April 26, 2019 2 min read

Every dog food is manufactured to allow your dog to live. However, some dog food brands add things to their food that may not be good for your pet. Whether they are added to enhance the flavor, used as preservatives, or to make the food look more appealing (for you, not for your dog), here is a short list of some dog food ingredients to stay away from.

Chemical Preservatives

Two preservatives, BHA and Ethoxyquin, are both things that you never want your dog to ingest. BHA is a confirmed carcinogen, while Ethoxyquin is marketed as a herbicide. As an alternative, choose a dog food with a natural vitamin C and/or E preservative instead.

Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6 and Blue 2

Your dog does not care what color their dog food is. First and foremost, they can't see colors as humans do, and natural, non-colored dog food will be brown colored after cooking. Any other color can be attributed to the artificial dyes of Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6 and Blue 2.

Proven to cause behavioral problems and cancer in humans, your 4-footed friend doesn't need coloring additives either.

Anti Freeze

Propylene glycol, the main ingredient in anti-freeze, and deadly if licked up by your dog, is added in small amounts to keep the food moist.

It is present in both human and pet food, and it may cause lesions or intestinal blockage over time. Not something to look forward to.


Believe it or not, corn syrup and other sweeteners are sometimes added to dog food to make them eat more of it. That's great if you are a manufacturer of dog food, but not so great if your pet eats so much and becomes obese, or needs dental work in the process.

Dog Food By-Products

Does anyone really know what type of by-products are added to dog food? For the most part, it is supposed to be intestines, skin, and other unsavory parts of dead animals that happen to be available. The label is broad, a by-product could be virtually anything or any filler, so watch out for by-products.

The Label Tells All

Always check the label of any dog food that you are feeding Fido. By law, the label must list the ingredients and contents, and it will give you first-hand knowledge of exactly what you are feeding your dog.

Now, no one is trying to imply that dog food manufacturers are purposely adding ingredients that may be detrimental to your dog's health. All dog food formulas are proven effective at keeping dogs happily fed. Regardless of any dog food on the market, your dog will most likely love the taste and have no problem eating it.

With that being said, if you are truly concerned about the overall well-being of your buddy, then get the healthiest dog food you can find by making sure none of the aforementioned ingredients are in it. By doing this, your dog will be satisfied and healthy throughout their entire life; getting the best nutrition available. Simply do some research, check the label, and you will have some peace of mind with every bite your pup eats.