PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Pet owners are being warned of a potential link between a spike in canine heart disease and at least a dozen brands of dog food.
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating more than 500 reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs that eat certain brands of pet food.
“These reports are unusual because DCM is occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease,” the FDA said.
According to the FDA, large and giant breed dogs are primarily affected by DCM, but many of the cases reported involved smaller breeds of dogs.
Between January 2014 and April 30, 2019, the FDA received more than 500 reports of DCM, including 119 dog deaths. The FDA said 222 of the reports were between December 1, 2018 and April 2019.
The FDA listed 16 food brands and the number of reported DCM cases that may be linked:
- 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
Many of the listed dog food brands are labeled as “grain-free.” According to the FDA, high legume or potato levels appear to be more common in pet foods labeled as “grain-free,” though it is unknown if the ingredients are linked to DCM.
The FDA is encouraging pet owners and veterinary professionals to report cases of DCM in dogs that may be linked to their diet. The FDA has not asked any of the companies to recall their products.