Stud­ies sug­gest canned food poses health risks to pets

Santa Fe New Mexican - Healthy Living - - HEALTH BRIEFS -

Some vets say that dry kib­ble alone does not meet all of a pet’s nu­tri­tional needs — but canned wet food also may pose a se­ri­ous risk to pets’ health.

The cul­prit in canned dog food may be BPA (bisphe­nol A), a known en­docrine dis­rupter found in poly­mer can lin­ings and many plas­tics. A 2016 Univer­sity of Mis­souri study found that BPA lev­els tripled — in just two weeks — in dogs switched from kib­bles to canned food, with cor­re­spond­ing al­ter­ations to gut

mi­cro­biomes and me­tab­o­lism.

Cats are not im­mune to the ef­fects of canned food either. A study pub­lished in the Jour­nal

of Small An­i­mal Prac­tice found that “ex­po­sure to food pack­aged in a can was … a ma­jor risk fac­tor for the devel­op­ment of hy­per­thy­roidism,” a po­ten­tially fa­tal con­di­tion.

Avoid­ing BPA is chal­leng­ing but pos­si­ble. Check for BPA-free la­bels. Use metal or ce­ramic food bowls. Can-free fresh food, which can be ex­pen­sive, is in­creas­ingly avail­able com­mer­cially — or you can make your own pet food with recipes found on­line.

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