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Is there too much fluoride in your dog food? Read EWG's new report

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

By Lisa Frack

You're probably familiar with the longstanding and often heated debate over the addition of fluoride to public water supplies. And while EWG does have an opinion on that, last week we focused on fluoride in dog food in a new report based on independent tests of 10 brands. EWG's finding: High levels of fluoride in dog food EWG found fluoride above healthy levels in 8 national brands of dog food marketed for both puppies and adults. The amount of fluoride in the dog food was up to 2.5 times higher than what the EPA has deemed a safe amount in drinking water. Where is the fluoride coming from? Some of this extra fluoride comes from the fluoridated water used to manufacture dog food. Most, however, is from the "bone meal" and various meat byproducts that are added to dog food - anything from "chicken byproduct meal" to "beef and bone meal."

These are basically ground bones, cooked with steam, dried, and mashed to make a cheap dog food filler. Since bones store fluoride, any product that includes bone meal is likely to be high in fluoride, too.

Why is excessive fluoride a problem? Combined fluoride exposure from both food and water can easily range into unsafe territory. Routine exposure, like eating the same food every day, can predispose dogs to a variety of health problems: weakened bones, hormonal and behavior problems, and even bone cancer.

What can you do for your dog? Check the ingredient list before you buy dog food. Look for and demand pet foods that do not include bone meal.

Read the full EWG report on fluoride in dog food.

[Thanks to MShades & Flickr CC for the pic]

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