What’s in your dogs’ diets could be a factor in whether they develop heart disease, according to a new FDA report.
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it is continuing to examine a potential connection between certain diets and cases of increased cardiomyopathy, known as DCM or canine heart disease, which can result in congestive heart failure.
The agency first announced the study in July 2018. Thursday’s announcement named 16 pet food brands most frequently known in more than 500 reported cases.
“We know it can be devastating to suddenly learn that your previously healthy pet has a potentially life-threatening disease like DCM,” Steven M. Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement. “That’s why the FDA is committed to continuing our collaborative scientific research into the possible link between DCM and certain pet foods.”
The report says large and giant breed dogs are most typically affected, with cases being most common in golden retrievers, mixed breeds and Labrador retrievers. However, there have been cases of smaller breeds, too, suggesting “a lack of a genetic connection,” the report states.
In most of the cases, the dogs ate dry food formulations.
The research also looked into the ingredients or characteristics of the dogs’ diets. More than 90% of diets were “grain-free” and 93% had peas and/or lentils.
The report states that the FDA doesn’t yet know how certain diets may be linked with the disease.
“However, the FDA is first and foremost a public health agency, and takes seriously its responsibility to protect human and animal health,” the agency said in the statement. “In the case of DCM, the agency has an obligation to be transparent with the pet-owning public regarding the frequency with which certain brands have been reported.”