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Is Glycerin in Dog Food and Treats Bad for Dogs?

Emma Stenhouse

If you are like most dog owners, you want to feed your pooch the highest-quality meals and treats to ensure their enjoyment and good health. There are tons of different food and treat options available on the market, all of which contain a unique list of ingredients. On some ingredients lists, you may notice that glycerin is listed. Are food and treats that contain glycerin good for dogs? Keep reading to learn about this topic.


What Is Glycerin?

Sometimes listed as just glycerin and sometimes listed as vegetable glycerin, this is a liquid that has no color or odor. It is sweet, which helps add flavor to some dog foods and treats on the market. It also helps keep food and treats dry so mold is less likely to start growing. Glycerin is made using soap and biofuel byproducts.

But is glycerin safe? Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure. There have been no studies conducted and reported that shed light on the safety of this product in dog foods and treats.

However, we do know that residual methanol and sodium are contained in glycerin that has been produced using biofuels. Because it is not clear how crude glycerin could affect the health of our dogs if they ingest it regularly through the food and treats that they eat, it may be a good idea to avoid overfeeding our dogs any food and treats that contain the ingredient. Luckily, there are plenty of great food options available on the market.

person giving dog a treat

What Glycerin-Free Options Are Available?

Not all dog food and treat products on the market contain glycerin. Read the ingredients list from top to bottom when choosing a new product for your pooch. You should find plenty of options to choose from at your local pet store, and there are more online. Here are just a few commercial options to consider:

Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Tender & True Organic Grain-Free Chicken & Liver Recipe Dry Dog Food

Grandma Lucy's Organic Blueberry Oven Baked Dog Treats

Full Moon Organic Chicken Training Grain-Free Dog Treats

Snicky Snaks Organic Oven Baked Peanut Butter Cookie Dog Treats

You can also make your dog homemade food and/or treats to ensure that you know exactly what they are eating at any given time. However, it is important to make sure that you are offering all the right nutrients to them to ensure their good health as time goes on. They need sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals, just like we humans do.

Your veterinarian can tell you the ratios of nutrients that your dog should be getting based on their breed, size, age, and current health conditions. However, in general, making dog food is as easy as combining chicken, turkey, or beef with a variety of different veggies and a source of carbs (like brown rice) to create something nutritious and delicious for your pooch to enjoy. Try a recipe like the one found here.

Making treats for your dog can be as simple as mixing brown rice and peanut butter and then rolling the mixture into bite-sized balls or as involved as making dog biscuits in an oven out of whole wheat and other ingredients, like you would make cookies or cupcakes for the humans in your household.


Final Thoughts

While it is not the end of the world if your dog’s food or treats contain glycerin, it is possibly a good idea to avoid the ingredient if possible. Glycerin may not affect your dog at all, or it might cause issues later in life. Until studies are done and research is published, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. If you are in doubt, have a discussion with your veterinarian. What are your thoughts on this topic?

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Emma Stenhouse

Emma is a freelance writer, specializing in writing about pets, outdoor pursuits, and the environment. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Costa Rica and New Zealand before moving to a smallholding in Spain with her husband, their 4-year-old daughter, and their dogs, cats, horses, and poultry. When she's not writing, Emma can be found taking her dogs for walks in the rolling fields around their home...and usually, at least some of the cats come along, too! Emma is passionate about rescuing animals and providing them with a new life after being abandoned or abused. As well as their own four rescue dogs, she also fosters dogs for re-homing, providing them with love and training while searching for their forever homes.