5 Scary Ingredients You Never Want to See on Pet Product Labels


As a loving pet parent, you want what’s best for your dogs and cats. However, misleading marketing claims can cause you to choose pet medications and food items that contain harmful ingredients. The only way to ensure you are not feeding or administering something toxic to your pet is to learn how to read the label. Make it a habit, to read the list of ingredients of the pet food or medication you are about to buy and merciless reject products with questionable ingredients. Without further delay, here are 5 scary ingredients you never want to see on pet product labels.

Sugar Substitutes: While sugar is harmful to dogs and cats, sugar substitutes are even worse. While they lack the calories of sugar, they can severely impact the blood sugar levels and can even cause seizures. When given food containing sugar substitutes such as xylitol, the blood sugar level of your pet goes off the charts only to plummet down moments later. This sudden and drastic drop in the blood sugar level can cause a hypoglycemic seizure, which can be potentially fatal. Much like sugar, these substitutes also leaves your pet susceptible to Type 2 diabetes.

Ethoxyquin: Ethoxyquin is a preservative often used in pet food. While a lot of natural preservatives are safe for pet consumption, Ethoxyquin is under the scanner for being a potential cause for liver and kidney diseases. It’s also believed to be a carcinogen. In fact, this ingredient is globally banned from being used in human food products. This ingredient is often used in pet medications such as fish oil and omega-3 supplements.

Permethrin: If you have a dog and a cat, then you should stay miles away from products that contain permethrin. This is a common ingredient that’s used in anti-tick pet medications for dogs. While they are generally safe for dogs, this ingredient is highly toxic to cats. Derived from chrysanthemum flowers, this ingredient is used in spot-on treatment products in dogs. Now, if you have a dog that has been administered with permethrin, the chemical can get passed on to your cat when they are in close proximity. There have also been instances where pet owners have mistakenly administered permethrin-based products, meant for dogs on their cats. This can lead to deadly results. As much as 40% of cats who are unintentionally poisoned by this ingredient end up dying. As a general rule, if you have a dog and a cat sharing the same space then you should avoid products containing Permethrin.

Amitraz: Some dog collars and medications contain Amitraz, an insecticide that controls fleas and ticks. With so many safe ingredients such as selamectin and tea tree oil, Amitraz is simply not worth the risk anymore. Often used in topical solutions and collars, Amitraz overdose can lead to hypothermia, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain in pets.

Carbamates: This is a tricky ingredient to spot on pet product labels as different manufacturers use different names. A potent insecticide, carbamates is often labelled as Aldicarb, Carbofuran, Maneb, Ziram, Propoxur, Moban, Baygon, Bendiocarb, and Carbaryl. NRDC, a nonprofit organization, is currently seeking an EPA ban on all carbamates-based pet products. Apart from dogs and humans, cats are especially susceptible to carbamates poisoning.