16 Dog Food Brands Linked To Heart Disease

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified more than a dozen brands of pet food it says are most frequently connected to a spike in reported cases of heart disease in dogs.

The FDA has investigated more than 500 cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain types of food, according to their statement. DCM is a condition that effects a dog’s heart and results in an enlarged muscle. Dogs with DCM tire easily, cough, and have difficulty breathing.

“We know it can be devastating to suddenly learn that your previously healthy pet has a potentially life-threatening disease like DCM,” Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said Thursday in a statement.

When the FDA first alerted the public in 2018 to cases of DCM, the agency didn’t mention specific brands; only foods labeled as “grain-free” and containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds and/or potatoes as the main ingredients.

The probe now has the agency identifying 16 brands of dog food with the most frequently reported cases of DCM. Acana was named in 67 DCM reports, Zignature in 64 and Taste of the Wild in 53.

If DCM is caught early, heart function may improve in cases that are not linked to genetics with appropriate veterinary treatment and dietary modification, according to the FDA. If a dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, the FDA encourages you to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. In extreme cases such as sudden weakness or collapse, you may need to seek emergency veterinary care.

Here is the list of 16 pet food brands and the number of reported DCM cases that the FDA suspects are related to each brand:

  • Acana: 67
  • Zignature: 64
  • Taste of the Wild: 53
  • 4Health: 32
  • Earthborn Holistic: 32
  • Blue Buffalo: 31
  • Nature’s Domain: 29
  • Fromm: 24
  • Merrick: 16
  • California Natural: 15
  • Natural Balance: 15
  • Orijen: 12
  • Nature’s Variety: 11
  • NutriSource: 10
  • Nutro: 10
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish: 10

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