5 Common Dog Food Ingredients To Avoid

We all want the best for our dogs and that can make selecting the right food a stressful process. If we don't read or understand the ingredients we can succumb to the clever marketing of dog food and treat companies.

Case in point; some time ago I asked my husband to buy a certain natural raw based food and he came home with kibble! The packaging looked very similar to our normal dog food and there was no window to see the product. The packaging was filled with nature-related colours of green and brown and emphasised the buzz words "natural" and "healthy". A closer look at the ingredients though revealed it was far from what it claimed to be.

If you see any of these 5 ingredients on any dog food or treats, please put it back on the shelf!


When you read ingredients that contain antioxidants it, understandably, gives the impressions that it is healthy. Sadly, these synthetic antioxidants are merely used to help stop the fats from going rancid. There are also reports that the amount added to pet foods causes cancer and reproductive toxicant. I was unable to locate the specific studies but most information online refer back to the 1991 paper below that predicts BHA as a human carcinogen.

Report on BHA as a human carcinogen 

Wiki on BHA



2. Ethoxyquin

This is another synthetic antioxidant used to prevent fats from going rancid; usually in foods that are fish-based. It is considered unacceptable in human food but is still permitted in some pet food. It's also used as a pesticide! Eww!!

Dogs Naturally on Ethoxyquin


3. Meat and Meat Meal

Run away screaming from any product that contains this generic term. It means that the pet food can contain any rendered meat such as expired supermarket meats (including the packaging!!), euthanised animals, rotting carcasses, road kill and even animal ear tags! It is best to only purchase products that clearly state the meats' source, such as beef, lamb and/or poultry.

News article from an ex-rendering plant worker


4. Sugars

Dog food and treats contain sugars to not only make the food more palatable, but also acts as a preservative. Sugars can contribute to weight gain, diabetes and tooth decay, much like in humans! Sugars can be listed in the ingredients as corn syrup, sucrose, glycerine, caramel, dextrose, fructose, glucose, beet pulp, maltodextrin and molasses. Dogs simply don't need any of these added sugars in their diet.


A store bought treat containing two types of sugars

(Glycerin and Sucrose)


5. Soy

Although soy is a great source of plant based protein, it is difficult for dogs to digest and can cause bloating and flatulence. It is a cheap protein source used to boost the protein content of lower-quality dog food. Not only that but they are genetically modified which can lead to various health conditions. It is best to select a product that lists specifically named meat based proteins in the top few ingredients.



 Soy Beans

We can't stress enough how important it is to read the ingredient labels of the food and treats that you give your dog to ensure that they don't contain these "nasties".

The fact that there are such few regulatory constraints to ingredients is why we started making our healthy, wholesome, homemade treats. Our customers can rest well knowing that their dogs' treats don't contain potential harmful ingredients that inferior, commericially made food and treats do.   

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help. 

As always, thanks for reading and please give your pet a big cuddles from Aunty K and Aunty D. 


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