A recent finding could indicate there is a hidden danger in feeding your dog canned food.
Researchers at University of Missouri studied 14 dogs’ eating habits to determine if feeding them canned food would result in higher BPA levels. BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a popular chemical found in various household items, including cans, water bottles and receipts. In some studies, those exposed to certain levels of BPA had reported health effects on the brain, blood pressure, and in children, a connection with behavior and the prostate gland.
Scientists fed the dogs for two weeks two different kinds of canned food – one was marketed as BPA-free – and found that their BPA levels nearly tripled. The change in their BPA levels had implications on the dog’s metabolism and altered the bacteria found in their gut.
According to the researchers, these findings could also have an impact on us.
Cheryl Rosenfeld, a professor who participated in this study, told This Dog’s Life that BPA, along with other environmental chemicals, found in the house mean both dogs and humans are simultaneously exposed to these chemicals. “In essence, what is happening to the health of our pets is likely a barometer of the non-communicable diseases humans also have to be concerned about,” she says.
The FDA is conducting its own studies on the effects of BPA in rodents, but there are currently not a lot of restrictions on the chemical in human and pet food, according to Rosenfeld.
“In 2012, the FDA banned BPA from baby food and products,” she says. “However, no other restrictions or current monitoring system are in place for human or pet food.”
Rosenfeld says her team did reach out to the BPA-free canned dog food and the company reiterates their brand is indeed BPA-free, but she says, “our results suggests otherwise.”
She says she would like to continue research on BPA and its effects on dogs.
The report was first published in Science of The Total Environment.