Just like me, I know that you love your pup very much and would always feed him high-quality foods.
Pet food brands also go out of their way to produce healthy foods for dogs.
It is only unfortunate that some of these foods turn out to do the opposite, thereby posing harm to our pets.
In this article, I described 16 dog foods linked to heart disease. I’m sure you want to know them.
So, let’s hit the road at once!
For an easy read, this article is grouped under these subheadings:
- Understanding Heart Disease In Dogs
- 16 Dog Foods Linked To Heart Disease
- Healthy Alternatives To Dog Foods Linked To Heart Disease
Enjoy your read!
Understanding Heart Disease In Dogs
Before discussing the dog foods linked to heart disease, let’s understand heart disease in dogs.
Heart disease is common in dogs especially Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) which may be caused by:
- Vascular congestion where the valves deteriorate and blood flows backwards as the heart beats.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy where the heart can no longer beat well enough to transport blood.
- Hypertension or High blood pressure
Because heart disease is prevalent in dogs, quality nutrition is used to limit its occurrence.
Popular signs of heart disease in dogs include difficulty breathing or cough, lethargy, exercise intolerance, etc.
If your dog is showing any of these signs, you should inform your vet right away.
Most reported cases of Heart failure are for larger breeds of dogs like Great Danes and German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Mixed and Labrador retrievers.
READ ALSO: Is Wheat Good For Dogs? What Makes It Good & When Is It Not Good
But then reports started coming in for smaller breeds as well.
This prompted an investigation by the FDA and it was found that certain foods may be contributing to heart disease.
Further study showed grain-free dog foods as the major culprit.
Such foods replace grains with lentils, peas and chickpeas.
Taurine is another ingredient suspected to contribute to heart disease.
So far, 16 dog food brands have been associated with this problem.
We’ll talk about their foods in the next section.
16 Dog Foods Linked To Heart Disease
Here are 16 dog foods by brands that have been linked to heart disease:
Acana Red Meat Formula
This is a grain-free dry dog food by Acana. Its protein is sourced from moderate amounts of animal meat and plants.
Have a look at its top ingredients:
Deboned beef, beef fat, beef meal, beef liver, beef kidney, beef tripe, deboned pork, pork meal, natural pork flavour, deboned lamb, Pollock oil, whole red and green lentils, lentil fibre, whole pinto beans, whole green and yellow peas, whole chickpeas, chicory root, turmeric, etc.
Other dog foods by the same brand include:
- Acana Paleo Formula
- Acana Feast Formula
- Acana Freshwater Fish Formula
- Acana Free-Run Poultry Formula
READ ALSO: Are Carrots Good For Dogs: What Makes It Good & How To Serve It
2. Zignature Treat & Salmon Formula Grain-Free Small Bites Dry Dog Food
Here is another grain-free dog food produced by Zignature.
It is made in the Northwestern United States.
The food is rich in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
The top ingredients are:
Trout, Salmon Meal, Oats, Millet, Sunflower Oil & Meal, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin A & E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Salt, Taurine, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, and Natural Flavors, etc.
Other products from the same manufacturer include:
- Zignature Select Cuts Turkey Formula Legume-Free Dry Dog Food
- Zignature Whitefish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Zignature Turkey Formula Small Bites Dry Dog Food
3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild is another brand that was listed among dog foods linked to heart disease.
This grain-free dog food tries to provide complete and balanced nutrition with its protein, antioxidant, fruit, vegetable, and mineral content.
The top ingredients are:
Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, etc.
Other foods are the same manufacturer are:
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
READ ALSO: Lamb Meal: Is It Good For Dog? How To Serve Your Dog Lamb Meal
4health is another dog food brand linked to heart disease.
I didn’t find any of its foods online, so I’ll give a brief overview of the brand.
4health focuses on producing premium but affordable dog food.
Ingredients like corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives are usually missing in their foods.
Also, they put into consideration different dog sizes and ages while making their foods.
4Health has 10 dog treats, 14 canned food formulas, and 22 different dry food formulas.
