By Kirk T. Schroder

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has compiled a list of dog food brands that are connected to complaints received by the FDA in connection with heart disease in dogs.

The extensive report can be found at this link. It details complaints received by the FDA regarding heart disease in dogs related to specific dog food products from January 1, 2014 to April 30, 2019.

Consumers are able to make online pet food complaints to the FDA at this link.

This issue is not new. In an attempt to warn dog owners across the country, the FDA released an announcement in July 2018 listing the sixteen food brands that may be giving your canine heart disease. These brands have been linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM): a disease of a dog’s heart muscle and results in an enlarged heart. As the heart and its chambers become dilated, it becomes harder for the heart to pump, and heart valves may leak, leading to a buildup of fluids in the chest and abdomen.

In this new report, the FDA has assembled a list of the dog food brands identified in the report for having the most cases and how many cases they had were reported to the FDA. Those brands are listed below from the ones receiving the most complaints to the least:

  • 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

Most reports are related to formulations are from dry dog food. The FDA chart below indicates the types of ingredients related to these complaints.

And this FDA chart indicates the types of animal proteins related to the complaints:

And this FDA chart indicates what dog breeds were most frequently associated with such complaints to the FDA.

The FDA notes that “another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases [heart disease] is that they have occurred just in the last few years”.

The FDA further states that it is working with the pet food industry to better understand whether changes in ingredients, ingredient sourcing, processing or formulation may have contributed to the development of this spike in heart disease in dogs.

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