ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – According to study results from an environmental watchdog group, feeding your dog or cat canned pet food can be hazardous to their health.

The Ecology Center in Ann Arbor launched the study on the heels of recent research that shows industrial chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) are making their way into our food supply via can linings. The chemicals have a potential negative effect on the brain, behavior, and hormone  levels. Researchers wanted to find out how those findings would compare to a similar analysis of canned pet foods.

“At the Ecology Center, we did a citizens science study where we ask people from southeast Michigan to send in their empty pet food cans — dog and cat — and we found of that, most of them are lined with toxic resin epoxy,” spokesperson Lauren Olson told WWJ’s Chrystal Knight.

The study, Pets Beware: Toxic Chemicals in Pet Food Can Linings, found:

  • Almost all cat food cans tested (95%) had a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-based coating
  • Most dog food cans (81%) had a bisphenol A (BPA)-based coating
  • Pet food cans overall had a higher frequency of both BPA-based and PVC-based coatings than human food cans.

PVC copolymers, which the study found in almost all cat food can linings, contain hormone-disrupting BPA derivatives that migrate into food. Most dog food cans contained coatings made from the endocrine disruptor BPA, recently linked to metabolic changes in dogs consuming canned dog food.

“We were able to connect with a professor at the University of Minnesota who has done quite a bit of work, and she found in 14 dogs who were normally fed bagged food then were fed canned food for two weeks, and she found that the BPA blood levels increased by nearly a factor of three. And the dogs underwent changes that may affect their metabolism,” said Olson.

To bring awareness to the issue, the Ecology Center is urging pet lovers everywhere to post pictures of their pets sending messages to pet food companies on social media.

“People can post their photo of their dog or cat with a shaming sign toward a pet food company saying something like ‘You’ve been feeding me what?!’ or ‘I don’t want toxic chemicals in my canned food,'” she said. “We really would like to see pet food companies take the lead in making the stops that human food manufactures have.”

To learn more about toxins in canned pet food and how to take action, visit


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