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These Dog Food Preservatives Could Be Toxic to Your Pet

Why Preservative Are Needed
Although animal fats are a crucial part of every dog food, they’re also subject to spoilage — becoming rancid not too long after manufacture. So, to extend the shelf life of any pet food, suppliers must add a preservative to many fat or oil ingredients.Yet food preservatives aren’t all the same. They can be classified as either natural — or artificial.  Natural preservatives are typically made from vitamins C or E. You’ll usually find them on a dog food ingredients list using some form of the words “tocopherol” or “ascorbate”.  These items typically look like this…“…chicken fat preserved with alpha-tocopherol”  Natural preservatives are typically considered safe

Dog Food Preservative or Pesticide?
However, artificial preservatives are another story. Used long term, they can add a notable risk of toxicity to any dog food. For example, ethoxyquin is one artificial preservative to watch for on a label. That’s because ethoxyquin is not only used as a preservative but also as a pesticide — and as a hardening agent for making synthetic rubber. Ethoxyquin has been under investigation by the FDA as a possible cause for certain liver and blood problems.

In addition, the preservative is not permitted for use in Australian dog foods nor is it approved within in the European Union.1Yet to this day, ethoxyquin is still commonly found in many popular brands of dog food.

Two More to Avoid
Here are two more chemical bad guys to watch out for…

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

The World Health Organization has named both BHT and BHA as suspicious cancer-causing compounds. Plus the State of California has now identified BHA as a possible carcinogen, too.

Considering these troubling issues, you’d think these two dubious preservatives would be shunned by the pet food industry.  Unfortunately, both BHA and BHT can still be found in a number of commercial dog foods.

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Last modified:  01/31/2017
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