To prevent excessive fluoride exposure, the EWG recommends dog owners purchase pet foods that don’t contain bone meal and other animal byproducts. It also suggests that the government should set fluoride limits in pet food that protect both puppies and large breeds most at risk for bone cancer.
Dr. Michael W. Fox, an internationally recognized veterinarian and former vice-president of both the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, also suggests providing pets with fluoride-free water.3
An example is reverse-osmosis treated water. Brita-type water filters don’t remove fluoride, so it’s important to look for a filter that does.
Most spring and bottled waters contain only small amounts of fluoride, but I recommend you call the bottler and ask how much fluoride is in their water to insure a low intake. Distilled water is fluoride-free.
If you prepare a homemade diet for your pet
and add bone meal, it’s important that it not contain fluoride (or lead). Ethical bone meal producers will test for contaminants, including fluoride, so if you’re using bone meal in recipes, contact your source and ask to see their quality control documents for fluoride.
Dr. Fox suggests substituting with fossilized oyster shell, dolomite or a chelated or non-chelated synthesized or refined calcium supplement like calcium citrate, ascorbate, stearate or gluconate. I have seen excellent purity with tri and dicalcium phosphate blended with magnesium (basically a bone meal equivalent).
Dr. Fox also makes the point that bones from longer-lived food animals such as dairy cows, laying hens and breeding stock probably contain higher levels of fluoride than shorter-lived animals like chickens, calves and lambs. In his article “Fluoride in Pet Food – A Serious Health Risk for Both Dogs and Cats?” Dr. Fox writes:“Fluorides accumulate in the body of farmed animals over time from such sources as phosphate fertilizers, phosphate supplements, bone meal and fish meal supplements and pesticide and industrial-pollution-contaminated pastures and animal feed. The bones, fins, gills and scales of fish are often high in fluoride.”4
Dr. Fox recommends raw feeders avoid ground bone from older animals like beef cattle and adult sheep.
- If you cook your pet’s food, avoid Teflon-coated pans as they may increase the fluoride levels in the food.
- Avoid cooking with fluoridated water, as it simply concentrates fluoride in the food.
- Don’t use toothpaste or oral rinses intended for humans to brush your dog’s teeth. Dental health products made for pets are fluoride-free.