Thoughts & Essays

FDA: 16 Dog Food Brands with an increased risk of canine heart disease

Via “The Food and Drug Administration has named 16 dog food brands with an increased risk of a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy… or DCM.

Bullet Points

  • The FDA has received reports of DCM in a wide range of breeds, including many not genetically prone to the disease.
  • FDA researchers have observed that most of these DCM cases were associated with animals eating dry dog foods. Dogs eating raw, semi-moist, and wet diets were also affected.
  • Researchers found that over 90 percent of the reported recipes were grain-free. (Yet some dogs consumed diets that contained grain, too.)
  • Most of these animals ate diets that appeared to contain high concentrations of peas, chickpeas, lentils… or various types of potatoes.

Via the FDA: FDA Investigating Potential Connection Between Diet and Cases of Canine Heart Disease

Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other “pulses” (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients. Early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicate that the dogs consistently ate these foods as their primary source of nutrition for time periods ranging from months to years. High levels of legumes or potatoes appear to be more common in diets labeled as “grain-free,” but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM.

The 16 Dog Food Brands the FDA is Warning About

  • Acana
  • Zignature
  • Taste of the Wild
  • 4Health
  • Earthborn Holistic
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Nature’s Domain
  • Fromm
  • Merrick
  • California Natural
  • Natural Balance
  • Orijen
  • Nature’s Variety
  • Nutrisource
  • Nutro
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish

A note from the FDA:

To put this issue into proper context, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States.

As of April 30, 2019, the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM.

For more information:

(Image Credit: Pexels.)