The Food and Drug Administration identified 16 brands of dog food that had been linked to heart disease in dogs, according to a report the agency published on Thursday.
In the report, the F.D.A. named for the first time the pet food brands most frequently associated with adverse events. In descending order of most incidents of heart disease, the brands are Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Earthborn Holistic, Blue Buffalo, Nature’s Domain, Fromm, Merrick, California Natural, Natural Balance, Orijen, Nature’s Variety, NutriSource, Nutro and Rachael Ray Nutrish.
The heart condition examined in the report, canine dilated cardiomyopathy, often results in heart failure and is believed to have a genetic component, according to the report. The disease usually affects large breeds, but the F.D.A. said it knew of smaller dogs that had also been afflicted.
[Read the FDA report]
The disease was most frequently reported to the F.D.A. 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 F.D.A. of their dogs’ diagnoses.
Most of the dog foods listed are usually labeled “grain-free” and contain a large proportion of peas, lentils, legume seeds or potatoes, according to the report. Many of the dogs researched in the investigation did not have a genetic predisposition to the condition, the F.D.A. said.
The Pet Food Institute said in a statement that it was “committed to the health of pets and take seriously the responsibility to make safe, complete and balanced food for our dogs and cats.”
“This is a complex issue with many factors requiring scientific evaluation,” the statement said.