FDA warns of possible link between dog food and heart disease, and identifies 16 food brands

Hayley Peterson
  • The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a possible link between certain dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which can cause congestive heart failure.

  • The investigation involves 560 cases of dogs diagnosed with DCM. Of those, most consumed foods that were grain-free (91%) and contained peas and/or lentils (93%), the FDA has found.

  • The FDA on Thursday identified food brands most frequently identified in the case reports that it's studying. These include Acana, Zignature, and Taste of the Wild.

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The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a possible link between certain dog foods and a potentially fatal heart disease in dogs.

The investigation involves 560 cases of dogs diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a disease of the heart muscle that often leads to congestive heart failure. Some 119 of the dogs have died, according to the FDA.

Out of those 560 dogs, most consumed foods that were grain-free (91%) and contained peas and/or lentils (93%), the FDA has found.

The agency first issued an alert about the possible link between certain foods and DCM in July 2018. The FDA is now identifying the food brands most frequently identified in the case reports that it's studying.

Dog foods
Dog foods

Photo: The Food and Drug Administration

The FDA has not issued a recall of any of the foods on the list, and said it has not yet determined how they may be linked to DCM.

"It's important to note that the FDA doesn't yet know how certain diets may be associated with DCM in some dogs," the FDA stated in a notice posted to its website on Thursday. "However, the FDA is first and foremost a public health agency, and takes seriously its responsibility to protect human and animal health. In the case of DCM, the agency has an obligation to be transparent with the pet-owning public regarding the frequency with which certain brands have been reported."

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Here's the list of dog foods identified most frequently in the reports that the FDA is studying.

  • 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

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