The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a test on 10 popular dog food brands for fluoride levels and found 8 of them contain 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the Environmental Agency’s maximum allowable in drinking water for humans.
Health effect of fluoride on dogs
The effects of high fluoride levels on dogs are not known as no safe amount of fluoride for pets has been determined. However, people who consume too much fluoride tend to have mottled teeth, weakened bones, reproductive and developmental system damage, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption and bone cancer.
Three studies have shown that 6- to 8-year old boys who drink fluoridated tap water are more at risk of developing bone cancer (osteosarcoma). This is worrying as dogs are 10 times more susceptible to bone cancer than humans. High fluoride levels can potentially increase the risk of canine osteosarcoma, a common type of cancer in dogs.
Sources of fluoride in commercial dog food
The EWG has identified bone meal and animal byproducts as sources of fluoride in commercial dog foods in the 8 dog food brands. It defines animal and bone meal as “ground bones cooked with steam, dried and mashed to make a cheap dog food filler”.
Dogs are also exposed to fluoride in drinking water. If they are fed commercial dog food only, they can easily over consume fluoride. The combination of fluoride from water and pet food can cause potential health problems in the long term.
What you can do
Pet health, food and products come under lax regulations or standards. The FDA is doing very little to protect our pets. You minimise fluoride health risks by feeding your dog with home cooked food. If cooking is not an option, choose commercial dog food without bone meal, animal byproducts and additives. Check out my previous post: What’s the best pet food?
Source: The Environmental Working Group – http://www.ewg.org/book/export/html/27364