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Your Dog Treats May be Hiding Cancer Causing Chemicals

There are few feelings that measure up to the joy a pet owner witnesses when he/she gives their loving companion a treat for a job well done (or in all honesty, just for being particularly cute), but it seems that this joy comes at a price.

Your dog’s favorite between the meals snack could be hiding cancer-causing chemicals behind clever slogans and ambiguous labels, like “natural flavors.”

Titanium dioxide, copper sulfate, calcium proprionate, sodium bisulfite, propylene glycol, and zinc sulfate are toxic, commonly used food additives in pet food. Food colorings like Yellow #6, Blue #1 and #2, Red #3 and Green #3 have been linked with cancer  are also ingredients in Milk-Bones, Beggin Strips, Beneful Snackin Slices, and T-Bonz. In addition, big dog treat companies like Purina and Del Monte routinely use ingredients like BHT and BHA (which have been linked to certain cancers and is banned in England) in their products.

Amy Renz, an author and owner of Goodness Gracious treats, originally started to look into the harmful chemicals and the affects they may have on canines after wondering what the truth was behind pet treat labels. She is less than thrilled with the large companies approach to the safety standards of their products. “In the last couple years, I haven’t noticed the big guys make any improvements in their products,” says Renz. “The market for healthier pet food and treats is growing rapidly. But instead of making a better product, companies like Del Monte (the maker of Milk Bones) makes a better gimmick. They invent Milo’s Kitchen, for example. Del Monte markets Milo’s Kitchen as a ‘home-style’ treat, but there are dozens of ingredients in them that you would never find in your home kitchen.”

The harmful effects of these chemicals is under debate, but what should not be debated is the need for closer inspection of animal foods. Your dog can’t tell you when it feels funny or when it might need a check-up so let’s try to keep their diet as healthy as possible and prevent unnecessary harm.

Image Source: Christopher Michel/Flickr