Animals

This Dog Food May Be Linked to Serious Heart Problems For Pups

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Every pet owner wants what’s best for their beloved four-legged friends, from toys and treats to the meals they give them on a daily basis. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), certain types of dog food might be associated with serious health problems for pooches.

The organization recently announced a link between grain-free dog food and cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a potentially life-threatening heart disease for animals. Starting with sporadic reports in 2014, more than 500 dogs have been diagnosed with DCM. “In most of the cases, the dogs ate dry dog food formulations,” they claim. “More than 90 percent of the diets were ‘grain-free’ and 93 percent had peas and/or lentils.” 

It’s definitely a scary number of pups getting sick over five years. But it’s important to also keep in mind that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States, so it’s a very small fraction of the pooch population. Most dogs have been eating grain-free dog food just fine. Still, the FDA’s dedication to transparency when it comes to the health of pets and humans alike led them to reveal the specific brands of food and number of DCM cases found with each one:

  • 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

It might all be a huge coincidence, but experts are still looking into it. Steven M. Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in their press release, “The FDA is committed to continuing our collaborative scientific investigation into the possible link between DCM and certain pet foods.” 

In the meantime, talk with your pets’ veterinarian to determine which diet is best for your animals. They might also be able to consult board-certified pet nutritionists to really figure out what your fur babies need. 

Chances are, your pets are already doing perfectly well — but it never hurts to make sure!

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