Grain-Free Formulas by this brand include:
- Puppy Food
- Pork & Potato
- Turkey & Potato
- Whitefish & Potato
- Beef & Potato
- Duck & Potato
5. Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
Earthborn is also one of the brands in the list of dog foods linked to heart disease.
This food is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
It has a limited ingredient formula having lamb meal as the only meat source.
Other ingredients are:
Pumpkin, Tapioca, Dried Egg, Sweet Potato, Taurine, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Carrots, Spinach, Canola Oil, Flaxseed, Dried Yeast, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A, D3 & E Supplements, Zinc Sulfate, Natural Flavors etc.
Earthborn also produces the following:
- Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Lamb Meal Recipe Dog Treats
- Earthborn Holistic K95 Lamb Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion Natural Dry Dog Food
- Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
READ ALSO: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Rice Recipe [Review]
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This is a high-protein and grain-free recipe that helps build and maintain lean muscle mass.
Top ingredients are:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Starch, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Flaxseed,Dried Egg Product, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, DL-Methionine, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavor, etc.
Blue Buffalo also produces these foods:
- Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- Salmon & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- Duck & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
7. Kirkland Nature’s Domain Dog Food
Kirkland Nature was also listed as a dog food brand linked to heart disease.
In this food, Turkey meal is the first ingredient and it provides 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
Other top ingredients are:
Sweet potato, peas, potato, canola oil, tomato pomace, flaxseed, natural flavor, salmon oil, chicory root, chelated minerals, etc.
8. Fromm Surf & Turf Recipe
We have here another grain-free dog food by Fromm.
The major ingredients in this food are:
Salmon, Salmon Meal, Fish Broth, Chicken, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver, Duck Meal, Egg Product, Lentils, Chickpeas, Peas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Flour, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Pea Protein, Salmon Oil, Herring Meal, Flaxseed, Cheese, Carrots, Apples, Broccoli, Celery, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamins, Minerals, Cranberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sorbic Acid, Blueberries, Sodium Selenite, Taurine, Probiotics.
Other foods by Fromm include:
- Salmon & Chicken Pâté
- Salmon with Sweet Potato Recipe Treats
- Heartland Gold Puppy
READ ALSO: Milk-Bone Original Large Biscuit Dog Treats Reviews
9. Merrick Power Bites Real Texas Beef Recipe Grain-Free Soft & Chewy Dog Treats
Merrick is another brand found in the list of dog foods linked to heart disease.
Here, we have a dog treat designed to supply dogs with proteins and other needed nutrients.
The top ingredients are:
Deboned Beef, Potatoes, Potato Protein, Potato Starch, Peas, Pea Fiber, Organic Cane Molasses, Vegetable Glycerin, Brown Sugar, Dried Cultured Whey, Sunflower Lecithin, Safflower Oil, Gelatin, Flaxseed, Rosemary Extract, Carrots, Apples, Blueberries, etc.
Dog foods by Merrick include:
- Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Great Plains Red Recipe
- Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Recipe with Ancient Grains Adult Dry Dog Food
- Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Chicken + Brown Rice Recipe with Ancient Grains Adult Dry Dog Food
10 California Natural
This dog food brand has formulas in chicken meal, lamb meal, venison meal, kangaroo & red lentils, pork meal & sweet potatoes, and salmon meal & peas for adult dogs.
And though California Natural claims to adhere to the highest quality manufacturing guidelines for pet foods, it still made the FDA list of dog foods linked to heart disease.
One time in 2013, the Michigan Department of Agriculture detected Salmonella in a batch of dry food during testing.
California Natural responded by issuing a voluntary recall for all of their products made in that facility.
Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes by this brand include:
- Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe
- Kangaroo & Red Lentils Recipe
- Chicken Meal Recipe
- Lamb Meal Recipe
- Venison & Green Lentils Recipe
READ ALSO: Stewart Pro-Treat Beef Liver Freeze- Dried Raw Dog Treats Review
11. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula Dry Dog Food
Natural Balance is one of my favourite brands and I was surprised to see it on the FDA list.
