The main reason dog chew companies add chemical additives is to artificially increase the shelf life of the chews at the expense of your dog's health
- Animal organs such as ears, bones, jerky, and bully sticks have their natural flavor. These treats are not supposed to smell foul unless they have microbial growth. Microbes can be fungi, yeast or bacteria such as Pseudomonas Spp. Enterobacteriaceae, and Brochothrix thermosphacta. Rancid chews are NOT for consumption. It upsets stomach and can cause diarrhea and vomitting.
- Odorless meat-based chews are tricky. It is okay to have some natural flavor in meat-based treats. However, keeping meat-based products free from bacterial growth is quite challenging. There are several ways to reduce odor in dog treats, but the easy and cost-effective approach is to process them with household bleach, formalin, or sodium bicarbonate - all toxic to the dogs. Is your odorless dog chew free from these harmful chemicals?
- Do you wonder why companies had to add salt and/or sugar to the dog chews? The optimal amount of sugar and salts enhances food flavor. However, companies add enormous amounts of salt and sugar to preserve food. A large amount of added salt has antibacterial properties and kills some types of bacteria in food but can cause salt intoxication in dogs. Similarly, a large amount of added sugar in food inhibits microbial growth but is bad for dental hygiene and overall health (overweight, diabetes).
- Why are dogs dying from cancer? BHC is a commonly used preservative in dog food and treats but is a known carcinogen. This chemical is popular in pet food because it remarkably reduces the rate of autoxidation in food, preserves food color, smell, and taste, and keeps the companies financially strong at the expense of dog lives.
- Is your dog ingesting plastic chew toys? Plastic and nylon chew toys are not for consumption. They are not edible chews and contain BPA and/or phthalates (plasticizers). Phthalates and BPA are endocrine-disrupting chemicals. They have detrimental health effects on the reproductive, brain, and immune systems.
- Chews that leave a stain on fabric and rugs can be carcinogenic. Dyes are carcinogens. Red 3 causes cancer in animals. Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 may contain benzidine or other carcinogens. Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 cause hypersensitivity reactions.
- Companies use the term all-natural to make the products sound safe. All-natural is not the alternative to safe. There are thousands of poisonous plants around the world. Some are poisonous to the touch, while others are life-threatening if swallowed. All-natural raw eggs, raw meat/bones, and fish can cause food poisoning from Salmonella and E. Coli. Some fish may also have parasites that may cause fish disease. It is crucial to select chews made with fully cooked or pasteurized ingredients with a negative phosphatase test.
No chews are 100% safe. However, dog owners can minimize the risk by carefully selecting dog food and chews that meet The Safe Dog Chew criteria:
- All-natural, safe minimal ingredients
- Free from chemical preservatives and binding agents
- Free from added salt, sugar, acid, and other chemical additives
- 100% edible and of different dimensions for dogs of various sizes
- Free from plasticizer and phthalates
- Minimally processed