List Of Dog Foods That Cause DCM: Top 16 Types To Avoid

Choosing the wrong food, especially kibble, can endanger your pet’s heart health.

Here I present the list of dog foods that cause DCM, a food list you should always bear in mind to protect your furry friends, and how to avoid the risk of DCM.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

What Is DCM? What Is The Connection Between Dog Food And DCM?

list of dog foods that cause dcm

DCM, aka Dilated Cardiomyopathy, is a heart problem in dogs. The heart becomes enlarged & weak, making it hard to pump blood.

It’s a serious health issue affecting the heart’s function. It can potentially lead to a dog’s congestive heart failure and sudden death.

Although genetic predisposition and breeds of dogs can contribute to DCM, some dog foods containing high levels of peas, lentils, and potatoes might be linked to dog heart issues.

Detailedly, the FDA has expressed concerns about these foods and DCM. Researchers are investigating their impact on dogs’ hearts.

While the evidence is still uncertain, the FDA has warned about foods that might give rise to heart problems.

Hence, as a dog owner, you should be aware of this list and choose food carefully.

List Of Dog Foods That Cause DCM

Dog food brands associated with the concern of DCM include Taste of the Wild, Acana, 4Health, Blue Buffalo, Earthborn Holistic, Nature’s Domain, Merrick, Fromm, California Natural, Orijen, Natural Balance, and 5 more.

I’ll go to the details of each brand below.

Taste Of The Wild

Taste of the Wild, produced by Diamond Pet Foods in the US, offers grain-free recipes mimicking wild canines’ diets with proteins like venison, bison, and salmon.

Unfortunately, it’s now listed by FDA as a potential source of heart failure due to 53 DCM cases in dogs eating it. Legumes and potatoes in the food might affect heart health.


Acana is a Canadian brand known for its grain-free diets in dog food, working under the management of Champion Petfoods. 

Despite 67 reported DCM cases in dogs consuming Acana, the exact link to DCM is still under FDA investigation.

The concern revolves around ingredients like legumes that might impact the dog’s heart health.


4Health dog food of Tractor Supply Company typically includes real animal proteins like chicken, beef, lamb, or fish as the main ingredient.

It often incorporates a mix of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits to provide essential nutrients.

Some of the brand dry dog food formulations include legumes and potatoes, which are investigated by FDA for potential links to Dilated Cardiomyopathy in dogs because it’s associated with 32 DCM cases.

Blue Buffalo

What dog food brands are linked to DCM? Well, Blue Buffalo is one of them.

In fact, Blue Buffalo offers various dog food options, focusing on natural ingredients.

However, some formulations comprise peas & potatoes, ingredients that might contribute to DCM with 31 DCM cases reported.

Earthborn Holistic

Earthborn Holistic is recognized for its emphasis on grain-free diets in its range of dog foods. Real animal proteins like chicken, lamb, or fish are used as the main ingredients.

The brand often introduces a blend of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, especially legumes and potatoes.

With 32 DCM cases, it’s questionable whether they can cause DCM in canines.

Nature’s Domain

Nature’s Domain, belonging to Costco, serves grain-free dog food. FDA still works on it to clear the suspension about its link to DCM.

In fact, 29 dogs consuming Nature’s Domain food have shown DCM signs, sparking investigations to track down the truth.


Merrick offers a range of dog food flavors. Linked to 16 DCM cases, Merrick’s potential connection to DCM is being checked.

The FDA studies whether heart issues stem from ingredients like legumes in Merrick food.


You can find various dog food choices at Fromm, a family-owned brand. Sadly, it’s related to 24 DCM cases.

The FDA examines whether its ingredient lists, like peas and legumes, could impact heart health and trigger DCM.

California Natural 

California Natural provides limited-ingredient dog food.

But 15 DCM cases have been recorded, so the brand has drawn FDA attention to figure out the connection between DCM and California Natural products.

Investigations aim to understand how ingredients in these foods could influence heart health.


High-protein dog food options are the selling point of Orijen. It is renowned for its commitment to grain-free diets within its selection of dog food products.

Due to 12 canine heart disease cases, FDA has named it among pet food brands that might lead to DCM in dogs.

The focus is on the potential impact of ingredients like legumes and potatoes on heart health and DCM development.

Natural Balance

What foods are linked to DCM? Food from Natural Balance is not to miss.

Natural Balance provides diverse dog food formulas. The J.M. Smucker Company, a large American food and beverage corp, owns it.

However, the grain-free food brand is also associated with 15 DCM cases, hence its presence in the FDA warning list.

The concern is whether heart health issues like DCM originate from ingredients like legumes in Natural Balance food.

Nature’s Variety

Nature’s Variety is linked to 11 DCM cases, so it is on the investigation list of the FDA. The most favorite product of the brand is the Instinct product line.

It also has peas, and some Instinct diet formulations contain legumes.


Among a variety of dog food choices, grain-free pet foods have always been the best-seller of Nutro. Unfortunately, there are 10 cases where Nutro is blamed for DCM in dogs.

It’s understandable that the brand is now being investigated by the FDA.

The FDA examines if legumes and potatoes in Nutro food could be related to heart health issues like DCM.


