The administration launched this investigation following reports about an increase in a certain kind of heart disease called canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM for short) in dog’s that eat a “grain-free” diet.
DCM results in a decreased ability of the heart to generate pressure to pump blood through the dog’s vascular system and can be a devastating disease.
The FDA’s list of affected brands include major national brands like Blue Buffalo, Merrick, and Rachael Ray Nourish.
Those brands affected dogs even after controlling for the increased risk of the disease in certain breeds. For example, Purebred Golden Retrievers, have a high risk of developing DCM, as do other large breed types.
Recently, veterinary cardiologists have reported seeing the disease in other smaller breeds, the FDA said. In these cases, the dogs also ate grain-free dog food.
“These reports of canine heart disease are highly unusual as they are occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease,” Dr. Martine Hartogensis, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance, said in a statement.
While Scientists are still investigating the link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy and grain free dog food, it is highly recommened to seek the advise of a Veterinarian before you make any changes to your dog’s diet. In addition, pet owners and vets who suspect that a dog’s heart disease is tied to grain-free dog food are encouraged to report the case to FDA’s electronic Safety Reporting Portal.