5 usage rates of dog food ingredients in FDA DCM warning

FDA notified the public that some canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases correlated to dogs eating diets containing large amounts of potatoes and legume seeds.

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photo by MicrostockStudio, shutterstock.com
photo by MicrostockStudio, shutterstock.com

Pet food ingredients, such as potatoes, peas and lentils, appear with different frequency in dog foods in the United States. Dog foods formulated with high percentages of these ingredients may correlate to increased risk of a certain heart disease, warned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine on July 2. FDA notified the public that some canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases were correlated to dogs eating diets containing large amounts of potatoes and legume seeds, also known as pulses, such as peas and lentils.

Grain-free dog food formulas

Although it is no longer operational, the Dog and Cat Food Ingredient Center database contained data on usage rates of various ingredients related to the FDA announcement.

In dry dog food, 44 percent of the recipes in the database do not contain grains. These grains include all forms of corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, oats, millet, flax, barley and sorghum. Of these grain-free recipes, 28 percent have grain-free in their product name or in the formula name. Some brands are more heavily invested in grain-free than others, but 78 percent of the brands producing dry dog food have at least one grain-free formula.

Of grain-free dry dog food recipes:

  • 50 percent contain peas,
  • 23 percent use chickpeas and
  • 14 percent include lentils.

Use of ingredients mentioned in FDA report

Outside of the realm of grain-free dog foods, various legumes and potatoes appeared at lower rates. Nevertheless, chickpeas, lentils and peas make up a large percentage of the dry recipes they are in, often showing up in the top 3 to 6 spots in the ingredient deck.

Of all dry dog food recipes:

  1. Potatoes (not sweet) - 28 percent
  2. Soybeans - 13 percent
  3. Chickpeas - 12 percent
  4. Lentils - 8 percent
  5. Peas - 5 percent

Webinar with FDA on dog diet and heart disease

WATT Global Media regularly presents hour-long webinars on topics of interest to pet food industry professionals and leaders throughout the year. These webinars are free to attend and for in-demand playback.

FDA: possible dog food link to canine dilated cardiomyopathy

Find out the latest information on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) investigation into a potential correlation between certain pet food ingredients and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and what it means for pet food formulations. Speakers include Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine's Office of Surveillance and Compliance; Greg Aldrich, Ph.D., associate research associate professor and coordinator for the pet food program at Kansas State University, president of Pet Food Ingredients & Technology and author of the Ingredient Issues column; and Lisa Freeman, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.A.C.V.N., professor at Cummings School of Veterinary School at Tufts University and board-certified veterinary nutritionist.

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