Q:I saw a dog food labeled BPA-free. Should I switch to that? I thought BPA was in plastic. What’s it doing in dog food?
A:Bisphenol A (BPA) has been used for the past 60 years as a plasticizer, appearing in polycarbonate plastic containers, refrigerator shelving, CDs, DVDs and other products.
It’s also found in the epoxy resins that coat the insides of metal food cans, where it’s been shown to leach into the food.
In the body, BPA acts like a hormone and disrupts many cell functions, so it’s not surprising that high levels are associated with a variety of diseases in humans and pets.
A recent study of two canned dog foods, one of which was touted as BPA-free, found similar levels of BPA in both. After dogs were fed these canned foods for two weeks, BPA levels in their blood tripled.
Until more is known about BPA’s effects in dogs, the issue remains controversial. If you decide to change your dog’s diet, consider switching from canned to dry food.
Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.