The United States Food and Drug Administration has released a warning citing a possible link between 16 dog food brands and canine heart disease. Should you be taking a closer look at your dog’s food?
The Food Drug and Administration (FDA) said that investigations have shown links between popular brands such as Acana and Nature’s Variety with cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in pets. DCM affects the heart muscle of a dog and can cause congestive heart failure. The disease is most commonly found in larger dogs.
What Dog Food Brands Are Suspect?
Dog food brands listed among those which may be linked to heart disease are mostly selling dry dog food. Most of the time, these types of dog food are the most convenient for the owner and less expensive. However, they may also harm your pet’s health. Below are the 16 brands named by the FDA and the number of cases of heart disease were reported for each.
- 4health, 32
- Acana, 67
- Blue Buffalo, 31
- California Natural, 15
- Earthborn Holistic, 32
- Fromm, 24
- Merrick, 16
- Natural Balance, 15
- Nature’s Domain, 29
- Nature’s Variety, 11
- Nutrisource, 10
- Nutro, 10
- Orijen, 12
- Rachael Ray Nutrish, 10
- Taste of the Wild, 53
- Zignature, 64
These cases were over a five-year period. Of these cases, 119 dogs died. FDA officials are still studying the link between dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), or heart disease, and the dog food brands.
Next Steps For Pet Owners
For now, no recall is being made on any of these foods or brands. The agency simply feels it has a responsibility to inform the public about the frequency of DCM in dogs consuming these foods.
“We know it can be devastating to suddenly learn that your previously healthy pet has a potentially life-threatening disease such as DCM. That’s why the FDA is committed to continuing our collaborative scientific investigation in the possible link between DCM and certain pet foods,” said FDA Director of Veterinary Medicine Steven M. Solomon.
This is the third study done about the link between DCM and food brand. The FDA has not come out and blamed any brands outright. Instead, officials believe the ingredients may be the problem. Foods claiming to be “grain-free,” contain legumes (peas, chickpeas, lentils) or potatoes all have the potential to be the root of the problem.
Of the reported DCM cases, more than 90 percent of the dog food brands were “grain free.” Ninety-three percent were made with peas or lentils.
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Image credit: Wileypup.com.