Sixteen brands of dog food may be linked with an increased risk of heart failure in dogs, according to the Food and Drug Administration. 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 is currently examining more than 500 reports that appear to link dog foods that are marketed as “grain-free” to canine expanded cardiomyopathy. The FDA has been warning about the food based on peas, lentils or potatoes since July 2018, but the statement released late last week is the first time the agency has identified the 16 brand names.
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Most of the reports were compared with dry dog food formulations, but raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were included. The FDA has not suggested owners change their pets’ diets.
“We’re not saying don’t use these brands, we’re just telling pet owners to work directly with their veterinarians because we’re still examining,” Lindsay Haake, a spokesperson for the FDA, stated.
While the vast majority of cases have been in dogs, there have also been some in cats.
Veterinary cardiologists told NBC News that they aren’t waiting for the FDA study to end before advising owners to stop feeding the suspect pet foods.
“When a dog comes to us and we learn during the history that it’s on a grain-free diet, we advise switching to a non-grain-free diet,” stated Dr. Anna Gelzer, a veterinary cardiologist and an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.