Most dogs love treats but finding a snack our pet enjoys that’s also healthy may not be that easy. Just as we’ve learned in recent years how unhealthy processed foods can be for people, it may not be the best way to feed our pets either. Many dog owners might be surprised to find out exactly what kind of ingredients are in those processed treats they’re giving their dogs.
Human-grade food means a product is legally approved for human consumption. Feed-grade is the name given to a product that is only fit for animal consumption. Many people would be shocked to discover just what qualifies as feed-grade and makes it into the products we give our dogs. A lot of items made for dog consumption include “meat byproducts.” This may include things such as the head, feet, bones, and blood of animals. Everything from roadkill to dead zoo animals has been included in certain animal products.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene are chemicals that are sometimes used as preservatives in certain types of dog food and treats. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a known carcinogen while Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) has caused liver and kidney damage in rats. Treats can also contain dyes such as Red 40 and Blue 2. Rawhide treats are sometimes processed with ammonia. Jerky dog treats made in China have even been recalled in recent years due to pets getting sick and in some cases dying of kidney failure.
Dog owners need to carefully read labels and stay away from certain ingredients. Besides (BHA) and (BHT), ingredients to avoid include Propyl gallate, dry blood meal, and corn syrup. Always avoid any items with food coloring. The coloring has no nutritional value and can be toxic. Ethoxyquin is perhaps one of the most dangerous ingredients found in dog products. It’s used as a preservative and can cause an array of health complications including cancer, blindness, and liver damage. Finally, products with meat byproducts should be avoided since the owner would have no idea exactly what was included in those byproducts.