One of the essential choices to make is choosing the most nutrient-dense food for your pet. Even for the most experienced pet owners, it presents a complex and complicated decision. There are so many versions of food to choose from, including canned, dry, frozen, freeze-dried, and raw. The choice is even made more complicated as the average pet owner does not readily understand most pet food labels.

In this blog, we will focus on three commonly used synthetic antioxidants in dry pet food, including their origins, details about each, and why the facts make raw feeding the better option. To do this, we will discuss Ethoxyquin, BHA/BHT, and TBHQ.

Ethoxyquin is a well-documented pesticide and has been hit with significant backlash from multiple sources in the pet food community. Veterinarians stated that many illnesses they were witnessing, they felt, could be correlated to Ethoxyquin toxicity. After some studies, pet food companies agreed to lower the allowance to down by half. Despite these changes, the FDA remains steadfast that using these artificial antioxidants are much safer and healthier than rotten food. Positive change finally came in 2012, when pet food manufacturers were eventually required to document the presence of an Ethoxyquin in any food meals used. The harmful nature of this preservative should be underscored by the findings of a study conducted by the EPA, which discovered that Ethoxyquin has a much more significant negative impact on canines than on lab rats. These facts about Ethoxyquin decide to join the raw feeding community, the obvious choice for all conscious pet owners.   

BHA and BHT have their own troubling implications despite the FDA approving it for use in pet food at specific quantities. For instance, BHA is a disruptor of the endocrine system, harmful to the hormones that regulate the thyroid, and negatively impact the ability to reproduce. In terms of BHT, some studies have suggested that it has led to cancer as well as other severe medical conditions that would suggest it is just as dangerous as BHA. Luckily, there are easy and cost-effective ways to avoid the negative repercussions of BHA and BHT with the advent of raw feeding for dogs. 

TBHQ is another artificial antioxidant made from butane. Based on studies conducted, it is more harmful to dogs than even humans. Unfortunately, researchers can’t be certain of a “safe dose” of TBHQ because there has never been a study last longer than a month. However, long term evidence seems to suggest the development of DNA damage and even precancerous conditions. Facts such as these about TBHQ further highlight why raw feeding is the far superior feeding method. 

The facts about these four substances help us to understand and clearly illustrate the dangers and pitfalls of the conventional pet food industry. Hopefully, it also gives rise to people being open to seeking alternatives for feeding their pets. If you want to learn more about the incredible benefits associated with feeding pets raw and know if you are doing all you can to be the best pet parent, check out

Ready to know more about your dog's key nutrients for health?

Browse our store and find the right product for your pet.