What you are feeding your dog could be causing heart disease, FDA finds

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that what you’re feeding your dog may be giving them heart disease.

On Thursday, the FDA released its findings on an investigation it has been conducting since 2018 about the potential link between certain diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy, known as DCM.

The findings include a list of pet food brands that have been reported to cause DCM.

DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle and results in an enlarged heart, the FDA said. As the heart become dilated, it becomes harder for it to pump, and valves may leak, which can lead to a buildup of fluids in the chest and abdomen.

These are the dog food brands named most frequently in DCM cases:

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

The disease is not considered rare, but these reports are unusual because many of them occurred in breeds of dogs not typically genetically prone to the disease, the FDA said.

There have been 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to their diet as of April 30, the FDA said. This is out of the about 77 million pet dogs in the U.S.

While diets causing this disease is only being seen in 0.0007% of dogs, you should still be vigilant of your pet’s health.

If your dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, which include decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse, contact your veterinarian. If the symptoms are severe and your veterinarian is not available, seek emergency veterinary care.

The FDA is not advising to change your dog’s diet, but if you have questions or concerns you should talk with your vet.