Perhaps you remember the Chinese-made pet food recalls, most notably in 2007 and again in 2012, when it was discovered that toxic ingredients, such as melamine, were being added to dog food that was then sold in the US. But did you know that there are other types of hidden toxins that might be in your dog’s food right now? Dogs Naturally Magazine recently published an article that I think every dog owner should read.
The article highlights a dangerous chemical called an aflatoxin, which is produced by certain molds. These aflatoxins are poisonous and have been linked to cancer. If the quantity of aflatoxin ingested is high enough (0.5-1 mg per kg of weight), a dog could die within days.
How do aflatoxins get into our dog’s food? The article cites mold-infested corn as the primary vehicle in which these chemicals enter a dog’s food supply. As you may know, most of the dog kibble available today contains some grain source, like corn, wheat and rice. Unfortunately, the amount of mold-infested corn has increased dramatically due to recent droughts in the Midwest, and the FDA has allowed more of this mold-infested corn to be added to animal food.
So, I suggest you read your dog’s food label very carefully and look for these grains. If you can, switch to a kibble brand that is grain-free, or consider raw/fresh, whole foods instead. There are many sites that explain how to make your own raw diets for your dogs. Dr. Richard Pitcairn, DVM, whom many consider the father of veterinary homeopathy, covers a raw food diet in his ground-breaking book, “Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.” He recommends the following books if you are interested in learning more about the role that food plays in the health — or sickness — of our animals.