This particular food is rich in proteins and digestible carbohydrates.
The major ingredients used for the food are Salmon & Sweet Potato and other nature’s fine ingredients.
There are no peas, pea protein, lentils, legumes, corn, wheat or soy.
Other foods by this brand include:
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Dry Dog Food
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Duck & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
12. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
ORIJEN also made the FDA’s list of dog foods linked to heart disease.
This is a protein-rich food produced with a whole-prey approach in mind.
Top ingredients are:
Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Liver,/Heart/Kidney/Necks/ Fat, Turkey Liver/Heart, Flounder, Mackerel, Herring, Eggs, Red Lentils, Beans, Whole Green Peas, Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Whole Chickpeas, Lentil Fiber, Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Natural Chicken Flavor, etc.
READ ALSO: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken Dry Dog Food Review
13. Nature’s VarietyInstinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food
Here, the Nature dog food brand provides a wholesome meal that promotes maximum digestibility, a healthy coat and skin, and immune health.
The top ingredients are:
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Peas, Tapioca, Herring Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Natural Flavor, Salt, Dried Tomato Pomace, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin A & E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Montmorillonite Clay, Zinc, Copper & Iron Proteinate, Pumpkin Seeds, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, etc.
Other foods by this brand are:
- Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Salmon Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food
- Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Beef Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food
- Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Salmon & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food
- Instinct Be Natural Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food
14. NutriSource Adult Chicken and Rice
NutriSource also made the FDA list of dog foods linked to heart disease.
In this dog food, it provides a grain-inclusive food with a reasonable amount of meat.
Major ingredients are:
Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, chicken fat, oatmeal, menhaden fish meal, natural turkey and chicken flavour, dried plain beet pulp, flaxseed, brewers dried yeast, salt, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, taurine, etc.
More from this brand include:
- NutriSource Performance Chicken and Rice
- NutriSource Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice
- NutriSource Large Breed Adult Lamb Meal and Rice
- NutriSource Beef and Rice
- NutriSource Trout and Rice
- NutriSource Small Bites Adult
READ ALSO: Pumpkin For Dogs: The Benefits, Risks, Preparation & How To Serve It
15. Nutro Grain-Free Beef, Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Stew Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack Dog Food Trays
We have here a grain-free pack of wet dog foods by Nutro.
There are 4 protein recipes and each is balanced with vitamins and minerals.
The top ingredients are:
Turkey, Chicken Broth, Pork Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Potatoes, Peas, Pork Plasma, Tapioca Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Pea Fiber Beef, Chicken Broth, Pork Broth, Potatoes, Chicken, Tomatoes, Beef Liver, Carrots, Pork Plasma, Tapioca Starch, Dried Egg Product, Pea Fiber, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, etc.
16. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Lastly, on this list of dog foods linked to heart disease, we have dry dog food by Rachael Ray.
It is packed with healthy ingredients to promote the general well-being of dogs.
Some of these ingredients are:
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Pea Flour, Whole Dried Potatoes, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Tapioca, Whole Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, Turkey Meal, Peas, Fish Meal, Natural Flavor, Salt, Dried Cranberries, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, etc.
Other foods by the same brand include:
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Beef, Potato & Bison Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Open Prairie Recipe with Beef, Venison & Lamb Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Turkey & Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Now that we’ve seen the foods linked to heart disease, let’s look at some alternatives you can go for.
Healthy Alternatives To Dog Foods Linked To Heart Disease
These are prescription diets that can be used in place of the grain-free foods. They are also good for your dog’s heart.
Check them out!
- Science Diet Z/D
- Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein HP
- Royal Canin Skin Support
- Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat
- Science Diet I/D
- Purina Proplan Hydrolyzed Formula
We have now come to the end of our discussion on 16 Dog Foods Linked To Heart Disease. I hope you learned something.
Most of these foods are grain-free and contain taurine. However, research on the link between diet and heart disease is still ongoing.
We cannot condemn these brands above yet.
Tell me in the comments section, if your dog has a health condition that was linked to diet and how you handled it.
Also, share this post with your friends, thank you!