative received information from one of our T-Apple people that UC Davis is conducting a very large study on DCM. He was extremely interested and eager to contact them and offer what ever assistance they could.
  • Tuffy’s advocates rotating your dog’s diet every couple months. This keeps them interested and statistically they will get a more well rounded diet. Rotating food is best done within the brand by rotating protein sources.
  • Tuffy’s has recently broken ground on a brand new state of the art facility which will be complete in the Fall of 2020. This facility will keep the process “in the family” as it has been since the beginning of Tuffy’s Pet Foods Inc.
  • Tuffy’s meets and exceeds all Federal and State laws and regulations.

Please read the official letter from Tuffy/Nutri Source here.

Based on all these facts as well as the enormous amount of data on DCM and grain free food, it is Thornapple Australian Shepherds’ feeling the evidence clearly is leaning toward “grain free” diets as a whole and not 16 individual companies. Until the army of experts working on this terrible disease find a definitive answer no one can really point the finger at any company.

Based on all these facts as well as the enormous amount of data on DCM and grain free food, it is Thornapple Australian Shepherds’ feeling the evidence clearly is leaning toward “grain free” diets as a whole and not 16 individual companies. Until the army of experts working on this terrible disease find a definitive answer no one can really point the finger at any company.

Thanks – Ellen Brandenburg