Bad Ingredients Make Dog Food Unsafe and Unhealthy; In early 2015, the law firm of Morgan and Morgan filed a class-action lawsuit against Purina over ingredients found in their line of Beneful dog food. Despite this lawsuit — and the thousands of complaints of kidney failure that led to it — the products remain available to purchase at a store near you.
The Truth About Recalls and Manufacturing Practices
Safety has always been a problem for dog food. Since the 2007 recalls on Chinese-sourced food, many consumers began reading labels to see where their food was coming from, but even ingredients sourced in the U.S. can be unsafe.
In addition to the actual edible ingredients that you find in dog food there are also the other ingredients that you have to consider as well. Preservatives are among the ingredients in question. Because of some of the ingredients that are used to make dog food being such that would spoil or become rancid preservatives are often used in order to make the overall product last longer. Unfortunately some of the ingredients that are intended to preserve foods are not only less than beneficial to the health of your pet but some are actually dangerous especially when used over long periods of time.
Preservatives – Natural vs Artificial
There are two different types of preservatives that are used to prolong the life of various pet foods. Those which are natural and those which are artificial. Those that are natural are generally safe for your pets to consume and don’t result in any negative effects even when used over a period of time. These often include different variation of tocopherol and ascorbate in the name. These preservatives generally contain different vitamins – most commonly A and C – and are actually good for pets. These are the kinds of ingredients you actually want to see on the labels of foods that you intend to feed to your pets.
Not all things that are used to preserve the taste and longevity of the foods that you feed your pet are good food choices. Some of them can even have lasting health effects that cause irreversible damage to the point of becoming life threatening. There are many different artificial preservatives that are commonly used in dog food that are not only not good for your pet but are actually toxic especially over time. One example of such an ingredient is ethoxyquin. While this is effective in preserving the life of pet food it is also something that should not be ingested because it has other properties as well. For instance, ethoxyquin is a pesticide and is also used for its hardening properties in making rubber. The FDA has been studying this preservative and believe it may be linked to various problems concerning the liver and blood. In Australian and European made pet foods it has been rejected from use. Even with the knowledge of such dangers this ingredient is still commonly found on many pet food labels. Two other preservatives that are commonly found in the production of commercial pet foods include BHA or butylated hydroxanisole and BHT or butylated hydroxtoluene. These two ingredients are thought to be potential carcinogens meaning that they may be related to the development of cancer. Even with that possibility they are still widely used in pet foods. Propylene glycol, propyl gallate and TBHQ are other chemical preservatives that should be avoided based on their cumulative toxicity. The more these are consumed the more dangerous they become.
As the owners of pets it is up to us to watch out for the well being of our dogs. This includes being observant of what they eat and being meticulous about reading the labels of the food that we provide for them. Our pets have no idea what they are eating aside from the taste. They have little options available to them other than to eat what is provided for them. To keep them healthy and prolong their lives as much as possible we have to be careful what those food choices include. No one wants to lose their pet prematurely and when we are more selective about what we feed them we are better able to not only improve the quality of their life but prolong that life as well.