Man’s best friend has become a member of the family—and the pet industry knows it. Pet product marketing is shifting to appeal to our responsibility as “pet parents” and making sure we give our pets the very best, with slogan’s like Honest Kitchen’s “Honest Difference” with “human-grade” ingredients. But how much do we really know about what we’re feeding our beloved dogs?
Clean Label Project™ had over 900 of the most popular pet food products tested for 130 industrial and environmental toxins including arsenic, once known as a primary ingredient in rat poison; cadmium, the active component in battery acid; as well as pesticides and additional contaminants linked to cancer and other fatal conditions in both humans and animals. The results were shocking.
Clean Label Project found lead in some pet food at 16 times the concentration of lead in Flint, Michigan’s tainted drinking water. And arsenic in concentrations of 555 times higher than the maximum contaminant level for human drinking water set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is the food our pets eat twice a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is cause for extreme concern.
Clean Label Project reveals the significant disconnect between what pet product consumers believe they are paying for and the products they actually receive. Many of the claims made on product labels aren’t regulated. Terms like “human-grade,” “highest quality ingredients” and “natural” are open to interpretation by consumers and brands. In fact, Clean Label Project found that price is not even a reliable indicator of purity.
“Companies may be unaware these chemicals are in their products, as many of these tests are not routine or required—but that doesn’t make the presence of these toxins any less dangerous,” says Jackie Bowen, Clean Label Project executive director. “The real question is, now that they do know, what are they going to do about it?”
“One of the most important contributors to a pet’s health and wellness is the quality of their food,” says Dr. John Tegzes, veterinarian and certified specialist in toxicology by the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology. “However, little to no attention is being paid by many pet food brands to the toxic metals, pesticides, mycotoxins, antibiotics and BPA/BPS in their ingredients.”
All the products Clean Label Project evaluates are blind tested by Ellipse Analytics, an accredited independent chemistry lab—and results are verified by two additional labs through random sampling. Blind data is then analyzed by Clean Label Project’s Technical Advisory Board of veterinarians, statisticians, epidemiologists and food safety scientists before being published.
Clean Label Project tested the most purchased dog and cat food products—both wet and dry—and dog and cat treats as reported by Nielsen for 2016. All of the products tested were purchased online and off store shelves.
Over 900 products were tested from 74 brands. Here are the top ten best:
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breeds Natural Dog Food
Iams Proactive Health Minichunks
Purina Beyond Simply 9 White Meat Chicken and Whole Barley Recipe
Purina Beneful Originals With Real Chicken
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties
Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy
Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Simple Venison Dinner Patties
Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice Formula
Sojos Raw Made Easy Complete Turkey Recipe
Come back next week for the bottom ten.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!