Labradors are often known for eating anything but if you’re not feeding them dog health food at meal times, you could be causing them serious long-term harm. It’s not your fault that the dog food manufacturers are always looking for ways to boost profits and cut costs. But make sure you act before your dog ends up as a statistic on the next dog food recall list.

Not only is there the possibility of contamination, but what about the actual nutritional value of your dog’s food? With the focus on profit margins, the only thing you can be sure about is that the dog food companies want to use the cheapest ingredients they can get.

In 2007 there was a widespread recall from over 100 dog food manufacturers after it was discovered that there was melamine (a type of plastic) in much of their dog food. It was eventually traced back to a factory in China, which manufactured rice protein and wheat gluten (neither of which have any real nutritional value for a dog). So what that means is that it doesn’t matter what standards the US based company may have for their production plants if the ingredients coming into the plant are already contaminated!

And although this was a couple of years ago, recently melamine was discovered in milk powder – produced under standards for human consumption! So based on that I think that it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before another similar incident occurs. I certainly don’t want to take the chance that my puppy is going to suffer because I didn’t act. At the end of the day our dogs depend on us to give them all the nutrients they need and now we also need to make sure there’s no nasty chemicals as well.

So leaving the accidental toxins aside, what other things are going into your Labrador’s food? a really nasty preservative called ethoxyquin is often present in dog food but isn’t listed. If your dog food contains fish meal it almost certainly contains ethoxyquin which has been linked to numerous allergic reactions, cancer and liver failure in dogs. Often the only time that it’s mentioned is if it’s not there!

So take a moment and check your dog’s food just to see if there is fish meal listed as an ingredient, often it’s promoted as being a source of omega 3 (which it is) but that isn’t going to offset the long term side effects that your dog is likely to suffer from continued consumption of this preservative.

All this is just scraping the surface and for the sake of your Labrador and it’s long term well-being, it’s vital to learn about dog health food. The best way to be absolutely certain about what you’re feeding your dog is to make it yourself.


by Mark Syme