Sadly, doggos are cursed with incredibly short life spans (10+ years of age is considered “old” for them). That already short life span could be made even shorter by a myriad of problems, natural or otherwise. One of them, heart disease, took an internet famous doggo by the name of Gabe the Dog away from us on January 20, 2017. (RIP little floof! May your borks live on forever!!)
Heart disease may often be thought of as being genetic, caused by heartworms, or lack of exercise. There is another potential cause: your dog food. Let’s talk about this.
Heart Disease and Dog Food
Back in July 2018, the FDA began studying the effects of heart disease from pet food. Since then, over 500 cases of a particular type of heart disease in dogs, called dilated cardiomyopathy, have been reported to the FDA. When a case is made, they collect detailed information about the affected doggo, including clinical records, veterinary records, and detailed dietary history. Based on those cases, what they found was shocking. More than 90% of the cases involved dry food and grain-free or pea-based dog food!
The usual suspects
As mentioned, grain free dog food, and dog food based on peas seem to be the predominant causes of heart disease. But what does that look like? What brands are doing this?
Thanks to the detailed diet history, we have data on the main culprits. Here they are, ranked from worst to best:
- Acana – 67 cases
- Zignature – 64 cases
- Taste of the Wild – 53 cases
- 4Health – 32 cases
- Earthborn Holistic – 32 cases
- Blue Buffalo – 31 cases
- Nature’s Domain – 29 cases
- Fromm – 24 cases
- Merrick – 16 cases
- California Natural – 15 cases
- Natural Balance – 15 cases
- Orijen – 12 cases
- Nature’s Variety – 11 cases
- NutriSource – 10 cases
- Nutro – 10 cases
- Rachel Ray Nutrish – 10 cases
If you have any of those brands of dog food, especially any of the first four, you should throw them out immediately!
But that’s not all!
We know that what the food is based on (whether it is grain-free or pea-based), or what brand the dog food is, could determine if the doggo eating it is going to face heart disease, but let’s talk more about the former. Animal proteins (chicken, beef, …) were also taken into account in their study, and it was found that most cases had chicken, salmon, or lamb ingredients! You might want to avoid those from now on until further notice, and definitely talk to your vet about them!
Careful what you get
There is quite a demand for doggo diet fads (they are analogous to those for hoomans), that are not only bereft of the benefits they claim to have, but could also be quite dangerous. In this article, you saw that grain-free dog food could be causing heart disease. Yet, it is so popular, that you can type in “dog food g” in Google, and “dog food grain free” is among the search suggestions, despite a total lack of evidence it is good for your doggo at all! For these reasons, we will NEVER recommend that type of dog food, nor will we recommend pea-based or corn-based dog food (the latter could be causing allergies). We seek what is best for your good boye (or gorl)!