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Be Cautious About BHT in Dog Food

Mike Sagman


Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman


Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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Updated: September 27, 2023

BHT is the popular abbreviation for a common dog food additive known as butylated hydroxytoluene.

Watch Out for BHTThe chemical is used in certain dog foods to prevent fats and oils from prematurely spoiling.

In other words, BHT can extend the shelf life of a fat in a food product.

But that’s not all it can do.

BHT can also be found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber, jet fuels, petroleum products, the oil in electrical transformers — and even embalming fluid.1

That’s why, like so many other artificial preservatives, BHT has become the subject of considerable controversy.

It seems the same chemical qualities which make BHT an effective preservative can also make it a suspect for causing cancerous tumors.2

Some evidence has suggested certain individuals may have difficulty breaking down the chemical in the liver — which is capable of causing notable behavioral changes.3

BHT has been banned as a preservative in food in the countries of Japan, Romania, Sweden and Australia.

The Bottom Line

So, what else can be used to extend the shelf life of fats and oils in dog food?

Vitamins C or E can provide a completely natural way to extend the shelf life of a dog food. As a matter of fact, most quality conscious dog food companies already use these safer compounds to preservative the fats in their own products.

With safer alternatives to BHT already available, why then would so many dog food companies still insist on using such controversial preservatives?

So, why take the risk? Simply steer clear of any dog food that uses BHT in its products.

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