Dog Treats: Avoid These 5 Artificial Preservatives!

Dog Treats: Avoid These 5 Artificial Preservatives!


When was the last time you meticulously read the label on dog treats before you purchased them? If it’s been a while, you’re not alone.

Before you buy dog treats, decode all labels to ensure these 7 artificial preservatives are not in the treats.

The Introduction of Artificial Preservatives

Unless you are eating a natural, unprocessed and 100% organic product, chances are your food contains artificial or synthetic preservatives. These additives extend its overall shelf life and prevent it from becoming spoiled.

The majority of our food today is not “farm-to-table.” Therefore, it requires added preservatives to keep it fresh through harvesting, processing, distribution and sitting on grocery shelves.

A Pile of Dog Treats on the Floor

The inclusion of artificial preservatives also applies to foods, treats and “meat meals” for dogs.

But first, what are artificial preservatives?

 Miss our last blog about the 7 cheap and unhealthy fillers “bulking out” your dog’s treats?

 Artificial Preservatives: 101

As food became commercially produced, manufacturers had to find ways to keep products “fresh” for consumers. According to, artificial preservatives “are a group of chemical substances … to slow down spoilage, discoloration or contamination by bacteria or other disease-forming pathogens.”

Lab Chemicals Make Up Food Additives

Artificial preservatives are synthetic food additives to help prevent mold, yeast, fungi, bacterial overgrowth and spoilage in foods. They are usually added into processed food or sprayed on the outside of food. Artificial preservatives are especially good for the manufacturer and their bottom line.

Again, many of these same food additives or artificial preservatives are used in the commercial foods and treats we feed our family pets. But unfortunately, that doesn’t mean these additives are harmless when consumed especially day-after-day.

Next, learn which synthetic preservatives you should avoid feeding your dog.

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 AVOID Feeding these 5 Artificial Preservatives to Your Dog!

The Whole Dog Journal advises dog owners to avoid these artificial preservatives:

  1. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole): Used in cosmetics, rubber and petroleum products. A known carcinogen and banned in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Europe.
  1. BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): Found in embalming fluids, cosmetics, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and more. A known carcinogen and banned in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Europe.
  1. TBHQ (tertiary butyl hydroquinone): Used to stabilize explosive compounds and in the production of varnishes, lacquers and resins.
  1. Propyl Gallate
  1. Ethoxyquin (originally developed as an herbicide/pesticide and in the production of rubber).

Various Cosmetics on a Black Surface

Instead, only purchase dog food and treats with natural preservatives including:

  • Vitamin E (“tocopherols”).
  • Vitamin C (“ascorbic acid”) and
  • Rosemary extract (talk to your vet first).

WHY Artificial Preservatives Instead of Natural for your Dog?

Since there are safe, natural preservatives that can be used in our dog’s treats (and food), why aren’t they being used?

 There are two simple reasons.

  1. Natural preservatives only work effectively for the short-term, within 3-6 months.
  2. Natural preservatives are more expensive than synthetic or artificial preservatives.

Stack Of American Dollars

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