The FDA is investigating a link between heart disease in dogs and certain pet foods, most of which are grain-free. The agency last week named 16 brands of dog food, including brands from Champion and General Mills, that had been fed in 10 cases or more apiece to dogs that developed heart disease. The disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, which dilates the heart’s left ventricle, is most often associated with large breeds like golden retrievers, although it has appeared in smaller dogs. Since the FDA began studying the situation in July 2018, about 560 dogs with the heart condition have been reported to the FDA, and 119 have died. The most common factor in their diets was being fed grain-free dog food. However, the agency cautions that it has not determined a definitive link between diet and the disease and is still investigating.
Lightbulb Moment: As pet foods are increasingly geared towards disease states or health goals, it was inevitable that researchers would get involved and design a study like this one. But it is even more interesting that it is the FDA who is doing the study. It will give them leverage to move against companies posting health claims that prove invalid and recall power if adverse effects are found in a product. Want to learn more about how this trend impacts your business? That’s where Culinary Tides, Inc. comes in.