Ethoxyquin, BHA & BHT in YOUR Pet’s Food?

Learning How to Read Pet Food Nutrition Labels – Ethoxyquin, BHA & BHT?

All commercial pet foods must be preserved so they stay fresh and appealing to our animal companions. Canning is a preserving process itself, so canned foods contain less preservatives than dry foods. Some preservatives are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others may be added by the manufacturer. Because manufacturers need to ensure that dry foods have a long shelf life to remain edible after shipping and prolonged storage, fats used in pet foods are preserved with either synthetic or natural preservatives. Synthetic preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin.

Ethoxyquin was found to: pronounce kidney carcinogenesis; significantly increase the incidence of stomach tumors; enhance bladder carcinogenesis; and significantly increase number of colon tumors. The Department of Agriculture lists ethoxyquin as a pesticide.

BHA was found to: cause squamous-cell carcinomas in stomachs of rates and hamsters. (Cancers of this type are among the most lethal and fastest acting, the swiftest effects being seen among animals with light colored fur. (Many white cats die within months after getting squamous cell black tumor on their skin.); and enhance stomach and urinary bladder carcinogenesis.

BHT was found to: promote urinary bladder carcinogenesis; and could be a promoter of thyroid carcinogenesis.

A recent study done by the Department of Pathology, Nagoya City University Medical School, Japan, noted that BHA and other such antioxidants, particularly propyl gallate and ethoxyquin, showed addictive in inducing stomach hyperplasia and cytotoxicity.

Take a dog food preserved with ethoxyquin and feed the average dog (44 lbs) by the label instructions and that dog will consume 26 lbs of ethoxyquin in 1 years time. Is that what you want for your pet?! Does consuming 26 lbs of ethoxyquin (poison) sound like a “good” idea to you?

NOTE: The addition of Ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT in most popular commercial pet foods is standard and approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). We are pleased to announce that all Life’s Abundance and Flint River Ranch dog and cat food formulas, including treats and other products, do NOT contain any of these toxic chemical preservatives.

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23 Responses

  1. Susan Baldis says:

    I have a lab dog which will be 4 in June, and I use to give him Ol Roy dog bone biscuits, alot, he has developed seizure, and I have read that the preservatives BHT, BHA and Ethoxquin can indeed lead to causing seizures in canines. Please , warn pet owners of this, if one has not experienced their beloved pet in the mist of a full blown seizure and experienced the heart wrenching pain it causes in witnessing this be, thankful, if these preservatives attributes to this condition they should be banned and the public made aware of this. As once the seizures start and the medication is given , you are on a life long trip in controlling the condition , as it is never cured. Thank you

    • Tanya E Scharton says:

      My lab has not seized since I changed dog food cut out all BHA BHT no flea and tick prevention no lepto vaccination…etc.. I tested her for the mdr1 gene she did not have that but everything on that list causes her to seize.. I found out my first vet caused her to seize. Everything they gave her caused seizures in dogs prone to seizures and labs are in the top five. BHA and BHT are in Wheat Thins a lot of General Mills cereals a lot of dog foods even pedigree dentastix have propylene glycol. Propylene glycol falls under BHA and is also in antifreeze

  2. Dan says:


  3. Kim says:

    I was very disturbed to learn that we are feeding a VETERINARY DIET with these dangerous ingredients to the almost 130 cats in our care (I manage a no-kill animal shelter in Toronto, ON Canada).

    It really ticks me off that the pet food companies and Veterinarians MAKE MONEY poisoning the animals we love.



  4. Sam says:

    Food manufactures have the same contempt for their fellow humans, I am not a bit surprised they use equally dangerous additives in pet foods as well.

  5. jowe says:

    we’ve been feeding our shih tzu with dog food for almost 2yrs,concerned with her health if we wil give her table food. one night,we woke up in the middle of our sleep knowing that our dog had a seizure. then we began to search for reasons why she developed seizures,and through the internet we found out that dry dog foods,fun sticks and dog biscuits contain harmful chemicals that will harm our loveones.They should regulate petfood companies and treat our beloved dogs like humans.

    • Tanya E Scharton says:

      And the same chemical is in Wheat Thins General Mills cereals instant mashed potatoes gardetto’s Pringles potato chips waiting back to the pesticides that was sprayed with with BHA my dog sees his also she can’t have Wheat Thins post comment

  6. Frantic Mary says:

    My very healthy, perky 8 year shepherd mix had uncontrollable head shaking this morning – first time ever. I had just given him his daily breakfast of three Pupperoni sticks and a Pet Choice dog biscuit. I think I am unwittingly poisoning my dog with products I thought were safe. I am reading internet postings about BHA and other preservatives and see they are in the Ingredient lists of both products. Does anyone know if the tremors are a symptom of permanent damage? What kinds of tests would be required to find out what long term use of these products has done to my dog? Thank you.

    • Tanya E Scharton says:

      I have been researching the seizures from BHA BHT propylene glycol there’s a few others NexGard advantage they all cause seizures in dogs prone to seizures feel free to message me with any questions you might have I’ll share everything that I have

  7. Nadia H. says:

    I’ve been giving my dog kibbles n’ bits and let me tell you DO NOT FEED YOUR DOG THAT GARBAGE!!! Its discusting it made my dog shake give her diarrhea and made her vomit. Its cruel to think that industries put BHA for money know that poisons the pets we love 🙁

  8. says:

    I’ve worked the pet food industry for eight years. All I can say is read your labels for yourself and your pets. Ingredients such as BHA/BHT also show up in people food. I feel best about serving my dog “Human grade” ingredients. I prefer to eat meat myself that is free of growth hormone, antibiotic, etc.

