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Is your pet food safe?

Posted at 7:23 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 07:58:14-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - You may repay the unconditional love of a pet with the best food you can find.  But how healthy is that food after all? An organization says many dog and cat foods have frighteningly high level of things like lead and arsenic.  

So do you need you need to worry about the food you feed your best friends?

Lisa Orr says she's careful about what she feeds her canine friends Duke and Dina.

"I try to look at all the bags ingredients and less is better, more pure protein, vegetables, a lot less by-products.”

An organization called the Clean Label Project says its pet food analysis found high levels of toxic substances like arsenic and lead and it did not seem to matter whether the food was cheap, or very expensive. You can find test results on the project website.

Jaclyn Bowen of the Clean Label Project compared the food to the infamous lead contamination in Flint Michigan's water system.

"Compared to the lead levels that were seen in the Flint, Michigan drinking water crisis, the levels of lead in the pet foods were 16 times the levels observed in Flint. Michigan drinking water."

She says the project compared lead in dog food to lead in water to help consumers understand the issue.

As a veterinary pathologist Doctor Robert Glock studies illness in animals.  He says that comparison is just not valid.

“They're using water standards for humans. They're using those standards to compare dog food, food versus water, dog versus human.  Species have very different toxic levels." 

Doctor Glock says in more than 30 years of work he has not seen poisoning as a result of dog food.

He says, "If they're implying some harm to the animal, they need to show us that harm and I'm not saying there aren't some foods out there that might have toxic levels of something in them but until you find that toxic level, finding a level that's certified for water is pretty meaningless."

He says if you're really concerned about poisons in pet food, talk to your vet and consider getting an analysis of the food you use.

 At the Udall Dog Park humans are picky about what they give their animals.

Gloria Williams says, “I try to go online and research the brand to see if there's any comparisons.  I look for made in America.  I look for a small amount of grain products."

And they say they're satisfied they've found healthy foods their dogs will like.