The US Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners that some pet diets could lead to disease that causes congestive heart failure.
The FDA has been investigating the link between some dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy, also known as DCM or canine heart disease, since July 2018.
There have been more than 500 reported cases with 16 pet food brands showing up the most, USA Today reported.
Most cases involved large breed dogs, for example, golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers, but some small breeds were also affected, so researchers concluded there wasn't a genetic connection.
One connection they did find was the dogs ate dry dog food and the vast majority were grain-free or had peas and/or lentils, USA Today reported.
The dog food brands the FDA found to have the most cases linked to DCM are:
- Acana, 67.
- Zignatue, 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.
Champion Petfoods, which owns Acana and Orijen brands, sent us this statement:
On June 27, 2019, the FDA released an update saying that it is “continuing to investigate and gather more information in an effort to identify whether there is a specific dietary link to development of DCM.” More specifically, its update provides no causative scientific link between DCM and our products, ingredients or grain-free diets as a whole.
Our hearts go out to every pet and Pet Lover who have been impacted by DCM. We take this very seriously and will continue to work internally and with other industry leaders on research into the cause of DCM in order to help Pet Lovers understand the facts. Our own research, and the millions of pets who have thrived by eating our food over 25 years, have shown that Champion pet foods are safe.
DCM is a serious but rare condition. Of the 77 million dogs in the U.S., 0.5% to 1% have DCM, and of those dogs with DCM, fewer than 0.1% are speculated to have DCM related to diet, although that is not scientifically proven. In the recipes Champion makes, we emphasize fresh and raw meat with total animal-derived ingredients ranging from 60 to 85 percent of the finished product. Legumes are not a significant feature in Champion's recipes, and never have been.
Champion’s mission is to provide high quality foods that are biologically appropriate and enhance the long-term health and well-being of cats and dogs and we carry out state-of-the-art nutritional research to ensure that our products remain that way. As Pet Lovers ourselves, everyone at Champion will continue our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards for ingredients and food safety. If you have any questions about DCM, please call our customer care line at 1-877-939-0006.
The FDA said cases of DCM have spiked in the past few years, and researches are trying to see if changing ingredients, source of the ingredients or the processing of the ingredients may have contributed to the increase of DCM cases.
If you have information that you believe may help the FDA's DCM investigation you can file a report by clicking here.
And if your dog develops DCM or any other heart condition, a veterinarian may ask you to provide a dietary history, including all foods and treats provided to the pet.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.