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Healthy Dog Food Will Never Have These 5 Ingredients

By    |   Thursday, 22 January 2015 06:26 PM

Dog food manufacturers are expected to meet certain quality and labeling standards and the Association of American Feed Control Officials assists with this. However, many of the cheaper brands only meet the minimum standard of healthy dog food and may actually contain unhealthy ingredients. While they will keep a dog alive, they will not necessarily help the dog thrive.

While a dog will eat just about anything, owners should take the time to read pet food labels, be able to recognize quality ingredients versus unhealthy additives, and choose the healthier dog food options. Initially the greater price of higher quality dog foods may mean an added expense. However, the investment can result in a healthier dog with greater longevity, less trips to the veterinarian, and less waste management time due to the greater digestibility of ingredients.

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Many veterinarians and dog advocates agree that healthy dog food will never have these five ingredients:


Butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxysanisole are preservatives that are very common in cheaper dog food brands. Dog Food Advisor states, "According to the National Institute of Health, BHA in the diet has been found to consistently produce certain types of tumors in laboratory animals." Although these chemical preservatives are "generally recognized as safe" in low doses, dog food containing them that is fed every day increases the health risks of these chemicals.

2. Artificial colors

Dogs could not care less what color their food is and the addition of chemical colorants is simply a marketing scheme to please the human eye. However, artificial colors such as Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 have no health value and many studies have shown that in large amounts they can present health risks.

3. Ethoxyquin

This dog food additive is an antioxidant that has been used in dog foods for decades to preserve the nutritional value of fats. However, according to Vet Info, there may be a link between ethoxyquin and the following health problems in dogs:
  • allergic reactions
  • behavior problems
  • cancer
  • deformed puppies
  • infertility
  • organ failure
  • skin problems
One issue is that ethoxyquin may be added to ingredients before they are added to the dog food and thus it may not be listed on the label. Dog food labeled "organic" is less likely to contain the additive.

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4. By-products

After the good meat is cut off of animals for the human industry, what is left over are the by-products and these are rendered into pet food. PetMD describes this rendering as, "an industrial process of extraction by melting that converts waste animal tissue into usable materials." These by-products may also be labeled as meal, or digest, and include brain, bone, intestines, hoof, manure, animal fat, beaks, organs, and bones. Rendered by-products are not fit for human consumption but meet the minimum standard set for dogs.

5. Propylene glycol

This chemical is the main ingredient found in antifreeze and it is added to dog foods to regulate moisture and bacteria. This potentially toxic chemical has been banned in cat food by the FDA but is still allowed in dog food. However, this ingredient will never be found in healthy dog food. According to Pet Poison Helpline, "When ingested by pets, propylene glycol can result in severe sedation, walking drunk, seizures, tremors, panting, anemia, and lethargy."

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Dog food makers are expected to meet certain quality and labeling standards. However, some brands only meet the minimum standard of healthy dog food and may actually contain unhealthy ingredients. Many veterinarians and dog advocates agree that healthy dog food will never have these ingredients.
healthy, dog, food, ingedients, never, have
Thursday, 22 January 2015 06:26 PM
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