What Ingredient in Dog Food is Killing Dogs?

Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin produced by the common food mold Aspergillus flavus. This mold can grow on the surface of cereal grains, such as wheat, millet, sorghum, rice, and corn, which are commonly used as ingredients in pet foods. These grains are often treated with an artificial additive to maintain texture and keep the food soft and moist. The FDA recognizes propylene glycol (PG) as safe, but experts still advise against feeding it to dogs.

It is important to note that PG should not be confused with ethylene glycol, which is an antifreeze and highly toxic to dogs. Aflatoxins are toxins produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness and even death in pets. Peas and lentils are the most common ingredients found in 93% of pet diets, with 89% containing peas and 62% containing lentils. Many diets contain two or more of these ingredients as the main source of carbohydrates. Artificial preservatives are often found in traditional dog foods and treats to extend their shelf life.

While some pet owners may think that higher cost equals higher quality ingredients, this is not always the case. Quality dog food does not contain cheap or questionable ingredients that manufacturers use to make a profit or keep costs low. The natural color of your dog's food may not be as visually appealing, but you may notice the difference quality makes to their skin and coat, their health and vitality. Animal by-products are not used in the production of commercial dog food due to their nutritional value. Studies have not found any clear evidence that grain-free diets have any benefit for the vast majority of dogs.

All types of quality dog food originate from meat, whether it's meat meal or livestock by-product meal. The FDA has sent a warning letter to a pet food company related to contaminated food that may have caused illness or death in hundreds of dogs. The dogs eventually died due to intercurrent viral infections, which were likely caused by their compromised health. The economy of the dog food industry means that manufacturers use by-products as fillers between ingredients to generate higher profit margins.

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