Dog food has been a hot topic in recent news, and now a new study is finding even more disturbing evidence to support consumers’ distrust of certain commercial brands. A study out of the United Kingdom proves that many commercial brands of dog and cat foods contain parts of animals that are not labeled on the packaging.
The study, published in the journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, analyzed the contents of 17 of the leading brands of pet food, and what they found would disgust most pet owners. 14 of the pet food samples contained cow, chicken, or pig DNA but it was not clearly marked on the label.
Seven of the products showed beef on the label, but of these seven only two actually had more cow DNA than chicken or pig. According to the study, the seven products beef content ranged from 14 to 56 percent.
Likewise, there were six products showing labels that stated they contained chicken. Their overall chicken content ranged from 1 to 100 percent. That means that at least one of the products tested was only one percent chicken when it clearly was labeled “made with chicken.” Two of these six products contained more beef than chicken.
Many dog owners will be sickened by this research and appalled at the deceit of the pet food manufacturers. Sadly however, adding these three animal proteins to pet food without indicating it on the label is within regulations in the UK and the US. Nonetheless, these facts are making researchers wonder what other substances are being added to the food without being clearly marked on the label.
Incomplete disclosure of ingredients could have many negative effects on the canines that are consuming them. Not only are consumers unable to trust what is written on the label, but some dogs may have allergic reactions to the undeclared animal proteins in the dog food.
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Any dog can develop food allergies, but they are more common in certain breeds including setters, terriers, flat-faced breeds like boxers and bulldogs, and retrievers. Symptoms can include irritated red skin, vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, constant licking, and swollen paws. If left untreated, these symptoms can turn into bacterial infections that could cause any number of other health problems.
Typically when an allergic reaction has taken place, the first thing veterinarians suggest is a change in diet. However, if dog owners are uncertain of exactly what is in the food they are feeding their dogs, how are they supposed to know exactly which substance is causing the allergy?