NBCNEWS.COM UPDATE: FDA names 16 brands of dog food linked to canine heart disease

Recently, there has been an increase in media coverage involving certain pet food diets linked to increased incidence of heart disease in dogs. We’d like to shed some light on this situation.

There has been strong evidence linking certain grain-free boutique brand dog foods to increased rates of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in breeds not thought to be prone to this disease. The exact mechanism which these foods may be linked to is being researched. The following article provides an overview of the current findings.

It’s Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Our recommendation is to feed your pet a diet made by a reputable brand, one who has a team of veterinary nutritionists on staff. These brands, whose formulas are scientifically based, have undergone AAFCO feeding trials with strict quality control measures in place.

There has been no evidence to suggest that grain-free diets are beneficial to pets, and the recent news regarding these diets leads to concern that they may actually be causing more harm than good. The introduction of grain-free pet foods into the market came shortly after the gluten-free trend became popular in the human food industry. While grain free food may be beneficial to a select few individual pets who have veterinary diagnosed sensitivities, it does not provide any benefit to the vast majority of pets and has become more about marketing gimmicks and profit margins than about the actual health of the pets. Having said that, not all grain-free diets have been linked with increased rates of DCM. It is important to research any pet food company before making the decision about which food to feed your pet.

The U.S. FDA has released more information on this subject, including a list of the most common breeds associated with cases of DCM reported in dogs:


We are always available to answer any questions you may have. If you are considering a new diet for your pet please let us know. We are happy to help you do research and find the answers you need to make the right decision for your furry family members. Call 613-345-3401 or e-mail: info@brockvillevet.ca