By Bridget Alves >>>
Reading the labels on the food we buy is becoming increasingly more important as time goes on. Often, companies will sneak in unsavory ingredients and chemicals into the food we eat that can have detrimental effects on our health. Unfortunately, pet food is no different. If you’re in the habit of reading the labels on your food (and you should be), then get into the habit of reading the labels on your pet’s food, too. When you do, you’ll want to watch out for these 5 ingredients:
1. Propylene Glycol: This is a common chemical used as a preservative in pet food that helps reduce moisture and inhibit bacterial growth. Unfortunately, propylene glycol’s antibacterial effects carry over into your dog’s digestive system and harm the helpful bacteria there that assist in the digestion of food. Oh, and it’s also found in anti-freeze.
2. Corn (or Corn Syrup): Corn is a major crop in the US and is pretty cheap, therefore corn or corn syrup is found in just about everything – including pet food. Corn is often used as a filler in pet food because it’s so inexpensive. Unfortunately, it’s also high in sugar and can lead to diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity and other issues in your pets. Corn is also prone to developing fungi and molds overtime that can cause major health problems in animals – including death.
3. Ethoxyquin: This is another preservative commonly found in dog food. If the name “ethoxyquin” sounds like a poison to you, it’s because it is. Originally developed as an herbicide, ethoxyquin in pet food has been known to lead to severe kidney and liver damage in dogs, as well as cancer, a significantly inhibited immune system, leukemia and blindness.
4. BHT/BHA: Butylated – hydroxinasole (BHA) and butylated – hydroxytoluene (BHT) are found in pet and people food. BHA is a preservative linked with kidney failure in both pets and people, and BHT has been linked with cancer in people & animals. If you see either of these ingredients in anything, get rid of it.
5. By Products: This typically refers to the parts of an animal that isn’t muscle meat. It can be skin, organs (often diseased) and even tumors. You don’t want “by products” in your food, and you don’t want them in your pet’s food either.
If you want to know what to feed your dog, ask an expert. Your veterinarian is also a great choice. Also, many local pet stores have an informed staff educated in pet health. Either way, there are plenty of pet food options out there that won’t break the bank and will leave your pet full, happy and healthy.