The food we consume every day has natural and artificially added chemicals. A few are good for metabolism and adds to our nutrition but there are many harmful compounds that can deteriorate our health system. Recently an increased amount of a toxic chemical, acrylamide in pet food has been reported.
What is Acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical substance that builds up naturally through chemical reactions of sugars and amino acids in plant-based foods. Under high temperature, the starch in our food reacts with carbonyl groups to undergo a chemical reaction. Acrylamide is absorbed by both animals and humans via ingestion and through the skin. This substance is considered harmful and can lead to cancer in animals.
They are mainly found in the food sourced from potatoes, grains, and is also seen in dairy and meat products at low levels. The build-up of this chemical in food highly depends on the cooking time and temperature.
Many pet parents recently have raised concerns over the increased levels of acrylamide in dog food. But how do they work? How does it affect our dog?
Acrylamide in Dog Food:
The ingredients of dog food in the past years have changed rapidly. New products like dry food, extruded kibble, and diets with a high proportion of starch are extensively available for dogs. Pet parents also purchase food products replacing grains with potatoes. Corn or even meat is substituted with high-levels of carbohydrates. And to provide better shelf life, the dog food is prepared at very high temperatures. How does it concern the dogs?
Dogs are often exposed to and fed the same, single food product for a long period. Unfortunately opting for organic food over food products with toxic preservatives, does not lessen the risk either.
Usually, it’s not healthy for dogs to consume huge amounts of starch or carbohydrates. As canines, they should be served a well- balanced diet of meat, nutritional vegetables, and proteins. However, the demand for dry ‘grain-free’ kibble and wet food has seen a sudden rise. Dog parents find it convenient to provide foods that are raw food bought from the market. The one thing we fail to understand is that their meals being contaminated is high.
When we choose processed food like kibbles and canned food, we tend to overlook the nutritional value. We are not sure if the product gives you the nutrition that it claims to possess. On top of that, when we re-heat, frying, or bake the food, we expose it to higher temperatures. This temperature rise will not just take away all the necessary nutrients but also produce natural Acrylamide. This mostly occurs in the production of kibbles and products based on starch, but the manufacturers add tons of other complexes which cover the deficiencies. Acrylamide in dog food can cause neurotoxic effects in your dog’s body as it is slightly carcinogenic and could lead to cancer.
The pet food industry has been taking the necessary measures to avoid the consumption of acrylamide by our pets. Dry and kibble food, canned food must not be regularly provided to our dogs. A raw diet can be provided but can increase the risk of infection. Human grade properly balanced dog food is the best option as we can be aware of the cooking methods, time, and temperature with the mix of right nutrients.
Experts suggest that food becomes healthier only with less processing. Make cautious efforts to balance your dog’s meal with sufficient amount of nutrients. Check with your veterinarian to know more about how to reduce acrylamide in your puppy’s meal.
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