At Punk-N-Pye’s, we’re dedicated to providing you with the highest of quality and wholesome dog treats for your beloved pup. Every ingredient in our dog cookies is purposeful, all-natural, and 100% human-grade. Read along to learn about some common dog food label ingredients to avoid that we pledge to never use in our treats (and why!).
1. Wheat & Added Gluten
Wheat is one of the most common ingredients found in traditional dog food and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the more expensive ingredients to raise a dog food’s carbohydrate content and is one of the key ingredients responsible for creating the typical “kibble” texture you’ll find in dry dog food. However, wheat has been researched to be one of the most allergenic grains for dogs and has been reported to cause skin problems (itchiness, hair loss) and GI tract issues (vomiting, loose stools, belching) that can commonly plague a dog’s (and dog owner’s!) daily living.
Gluten, the pure protein found in wheat and other grains that does not contain any carbohydrates, is oftentimes added to dog food as a cheap protein substitute to real meat. Although dogs need a lot of protein in their diet, added gluten (and wheat itself) is not a complete protein, like real meat or eggs, because gluten lacks the complete essential amino acid profile your pup needs for normal, healthy functioning.
Like wheat, corn is a frequently added, inexpensive carbohydrate and protein source found in mainstream dog food. However, in a study on the glycemic index of common kibble ingredients, corn has a relatively high glycemic index on your pup when compared to other ingredients. Couple this with corn’s lower protein percentage than either animal or wheat protein sources and your dog has to eat more of this inferior protein (does not meet essential amino acids requirement) to sustain their needs while battling with high blood sugar effects that have been repeatedly associated with obesity, diabetes, and renal issues.
Soy is another inferior protein that is added to commercial dog food. Just like corn and wheat, soy does not contain the complete amino acid profile dogs need from protein. In addition, soy’s effects on your dog’s health are exacerbated by soy’s “anti-nutritional” compounds. The researched effects of these compounds range from being antigenic (inducing antigens in the body) that show up as food intolerance symptoms, like skin and GI tract issues, to disrupting normal endocrine function that has been responsible for decreased hair growth, hypothyroidism, and further immune and reproductive health issues.
4. Artificial Preservatives
A few common artificial preservatives added to dog food are BHA, BHT, TBHQ, ethoxyquin, and propyl gallate. Although preserving will make fresh food last longer, research suggests that these and other artificial preservatives may mimic your dog’s natural hormones and actually produce tumors when ingested in large amounts. So, although some artificial preservatives may be recognized as safe in low doses, we suggest staying away as much as possible. It’s best to look for a dog food that is naturally preserved, such as with dehydration, canning, or even natural compounds like rosemary and vitamin e, which have been studied to not produce the mentioned harmful effects of artificial preservatives.
You’ll find additives, such as binders and emulsifiers, often in semi-moist dog food and treats to help thicken the product and maintain moisture. Some common additives include glyceryl monostearate, phosphoric acid, and propylene glycol. Although your dog may seem to enjoy chewy treats, some research has shown these additives can cause harmful effects such as reduced bone density, nervous system depression, and seizures at high doses. So, similar to artificial preservatives, we recommend steering clear of additives when possible and avoid the unnecessary risk of harm to your pup.