Contaminants In Pet Food: 4 Tips to Protect Your Dog or Cat

May 11, 2014

All pet foods contain some kind of preservative. If not, shelf life would be greatly diminished, and the food would not stay palatable. Canned, or wet, dog or cat food preserves itself during the canning process. So preserving involves mainly dry kibble or semi-moist foods.

One exception is fish meal. “The U.S. Coast Guard requires fish meal to be preserved with ethoxyquin. This is why I always push for a named fish or fish meal, such as salmon or salmon meal or Menhaden fish meal. A named fish meal won’t contain ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is linked to cancer. Unfortunately, fish meal is likely to receive that ethoxyquin before in reaches the manufacturer. Therefore, said manufacturer does not have to list that preservative in the ingredients list.

Synthetic preservatives, such at butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, and propylene glycol are all potentially cancer-causing agents.

Pet food dangers abound because some ingredients are often contaminated with toxic substances. (www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?p=359&more=1) Some of those contaminants are:

Acrylamide. A carcinogenic compound formed in foods with sugar and the amino acid, asparagines.

Bacteria. Sometimes the animals that go into pet food died because of disease, and the bacteria from that disease isn’t always destroyed during the rendering process. Salmonella and E.coli are common culprits.

Chemical residue. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides may be used on grain plants. While they may be condemned for human foods, they are legal in pet food.

Mycotoxins. These toxins, or molds, are the result of improper storage of pet food or grains that would go into the making of pet food. Wheat, corn and fish meal are the usual suspects.

Those are just a few of the dangers facing your pet from commercial pet food. Always look for foods that contain NO chemical preservatives. If you buy grain-free dog or cat food, you can avoid the molds and other toxins. Always check the expiration date on the package or can of food you purchase. If it is close, put it back and find one with the expiration date further out. Purchasing a high-quality product gives you a better chance of avoiding bacteria but occasionally, we will see voluntary recalls from manufacturers of high-end food where the possibility of Salmonella bacteria was found.

To recap:
1. No chemical preservatives!
2. No rendered pet food
3. Check the expiration date
4. Buy grain-free food

Those 4 steps will increase your chances of purchasing a healthy food for your cat or dog.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

a July 1, 2014 at 3:52 am

Thanks for a marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.
I will make sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back sometime soon. I want to encourage
yourself to continue your great writing, have a nice day!

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Carol North July 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

What a nice comment! Thank you very much! My goal is to share knowledge to other pet owners based on my years of dealing with and writing about pet nutrition. If it helps, I am happy! 🙂

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