You probably answered an immediate “no” to this question, possibly with laughter and scoffing in your voice – who would do that?? But, if you are feeding low-quality food or treats, chances are, you are feeding your dog a compound used to make antifreeze, propylene glycol. Well, if it’s in my dog’s food, it must be safe right?
Let’s talk about what it is first, before we answer that question…
Propylene glycol is a synthetic substance that is used in all sort of things – from antifreeze to food. It has many other names including: 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 1,2-propanediol, methyl glycol, and trimethyl glycol. It is a petroleum-based product made of two alcohol groups. It is odorless, but has a faintly sweet taste, which is why animals like it. The Agency of Toxic Substance & Disease Registry explains that it is a liquid substance that absorbs water. It is used for a variety of things:
* To make polyester compounds.
* As a base of deicing solutions (which, by the way, are poisonous to pets!)
* Used by the chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when “leakage might lead to contact with food.”
* To Absorb water and maintain moisture in medicines and cosmetics.
* As a solvent for paint and plastic industries.
* To create artificial smoke or fog.
For food, it’s used to absorb water, maintain moisture, and as a solvent for food colors and flavors.
Sounds like something that should be ingested, doesn’t it?
Yet, the American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) classifies it as “generally safe” for consumption…for people as well as dogs. HOWEVER IT IS NOT DEEMED SAFE FOR CATS!
Blue Buffalo issued a recall a few years ago on one of their cat foods because propylene glycol was found in them. In cats, propylene glycol is known to cause Heinz Body formation in the red blood cells. It reduces the red blood cells survival time, renders red blood cells more susceptible to oxidative damage and has other adverse effects in cats.
In dog food, propylene glycol is used to absorb water, but also as a sweetener because it’s cheap and readily available. Dogs love sweet – they have a similar palate to ours – and so that is why many brands use some type of sweetener, such as sugar, sucrose or propylene glycol, in their foods. It makes the food more palatable, masking the lower quality ingredients they use.
So it must be safe for dogs then, right?
There are a few problems with that assumption and a lot has to do with verbiage. The FDA says it’s generally safe…in low concentrations. Fine, you may eat junk food once in a while that contains propylene glycol and it probably won’t affect you. But your dog eats the same food every day. This means your dog is getting that synthetic, un-natural substance used in many unsafe products, every day.
The bottom line is – natural is best when it comes to your dog’s food. That’s why you won’t find propylene glycol in any Stay Loyal line. The health, safety, and wellbeing of your best friend is our top priority.