Often when we are in the grocery store we pick up an item, and read the label on the back. Normally you
should know all the ingredients that are healthy and that are not. When was the last time you visited the pet store and read the label on your dogs treats and food? Were you able to recognize the harmful vs healthy ingredients? We’ve already talked about how to understand pet food labels, but do you know the ingredients that raise red flags? If not, bookmark this page for future reference to check the ingredients within your dog’s food. We’re going to break down five ingredients that if found on the label, you should avoid purchasing:
- Ethoxyquin Unfortunately ethoxyquin is commonly found in most dog foods, it is a preservative. But this product was actually produced to be used as a herbicide! As awareness has increased around increasing quality care for our dogs, veterinarians began noticing that ethoxyquin is often associated with the development of kidney and liver damage, cancer (liver, spleen, stomach, skin), immune deficiency syndrome, blindness, and leukemia.
- Propylene Glycol If you know anything about auto care products, you may have immediately recognized this. And yes, it is found in anti-freeze! It is placed in dog food and cat food to help reduce moisture and prevent bacteria growth in wet/canned food. Your dog needs intestinal bacteria to help absorb and digest the food. Since propylene glycol reduces bacteria growth, it reduces the “good” bacteria as well. As a result, some dogs can develop cancerous masses within their intestines or develop inestinal blockages.
- Butylated-hydroxyanisole (BHA) or Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) Both are equally potent and dangerous for your pet. In fact, these two are often found in our food too. BHA is another preservative and is often responsible for kidney damage. BHT, even more potent than BHA, is used to help reduce food spoiling. BHT has been directly linked with cancer for both dogs and humans.
- Corn Syrup/Corn is often used to help “sweeten” your dog’s palate. Too much sugar over time will lead to weight gain, diabetes, hyperactivity, build up of plaque and tartar, as well it can even change mental behavior. Over time it may develop mold or fungus; in turn, may result in death. Corn is a very inexpensive filler, and commonly found in lower grade foods.
- “By Product” This could be either chicken, lamb, beef, fish, turkey and so on (any form of protein). “By product” are the internal remains of an animal, not muscle meat. Often times, this will include diseased tissues, lower intestines and tumors.
If cost is inhibiting you from buying higher quality, natural dog food, the higher quality of food the less the dog will need to eat. How does that work? Like mentioned above, corn is a major filler in the lower end brands. The more filler, the more the dog is going to need to eat in order to get the minimum nutrients they require. In quality dog food there will not be corn. So with no filler, the dog is getting all the nutrients they need but consuming less kibble.
There are so many more ingredients that you need to keep an eye out while reading the list, it can be exhaustive. As a concerned pet parent what can you do? Start researching and reading your dog’s food labels, did you find any of the five ingredients listed above on their bag? Also do not think that this list just applies to their food, treats are often overlooked but they can be just as filled with chemicals, if not more so.