Is what you're feeding your dog delivering toxic doses of flouride and putting your pet at risk?
An independent lab study of 10 dog food brands commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that eight out of ten of them contained levels of flouride up to two and a half times higher than the standard set by the EPA for drinking water, highlighting the need for more stringent guidelines for pet foods.
"Our findings point to the need for basic health protections that require companies to prove their products are safe before they are sold. Bringing public health laws in line with the newest scientific research is a critical step in protecting the health of all members of American households, whether they walk on two legs or four." - Olga Naidenko, Ph.D, lead researcher of the study
The findings of the study, hot on the heels of the melamine in pet food scandal, claim that the levels of flouride in the dog foods were higher than those associated with bone cancer in boys (Harvard, 2006), but because no limits have been set for dogs, the study raises more questions than it answers.
"Due to a failed regulatory system and suspect practices by some in the pet food industry, countless dogs may be ingesting excessive fluoride that could put them at risk." - Naidenko
The sources of the flouride were most likely from animal byproducts and bone meal, and EWG stated that the brands found to contain excess flouride had contents which included chicken by-product meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken meal, beef and bone meal. These ingredients are so-called "filler" used to bulk up the food.
The levels of fluoride found in the dog foods ranged between 7 and 11.2 mg per kilogram (kg) with an average of 8.9 mg/kg in the 8 brands. Two of the dog food brands did not contain detectable levels of fluoride.
According to the report, a 10-pound puppy that eats a cup of dog food per day would consume 0.25 milligrams of fluoride per kg of body weight per day, which is five times higher than the safe level set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
EWG recommends purchasing dog food which is free from bone meal and "byproducts" to be on the safe side, and doing some research to find the healthiest, cleanest food for your pet.