FDA Updates Findings on Link Between Grain Free Dog Food and Heart Disease

The US Food and Drug Administration has been investigating a possible connection between grain free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs.

DCM is a heart condition that is most commonly seen in certain medium to large breed dogs.  The heart becomes enlarged and loses its ability to pump blood to the body.

Veterinarians began noticing an uptick of DCM cases in dogs not normally known to suffer from this disease.  In many of these cases, the dogs were eating grain freed dog food that contained different kinds of potatoes, peas, or lentils instead of wheat.

The FDA updated its findings at the end of June.  What does the latest research say?

  • The most reported breeds among all the cases are Golden Retrievers, mixed breeds, and Labrador Retrievers.
  • The mean age of affected dogs is 6.6 years, and the weight is 67.8 pounds.
  • The vast majority of reported cases were fed a dry dog food diet.
  • 90% of reported food products were labeled as grain free and 93% of reported products contained peas and/or lentils.
  • No one source of animal protein stood out more than others.
  • The most reported pet food brands are Acana, Zignature, and Taste of the Wild.

What are the next steps in this ongoing research?

The FDA is still investigating a possible connection between taurine (an amino acid) and DCM.

Taurine deficiency is associated with DCM in dogs.  Certain breeds are especially susceptible, and researchers are currently looking at taurine deficiency and DCM in Golden Retrievers.

The FDA reports that it continues to work with pet food manufacturers, veterinarians, and pet owners to understand more about this issue.

They encourage vets and owners to report any possible diet related cases of DCM.  You can find more information on reporting HERE.

Be sure to talk to your vet about the best diet for your individual dog.

DCM can be life-threatening.  If your dog is showing unusual signs of weakness, tiredness, difficulty breathing, or collapse, seek veterinary care right away.


The Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2014

Labrador Retriever

The American Kennel Club has just released its annual list of the most popular dog breeds for the year 2014. The Labrador retriever remains in the number one spot for an impressive 24 years in a row. Rounding out the top ten are the German shepherd, Golden retriever, Bulldog, Beagle, Yorkshire terrier, Poodle, Boxer, French bulldog and Rottweiler.

2014 was a good year for Bulldogs, with the Bulldog attaining its highest ranking (#4) ever, and the popular French bulldog entering the top ten for the first time in 100 years. The Dachshund is ranked at #11, the first time it has been out of the top ten since 1985.

French Bulldog

An analysis of dog breed trends over the past 20 years shows that while the Labrador’s status as #1 breed has remained constant, other breeds have experienced a rise and fall in popularity over the years. The Golden retriever has risen in popularity, as have small breeds like the Yorkie and Chihuahua.

The AKC ranking does not include the newly popular cross breeds, such as the Labradoodle or Cockapoo. It also does not include many people’s favorite kind of dog…mutts and shelter dogs of unknown pedigree!

Check out the AKC’s full list of the most popular dog breeds (going all the way to #178, the Norwegian lundehund) HERE.

You can also see the Washington Post’s historical analysis of dog breed trends over the years HERE.

FACE Awarded a Grant from the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo

Thank You Facebook Post

The FACE Foundation is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo.  This grant will be designated towards helping pet parents who cannot afford the cost of their dog or cat’s cancer treatments.

The regular criteria for FACE Funding does not allow the FACE Foundation to fund cancer treatments. Now, with the help of this grant from the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo, the FACE Foundation will be able to save even more lives in our community by helping provide financial assistance for the necessary veterinary care for local pets who have been diagnosed with cancer.
We would like to thank both the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo for their generous support and for helping us save the lives of local family pets.

Meet Spunky!


Meet Spunky!

Meet Spunky! This adorable terrier mix is as sweet as can be! He is the “only child” of his loving owner. One day he was acting strangely, and when he starting limping his owner rushed him to the vet. He was suffering from a disc herniation, and needed critical surgery to save his life. His owner works for a small, local non-profit, and only had a portion of what the surgery would cost. Luckily, FACE was able to save this spunky little pup, and now he is back at home, recovering nicely. Special thanks to Life Sponsor the Muha Family for helping FACE save lives!