What is BHA in Dog Food? (It’s Not Good)

A dog sitting next to a bowl with too much food in it.

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If you see “Preserved with BHA” on dog food labels, move right on

Do you study the labels when you buy dog food? If you do, how well do you understand what you read? Many pet food manufacturers add dangerous ingredients. However, the average dog owner does not necessarily understand the terms used. For example, when the label indicates BHA as a preservative, would you know what it is and how safe it is?

What is BHA?

We all know that antioxidants promote health, right? So, if you see BHA, or butylated hydroxyanisole, on a dog food label, would you accept it as safe because the label calls it an antioxidant? It is always a good idea to learn more about anything that sounds too much like a chemical. Although the FDA claims ingesting BHA is safe, others, like California, have listed it as a cancer-causing preservative. In dog food, BHA’s sole purpose is to extend the shelf life.

BHA is not your only option

Why would dog food manufacturers not use the available natural and safer preservatives like Vitamin C and vitamin E?

It is because the shelf life of naturally preserved products is significantly shorter than those preserved with chemical alternatives.

For most of us, our dogs are like our children. So, giving them the safest, most nutritional food is only natural.

In summary

Keep in mind that many manufacturers prioritize their bottom lines rather than the health of your pup. For example, a spokesperson for Milk-Bone said their products are perfectly safe. He said they use only small amounts of BHA as antioxidants and to prevent fats from going stale.

For me, carcinogens are nasty, even in small quantities. As long as there are healthy alternatives, I’ll walk right past the store shelves filled with food that could shorten the time Pooch and I have together.

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.