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Is palm oil bad for dogs (and why)?

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Palm oil. How is it harming our dogs and how can we avoid it?

Not only can palm oil be hurting our dogs it is also a major concern for the great environment and many other species of animals! For a full view of how palm oil is causing problems read THIS article.

It’s also been showing up A LOT on our UK beaches and its most deadly form for our furry friends. But before we dive into the dangers of palm oil, let’s start with the basics.

So what is palm oil?

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that is high in saturated fats and free from trans fats. It comes from a native West African palm tree and is considered ‘profitable’ because each tree can harvest more oil from less land than any other vegetable oil in existence.

Which is why you may be surprised to find out that palm oil is in 50% off all foods and products that we use on a daily basis.

These palm trees produce 2 types of oil; palm oil (PO) that comes from the flesh of the fruit and palm kernel oil (PKO) which comes from the internal seed of the fruit.

What food or products can palm oil be found in?

As mentioned above, palm oil is used in 50% of all out foods and products, including dog foods or foods that our dogs consume (like peanut butter).

Palm oil is used as fillers as it is both edible and also heat resistant, giving a lot of our daily consumables and products a longer shelf life.

Items you are likely to find palm oil or palm kernel oil in:

  • Prepackaged food
  • Cosmetics
  • Cleaning products
  • Hair care
  • Soaps
  • Personal care items
  • Candles
  • Biofuel
  • AND PET FOOD

How is palm oil showing up for my dog?

A few ways! Firstly, palm oil or palm kernel oil is used A LOT in various wet and dry dog foods as fillers. There is also something known as palm kernel meal which is the kernel or stone of the palm fruit crushed and ground down into a meal. Research shows that the UK uses an incredibly high 10% of the GLOBAL supply and that  80% of it is used in animal feed – dog food included.

The other concern is the palm oil UK beach epidemic which as been caused by ships who are LEGALLY allowed to release palm oil into the seas – which have been ending up on our shores. Read this article HERE to read about what beaches have been affected in 2018.

How harmful is palm oil to my dog?

While palm oil found in foods is not immediately deadly in itself for dogs, it does have a laxative effect for them and can often cause them to be sick with diarrhoea, dehydration and even pancreatitis. It can also be considered quite dangerous int hat once it has been consumed by your dog, it solidifies and can cause blockages in their digestive system.

If your dog has come across palm oil that has washed up on our UK beaches, this is where your dog is put in a serious life or death situation.

The palm oil that has been washing up on our beaches are considered extremely toxic, especially for our dogs. The palm oil usually contains fuel waste, diesel, bacteria and other toxins that have been collected along the way.

If consumed by your dog, here are some of the likely outcomes:

  • Solid palm oil can lodge in their throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver failure
  • Blockages in the digestive system
  • Dehydration (caused by the vomiting and diarrhoea)
  • Death

If your dog has been found to consume any palm oil on any of our UK beaches, get them to the vet ASAP, preferably within the hour. This is one of those times that you just can not hesitate.

Is it as easy as avoiding foods that claim they have palm oil in them?

Unfortunately no. While some companies do include palm oil in their list of ingredients a lot of times palm oil is disguised with a different name or as part of another product.

Some examples of what palm oil can be referred to are:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vegetable Fa
  • Palm Fruit Oil
  • Palmate
  • Glyceryl
  • Stearate
  • Sodium Palm Kernelate
  • Hyrated Palm Glycerides
  • Palmityl Alcohol

And a WHOLE lot more!! In fact, for a full list of all the ways palm oil can be listed in the ingredients, read THIS article. It will give you the A to Z of over 200 names palm oil can be referred to as.

How can I make sure that I’m not feeding my dog palm oil?

Well, the easiest way is to go 100% natural when you can. In fact, Frank and Jellys always stocks treats that are tried and tested and 100% natural and safe for your dog! Click HERE to have a browse through some of our natural treats for dogs.

Another great tip is to do some research and find out which supermarkets and companies promote palm oil awareness. If they’re aware and talking about ways they are reducing palm oil in their products and produce, you have a better chance of finding food and treats for your dog that are safe. HERE is an article that lists UK companies that are palm oil free – including dog food.

You can also find websites like Pets Pantry which have categories of pet food that are palm oil free!! You can check out their list of palm oil free dry dog foods HERE and their list for palm oil free wet dog foods HERE.

As a special mention, watch out for peanut butters!! The cheaper brands will often use palm oil as a filler and to reduce their costs. When buying peanut butter for your dogs consumption, always go natural and with 100% peanuts.

And as always, if you’ve had any personal experience with palm oil or you have further information, we’d love to hear from you!! Sharing is caring and can potentially save a life! Leave a comment or email us at [email protected]

Paws of Love,

Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo

P.S. Are you in the Frank and Jellys ‘Doggy Detectives’ Facebook group? It’s a place where fur mums and dads go to make friends, test doggy products and share stories on best products. PLUS we always share tips and tricks as well as offering advice and sharing experiences when one of our furry friends is not well or not behaving! It’s great fun and it’s absolutely FREE to join! Come join the fun HERE xo.

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