Feeding Fido canned dog food could triple BPA levels in his body

A litter of seven golden retriever puppies trots across the lawn at Mountain View Kennels in Williamsburg, Pa., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005.  .
A litter of seven golden retriever puppies trots across the lawn at Mountain View Kennels in Williamsburg, Pa., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005. . AP Photo

Dog lovers, pay attention: new research suggests that if you’re feeding Fido canned food, he could have a “significant increase” of BPA in his system, about three times more than dogs that aren’t fed canned meals.

University of Missouri scientists say that relying on canned dog food, even in the short term, could lead to more BPA in your pet’s system. Because you share your environment with your fluffy member of the family, his exposure to BPA through canned food could affect you too, they warn.

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“We wanted to determine if short-term feeding of widely available commercial canned food could alter BPA concentrations in dogs. We also analyzed whether disturbances in bacteria found in the gut and metabolic changes could be associated with exposure to BPA from the canned food,” Dr. Cheryl Rosenfeld, an associate professor in biomedical sciences, said in a university statement.

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“The dogs in the study have minimal circulating BPA in their blood when it was drawn for the baseline. However, BPA increased nearly threefold after being on the either of the two canned diets for two weeks,” she said.

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Rosenfeld worked with 14 dog owners who volunteered their happy, healthy pets for the study. The dogs’ blood and stool samples were collected before the study started. Before the study, the dog owners turned to bagged dog food to feed their pets.

During the study, the dogs were fed one of two commonly used canned dog foods for two weeks. One of the cans was labelled as BPA-free. The researchers analyzed BPA levels in the canned food, along with BPA levels in the dogs.

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By the end of the two-week mark, BPA levels in the animals’ bloodstream increased. They nearly tripled compared to before the study started.

The researchers even noted changes to the dogs’ gut microbiome and metabolism.

Exposure to the chemical is a concern because of the possible health effects on the brain, behaviour and prostate glands of fetuses, infants and kids, the Mayo Clinic says.

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In 2011, the European Commission banned the use of BPA in baby bottles. A year later the U.S. banned it from kids’ cups on a whole. Health Canada did the same in its Canada Consumer Product Safety Act in 2010, too.

Since then manufacturers say they’ve stepped away from using BPA and other compounds in all products, like Tupperware or other plastic goods.