Propylene glycol is an industrial solvent used in acrylics, stains, inks, dyes, cellophane, non-toxic antifreeze, airplane de-icers and brake fluid. Side effects on animals include: irregular heartbeat, underdeveloped growth, brain, liver and kidney failure, lowering blood pressure and even death.
Propylene glycol is a sugar, and pets love the sweet taste and smell. And while it’s not as toxic as its cousin, ethylene glycol, it is nonetheless well worth avoiding in your pet’s food.
- Blue dye #s 1 and 2 – Found in pet foods and treats; these have caused brain tumors and should be avoided.
- Red dye #3 – Has been linked to thyroid tumors in pets.
- Yellow dye #6 – Linked to adrenal gland and kidney tumors. Technically, it is a known carcinogen.
Realistically, there is no reason to have any dyes in your pet’s food at all. They serve no purpose but aesthetics, and can only do harm. For our clients who feed commercial dry dog food we recommend all-natural diets with no colorings, chemicals, or synthetic preservatives.
Additives and Synthetics
BHA and BHT – Many studies have shown that the use of these widely used chemicals causes cancer in laboratory rats.
Propyl galate – Is a preservative used to prevent spoiling but has been linked to cancer.
Ethoxyquin – Is perhaps the most widely used chemical and the most dangerous. Not only does it cause many forms of cancer, but it has been linked to mutations of genes that suppress cancer. It has been banned as an “additional” additive in dog foods and treats but it is allowed to be used in preserving ingredients in the supply chain. Unfortunately, since it’s used in the supply chain it won’t be listed in the ingredients on the bag, so avoiding this carcinogen is more difficult than it might at first seem.
Potassium Bromate – Has been banned throughout the world, except in the United States and Japan. It is used in flours and causes renal cancers as well as some forms of lung cancer.
Acesulfame Potassium or Acesulfame-K – Is a chemical sweetener used in human food and pet foods. Sweetness attracts all mammals which is why it is tossed into the food. In controlled studies, this chemical caused cancer! These cancers included lung tumors and breast tumors, various types of leukemia and chronic respiratory disease in the animals.
Partially Hydrogenated Oils – This is a butter replacement in the food industry (and a very unhealthy one for us, as well) but it is very high in trans-fats which promote heart disease and diabetes.
Brown Sugar / Sugar/ Molasses – Some of the effects of sugar in pets are: suppression of the immune system, mineral imbalance, hyperactivity, diabetes, kidney distress, weight gain, allergies, excessive pancreatic activity and liver activity, and an increase in “bad bacteria” in the colon. And… sugar is an important nutrient for cancer cells – they thrive on sugar!
Additional items to be wary of: Corn gluten meal, wheat flour and wheat gluten meal, ground yellow corn, sugar glycerin, anything preserved with BHA, soybean meal, artificial flavors, glyceryl monostearate, and any added colors or dyes as reviewed above.