Haus of Blues – Purebred Blue Great Danes

Grain Free Dog Food and Heart Problems in Great Danes

The FDA has come out with their first list of foods thought to possibly be causing dilated cardiomyopathy in Great Danes. The list is as follows:


The brands are ordered by the number of cases linked to them, which ranged from a high of 67 to 10:

  • Acana
  • Zignature
  • Taste of the Wild
  • 4Health
  • Earthborn Holistic
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Nature’s Domain
  • Fromm
  • Merrick
  • California Natural
  • Natural Balance
  • Orijen
  • Nature’s Variety
  • NutriSource
  • Nutro
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish

Most of the reports were associated with dry dog food, however, raw, moist food and wet formulas were also included. 

The FDA is not recommending that we change our Great Dane’s diets but rather, consult with our Vets because they have not completed their investigation.

One of the best Veternairy schools in the country is University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. They have done a lot of research into canine health-related issues. They are stating the following: “There’s no scientifically proven benefit to grain-free foods, so why take a chance?”

Veterinary Cardiologists are following that same line of thinking stating in short, ‘if there is even a possibility of a problem, why even take the chance?’.

Cardiomyopathy is a known issue for Great Danes. It is something we test for through an echocardiogram before we breed (AKC lines). 

What is Canine Cardiomyopathy?

canine DCMCanine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is when the heart muscle is too weak to the point that it can not gather enough pressure to push blood out to the body. The causes of DCM is still up for debate however, with this latest development, it is easy to conclude that there is a dietary factor. Other theories are genetics and infectious diseases. 

“What should I feed my Great Dane?”

Great news is that the two foods we recommend the most are not on this list.

Best Food for Great Dane Puppies

kirkland-green-ag-dog-food=haus-of-bluesAs puppies (18 months and younger), we highly recommend Natural Balance Limited Ingredients and the Kirkland Adult in the Green Bag