The FDA is investigating a link between heart disease in dogs and certain pet foods, most of which are grain-free.
The agency last week named 16 brands of dog food, including brands from Champion and General Mills, that had been fed in 10 cases or more apiece to dogs that developed heart disease. The disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, which dilates the heart’s left ventricle, is most often associated with large breeds like golden retrievers, although it has appeared in smaller dogs.
Since the FDA began studying the situation in July 2018, about 560 dogs with the heart condition have been reported to the FDA, and 119 have died. The most common factor in their diets was being fed grain-free dog food. However, the agency cautions that it has not determined a definitive link between diet and the disease and is still investigating.
The Pet Food Institute issued a statement that said its members “are committed to the production of safe, nutritionally balanced pet food and are working closely together with internal experts, including company scientists, veterinarians and nutritionists, to advance the understanding of this issue and support a collaborative approach with FDA.”