New FDA Report Finds These Canadian Dog Foods Could Be Linked To A 'Potentially Deadly Heart Condition'

The FDA have released a 16-brand list of dog foods potentially linked to doggy heart disease.
New FDA Report Finds These Canadian Dog Foods Could Be Linked To A 'Potentially Deadly Heart Condition'
Senior Editor

When you love your pet more than anything, just the thought of your furry family getting sick is terrifying. For most pet-owners, they would be heartbroken to know that their dog's diet could be making them ill. Unfortunately, according to new research from The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA's dog food report found certain brands of dog food have a much higher connection to doggy diseases than others.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have released a list of 16 different brands of dog food, mostly labelled as 'grain free', which are most commonly linked to a potentially deadly heart condition in dogs. The condition, known as Canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), is a disease that thins the muscle wall of a dog's heart, making the organ so weak that it struggles to pump blood. This can result in congestive heart failure, caused by a build-up of fluid in the chest and abdomen. 

The FDA’s ongoing research is considering the “potential connection between diets and cases of canine heart disease,” by looking at 515 reports of the disease in dogs.  The FDA first alerted the public to the potential link in July 2018, and then followed up with an additional update in February 2019, that “provided additional case counts and described ongoing investigative efforts.”

While the FDA makes it clear that they don’t know how certain diets may be associated with DCM in some dogs, they have released a list of dog food brands that are “most frequently identified in these adverse event reports”. Many of these products are sold both in store and online in Canada.

The brands identified by the FDA report are: 

  • Acana.

  • Zignature. 

  • Taste of the Wild.

  • 4Health.

  • Earthborn Holistic.

  • Blue Buffalo. 

  • Nature's Domain. 

  • Fromm. 

  • Merrick. 

  • California Natural. 

  • Natural Balance. 

  • Orijen.

  • Nature's Variety. 

  • NutriSource. 

  • Nutro.

  • Rachael Ray Nutrish.

In response to this report, Champion Petfoods, which manufactures two of the brands on the list, said, there is “ no causative scientific link between DCM and our products, ingredients or grain-free diets as a whole."

They added, "We think it is misleading for the FDA to post the names of brands, while at the same time fully stating that they have no scientific evidence linking diet to DCM."

Dr. Sarah Dodd, a veterinarian and researcher, confirmed to CBC that there is actually no regulation in Canada when it comes to the nutrient content of pet food. She said, "You could put anything in a bag and call it dog food, as long as your manufacturing and contact details are on the bag." This worrying information makes it difficult for pet owners to know where to start when considering what food to buy for their beloved furry friend.

The FDA recommends that pet-owners should speak to their local veterinarian about their dogs’ diets if there is any concern about the animal's health, as all dogs have different needs and requirements and they should be considered on an individual basis.

The FDA report confirms that investigations are ongoing and they will continue to provide updates to the public as information becomes available.

Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only. 

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.