  9. Diane says:

    I have a 14 yr. old Dachshund. When he was around 7 yrs. old, he was eating a dried dog food and treats that I found out later had BHT & BHA in them. He started having seizures. I did some research & found that those preservatives as well as the ethoxyquin was very harmful. I immediately took him off of all commercial foods with those preservatives. He quit having seizures and except for one slip up…a gift of Scooby Doo treats that had those preservatives, he did have a seizure from eating those. That confirmed that was what had caused it. He eats a homemade diet and has been seizure free since.

  10. RON HIXSON says:


  11. Valerie Inclan says:

    Oh my gosh! I feel horribble! I’ve been causing seisures to my dear Flash all along by giving him the dog food I thought was safe! I think that those companies should stop and think about all our precious pets getting immensly sick. Poor things. I’m very sorry for all your pets.

  12. Cassie C says:

    We had a similar experience with our 12-yr-old lab. She began having seizures and when she would come out of them, she would be confused and disoriented so my hubby would give her a dog treat to make her feel better. The more seizures she had, the more treats she got. She had advanced to 3 or 4 seizures a day and we were making plans to have her put to sleep. Fortunately, I found this info on the web and her treats did have BHA in them. We decided to give it a couple more weeks with a BHA-free diet. The day after we stopped the treats she had 2 seizures, the next day only 1. The following week she had one more and she hasn’t had any now for over a year. Our vet insists that it was just coincidence. I don’t buy that. I’m so happy that I was able to find out about these chemicals on the web. Thank you!

  13. Cris says:

    We had 2 pure bred Shelties, one started having seizures at 4 y/o (94), he was put on human seizures pills, up to 4 a day. He died 3 years later. The other Sheltie stopped eating the dry food, until we mixed it with wet food. Two years later we got a lab/shepard mix, he along with the first Sheltie ate a combination of canned and dry mix. At 4 (02) he started having seizures, he was dead in 5 months. Three years later a third dog, a complete mutt had a seizure, he was 4 (05). Aside from all living in our house there was no similarities between the dogs, from different cities, pure bred vs mutt, yet 3 of the 4 dogs had seizures, starting at 4 years old. One thing in common, Pedigree dog food. Food was immediately changed, the third dog never had another seizure, a fifth dog has never had the food and is approaching 4.

  14. Sabrina K says:

    I also had a dog that had Kibble N Bits’ and got vomiting, shaking, disorentation, and lethargy. I really think he had a mini seizure (because when he ‘woke’ from a VERY VIOLENT ‘nap’ he was drooling and falling over). I have two dogs, but one is half the size of the other and the smaller one was affected (I only gave them a little of the food to make the switch from their normal brand). I’m not saying that Kibble N Bits was the cause, but he felt much better after taking the Kibble N Bits away (within about half a day). He had looked like death walking, er wobbling. I even thought at first it was hypoglycemia, although he has never shown symptons and he is 8 months old. Oddly enough thier normal food has BHA in it, but the amounts must be different. NEVER AGAIN, I was so worried!

  15. Sabrina K says:

    Okay after some more research I want to point out that Kibbles n Bits (beefy bits) has Pentobarbital it. The second highest of those that the FDA tested (I’m referring to the beefy bits, which is what I bought) see website! You know how it gets in there? Ground up euthanized animals. Not sure if this amount made him sick, but it would be an awfully big coincidence! Do your research people, wish I had. Now I helped this company by buying thier product. I am disgusted with myself.

    FDA Website

  16. Sheri T says:

    I just watched my dog have a seizure from BHA/BHT that she got into 2 days ago. I absolutely know that BHA/BHT causes her seizures. I found out when we ran out pupperoni and I just didn’t buy them for a few months. She was seizure free. I found some pupperoni on sale, bought some more and within 2 days- back to having seizures again. This chemical is in human pepperoni and sausage as well. It’s such an easy fix to avoid BHA/BHT. Two days ago, she got into the cat litter with the help of our other dog.Our cats are 13 yrs old and on the same food their whole lives and it contains BHA/BHT. Well, it passes through to their litter. We cleaned the box and set it outside in the bag but not the trashcan….and when we came back from the store and found the litter scattered about. We knew it would be a day or two until a seizure. It’s so predictable. I saw the change in behavior last night and now here I sit, waiting for her to recover.

    • Tanya E Scharton says:

      Unfortunately I found this out the hard way to NexGard advantage they’re all of my list as well as the lepto vaccination

  17. Matt says:

    My 11 1/2 year old Russian Blue/Domestic breed just died of tumors that began in his intestinal track, which spread to all organs. He was on Royal Canine Urinary SO 33 since he was 6 years old due to struvite crystals that nearly killed him in 2008. RC Urinary SO 33 was the only thing that seemed to prevent it from happening again. The one time I attempted to take him off, it only took a month for a reoccurrence. After reading this, I wish I would have found a different, natural alternative. I miss my buddy and realize it was my own ignorance that probably contributed to his tumors, that ended his life to early.

  18. Lai Fook Chuan says:

    I had really disappointed experienced my love dog poisoning by the pet food Brand name “smartheart” two days ago. Just after feeding her the breakfast symptom of vomitting foam in the first hrs then die in the 2nd hrs.
    In this two days myself and my family can’t accept this incident happening just in the short 2hrs. Finally, we check the information symptom of dog poisoning, we found this website did mention confirm the pet food contain Ethoxyquin, BHA & BHT.
    I got shock that the pet food “Smartheart” brand contained antioxidant equivalent type to Ethoxyquin, BHA & BHT.
    What the hell of pet food producer just want to earn money and kill the innocent dog.

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