Before we get into the list, you might ask yourself why would store bought dog treats include additives anyway?
The reason is to extend the shelf life.
After all, there’s more money in producing a pet treat that can sit on the shelf for a year or two than one that spoils in a few days/weeks.
If you see these on a pet treat label, you’ll want to avoid it.
1. Ethoxyquin – This common preservative has two questionable uses. It’s a pesticide used by pear farmers. It’s also used as a hardening agent for rubber. It’s been linked to a number of health concerns and many governmental agencies have recently issued warnings about it. If you’re like most pet parents I know that you don’t want either of those in your pet’s food.
2. Propylene glycol – This is an ingredient in antifreeze and it’s often used to keep semi-moist kibble from drying out. It has been removed from cat foods but still exists in many dog foods. These next two can often be found together.
3. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) – For years it’s been a common preservative in pet foods. However, it’s now banned in some areas because it’s now recognized as a possible carcinogen.
4. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) – Also a used as a common preservative. It’s also found in cosmetics and even jet fuel – yuck! The World Health Organization has acknowledged both of these as suspicious and potential carcinogens. In the US they’ve been banned in some states.
5. Propyl Gallate – Used to stabilize cosmetics and food packaging, it’s connected to liver diseases and cancer. Our pets come in contact with pesticides in many different ways, through lawn chemicals like
It’s difficult to protect your pet from every harmful chemical out there. But we can aim to feed food and treats that are not treated with dangerous additives.