MU researcher’s findings serve warning about the BPA you may be feeding your dog

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Researchers at the University of Missouri are warning dog owners that some canned foods could lead to potential health risks.

Pet owners now see a lot of options when they walk down the pet food aisle, from bags of dog food to rows of cans. But new research shows the container they come in may lead to significant health concerns.

You likely take your dog to the vet every year for routine check-ups, and to ask important questions.

“We get asked about what is the best pet food. What pet food ingredients do we need to be careful about? What is a good product to feed my animal?” Dr. Christina Belew at Union Hill Animal Hospital said.

But a new study has pet owners asking another question.

“What’s in the lining of these containers, is it something that is truly dangerous, does it pose a problem?” Dr. Belew continued.

The University of Missouri is looking for an answer. Researchers looked at “Bisphenol A” levels found in canned dog food.

BPA is a chemical that researchers have linked to countless health issues, including reproductive disorders, neurological disorders-- even cancer. It’s a chemical that's likely sitting in your pantry right now.

“Unfortunately now when I go to various pet food stores, I am thinking how many chemicals are in this and how many chemicals could be going into my dog,” Cheryl Rosenfeld with the MU College of Veterinary Medicine said.

Rosenfeld led the investigation and volunteered her own two dogs for the study. She found that feeding dogs canned food for just two weeks nearly tripled the level of BPA in their system.

“It's disheartening to think I was feeding them something that was not good for them. That is what really saddens me,” Rosenfeld said.

But this is just the beginning of the research. While there have been all sorts of findings about the impact on humans, Rosenfeld's study is one of the first to look at canned foods for dogs.

In the meantime, you may continue to find canned food in your vet’s office. Dr. Belew says until there is more research, she continues to follow federal guidelines.

“Science and research is changing all the time. It's what the science right now is telling us is important. That's what's critical and the things we need to be worried about right now. I think it may become a problem down the road, but we need more research first,” she said.

She suggests you wait until your next vet visit before making any big changes to your pup’s diet. Rosenfeld's advice is to limit the amount of canned foods you feed your pet altogether.