1. The link is not 100% verified due to relatively few affected dogs based on the total dog population (in 2 years 560 dogs).
2. The grain-free part of the diet may or may not be the actual cause of the heart changes.
3. The possible lack of enough Taurine (tar-een) is the main concern.
4. The listed food brands tell more about the commonality and popularity of the brand and not the scientific defectiveness of the brand.
5. Most of the Brands are starting to add and supplement with extra Taurine (check your ingredients).
6. If you want to be sure and safe you can switch to a Prescription Diet or give taurine supplement which is very safe.
Currently recommended dose of taurine for dogs:
500 mg of taurine PO TID for dogs weighing ~ 25-30 pounds
1000 mg of taurine PO TID for dogs weighing ~50-60 pounds
7. If your dog has any symptoms of fatigue or cough or you are concerned ~ have your primary care veterinarian check.
FDA UPDATE ON RISKS OF APOQUEL
FDA requests that Zoetis immediately cease the dissemination of the items that fail to accurately represent the risks associated with APOQUEL.
makes false or misleading representations about the risks associated with APOQUEL ... claims misleadingly suggest that APOQUEL is safer than steroids ... misleadingly minimize the risk associated with the use of APOQUEL ... higher frequency of adverse reactions in Apoquel treated dogs was seen in a longer- term study