FDA pet food investigation: What to know about diet-related heart disease

At least 1,382 cases of heart damage, possibly diet related, have been reported in dogs, although veterinary researchers believe the problem could be more widespread than the numbers suggest

Dogs Oliver, left, and Riley in Cape Cod.
Julie Carter

Since the Food and Drug Administration first warned about a possible link between a potentially fatal canine heart condition and “grain free” pet foods in 2018, owners and veterinarians have continued to report cases of dogs developing diet-related dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM.

DCM is a disease in which the heart gets larger, leaving it weaker and less able to pump blood. Some larger breeds of dogs, such as golden retrievers and Great Danes, are susceptible to the condition.

The FDA’s most recent tally of dogs, and a much smaller number of cats, with diet-related DCM included 1,382 cases, 255 of which had been determined between Aug. 1, 2020 and Nov. 1, 2022.

In 2019, the FDA named 16 brands of dog food associated with the rare form of heart disease, although it didn't suggest that owners stop giving the food, which often contains high levels of peas, lentils and potatoes, to their pets.

Read the full story on here.

Contact Us