10 DCM cases are the reason that puts NutriSource on the FDA warning list. Ingredients in NutriSource food are believed to impact heart health and foster the development of DCM.

Rachael Ray Nutrish

Rachael Ray Nutrish is ideal for dogs of all ages as it can provide nutrients at all stages. That said, some of its products are linked to 10 DCM cases.

That is why it is named by the FDA as a possible cause of DCM.


Zignature is a famous brand for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. Its foods are also high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

However, a whopping number of 64 dog owners have reported that this brand should be responsible for their pet’s DCM. That’s why it’s under FDA’s investigation.

What Should I Feed My Dog To Avoid DCM?

What dog food brands are linked to DCM

You should know when to feed your dog dry food as not all cases are good. Below are the recommended brands in the pet food industry that dog owners should give their pets.

The Farmer’s

The Farmer’s dog food contains real chicken and turkey, which deliver important proteins. These proteins help keep the heart strong and healthy, supporting its proper function.

Added vegetables provide essential nutrients that reinforce the heart’s well-being.

Iams MiniChunks

MiniChunks include real chicken and whole grains, which have nutrients that can help the heart stay strong.

These nutrients support the heart to function properly, thereby keeping the whole body in good condition.

Royal Canin

Royal Canin’s dog food has special ingredients like real meats and grains. These provide things like taurine and antioxidants for the heart.

As such, the heart will stay healthy and do its job properly.

Purina ProPlan

Renowned as one of the top Pet food manufacturers in the US, Purina ProPlan uses real poultry or meat and quality grains. It offers both wet and dry dog food.

This formula gives the heart what it needs to stay strong. The vitamins and minerals help the heart work well and keep your dog in good shape.

Farmina N&D

Farmina N&D focuses on natural things like chicken and grains.

These satisfy the nutritional requirements that fulfill the heart’s function. Using products from this brand, you help your dog avoid heart problems and stay healthy.

Hill’s Science Diet 

Hill’s Science Diet is one of the famous pet food companies that include lean meats and whole grains in their ingredient profile.

These are valuable sources of taurine and antioxidants that assist the heart in doing its job.

Diamond Naturals

When it comes to popular US pet food manufacturers, Diamond Naturals always comes out on top.

They primarily focus on producing dry dog food, which uses real meats and grains that give the heart important nutrients.

These proteins and vitamins are the secret for a strong and well–functioned heart. This way, your four-legged companion can avoid problems and stay active.

Purina One

Purina One has real meat and grains beneficial for cardiovascular health. They provide vitamins and amino acids that keep the heart healthy.

Consequently, it helps your dog stay fit and avoid heart issues.


Eukanuba uses real animal proteins like chicken and lamb, which are power-packed proteins that give your dog’s heart the energy it needs to beat strong.

These proteins ensure the heart’s optimal performance and avoid heart-related conditions. As such, your pet can stay active, and no heart troubles can bother them.

How Can I Reduce My Dogs Risk Of DCM?

What should I feed my dog to avoid DCM

Feed your dog foods with real meat, grains, and nutrients. Avoid diets high in legumes and potatoes. Regular vet check-ups help monitor heart health.

Balanced nutrition and quality ingredients support a strong heart. Don’t forget that.

Check With The Vet

Visit the vet regularly for your dog’s heart check-ups. Vets know what’s best for your puppy’s heart health and can guide you.

They’ll help catch any issues early, do necessary tests like the one with taurine levels and taurine metabolism or cardiac reports to see DCM possibilities, and advise keeping your dog safe.

At least once a year is my recommendation, or even more often if your vet recommends it, especially when your pet belongs to the giant breed category.

Besides, I also reach out to a board-certified veterinary nutritionist if I want to feed my dog with new food, semi-moist food, raw food, or some food allergy to ensure food safety.

Good Food Choices

A taurine deficiency can cause DCM. Therefore, pick dog foods with real meat and whole grains with clear ingredient sources.

These foods have things like taurine and amino acids – special assistants for your dog’s heart.

Imagine taurine as a special fuel, adding extra power to the heart’s smooth pumping.

Amino acids are like building materials, strengthening the heart muscles and repairing small damages.

When your dog enjoys food rich in taurine and amino acids, it boosts the heart’s performance.

Additionally, combining dry and wet food can offer a balanced diet. Watch for signs of bad dry food and practice proper storage.

Don’t Choose Foods With Little Animal Protein

Avoid foods with low real meat protein. Your dog’s heart requires it to stay strong. Opt for foods rich in quality animal protein, which helps strengthen the heart muscle.

This way, your furry friend’s heart can beat healthily, keeping heart issues like DCM at bay.

Avoid Foods With Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Lentils, Chickpeas, Or Peas

As a pet owner, I always skip foods containing sweet potatoes, potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and even peas.

As you can see in the list of 16 brands above, these things might cause heart trouble.

Providing them with the proper nutrition that is best for them is a smart move to support their cardiovascular health.

Besides, remember to update the number of brands related to DCM to avoid them at all cost.


Steering clear from the list of dog foods that cause DCM is an important step to keep your furry companion’s heart in tip-top shape.

Aside from exercising, food sources will directly affect heart function.

Therefore, before introducing any new food to their diet or using something for a long period of time, it is advisable to ask your vet for advice first.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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