Published: Thu, July 04, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Grain-free food may be linked to dog heart disease: Health authority

Grain-free food may be linked to dog heart disease: Health authority

The United Nations, Food and Drug Administration, is a severe premonitory dog owner to identify certain dog food brands which were causing Dilated Cardiomyopathy to your loved pets. The FDA isn't recommending that pet owners stop feeding their dogs the particular brands yet, but some vets are already advising against "grain-free" foods.

The FDA has been investigating the links between "grain-free" pet foods that have a high proportion of "peas, lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), and/or potatoes in various forms (whole, flour, protein, etc.) as main ingredients" and DCM since July 2018.

The Food Standards Agency, Britain's equivalent of the FDA, said that they were "aware" of the investigation and would "study" the report for potential links.

One simple Google search of a certain dog food brand can reveal so many positive and negative reports, and the "natural" brands are even included in some "naughty" lists which really leaves me confused. However, of the 16 most cited pet food firms linked to 10 or more reports, the leading six included Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Earthborn Holistic, and Blue Buffalo.

Canine DCM is a disease of a dog's heart muscle that results in an enlarged heart.

The disease was most frequently reported to the FDA in golden retrievers, but the report noted that breed-specific social media groups and activities raised awareness of the issue in these communities of golden retriever owners, who perhaps disproportionately notified the FDA of their dogs' diagnoses.

While the vast majority of cases have been in dogs, there have also been some in cats.

The brands are advertised as "Biologically Appropriate" pet foods and they boast that they are fresh, regionally sourced and made from free range ingredients that mimic the "natural evolution" diet of dogs.

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"Owners should always look for the term "complete" on the pet food label".

While the underlying cause of Canine DCM is unknown, investigators say they are now looking beyond a genetic link as more cases are being reported in involving smaller dog breeds. As they note, it is a complex issue with numerous factors to consider. "We will continue to do everything possible to ensure that our products are safe and nutritious", they said in their statement.

The company added that its own "third-party internal studies found no link between our high-quality pet food products and any of the other physical characteristics that correlate to DCM".

Champion Petfoods, the parent company for Arcana, said it takes the issue and is working "internally and with other industry leaders on research into the cause of DCM in order to help Pet Lovers understand the facts", Champion said in a written statement.

The FDA has not asked for a recall of the brands.

It is not fully clear what it is about these diets that may be connected to DCM.

If your dog is experiencing any DCM symptoms, the FDA suggests you contact your veterinarian immediately.

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