Does Fluoride Effect Pets Too?

Since human’s health is effected by fluoride, it stands to reason that our pets are also affected by it – but in what way and to what degree?

All animals drinking fluoridated water are slammed with fluoride.  There’s a video at the bottom of this article that shows cattle that drank fluoridated water.  Not pretty.  But drinking water is only part of the fluoride story for our pets.

First, fluoride concentrates in bones.  When pet food includes meat byproducts or bone meal, the fluoride content of the food is going to be high. Unfortunately, fluoride content of pet foods (and people foods) is not listed on labels and usually not even known.

How Much Fluoride Are They Exposed To?

Environmental Working Group found that eight major brands of dog and puppy foods have up to 2.5 times more fluoride than the E.P.A.’s  maximum legal dose allowed in drinking water.  (Maximum legal allowable fluoride in water is 4ppm however the recommended amount that water companies add to water is 0.7ppm).  These 8 brands of dog foods contain an average of 9mg of fluoride per kilogram of dog food.  Ouch.

On the up side, the study also tested two dog food brands that do not contain detectible levels of fluoride: one is made with vegetarian ingredients and the other is made by a small manufacturer.

What Are The Health Effects On Pets?

Little research has been done on the effect of fluoride on dogs.  However in 2006 the National Research Council published research noting numerous adverse health risks of fluoride on humans, including disruption of the brain, kidneys and thyroid, bone fractures and joint pain (among others).

Worth noting is: the amount of fluoride in the tested pet foods is higher than the amount of fluoride associated with the development of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in young boys.  Speaking of osteosarcoma, nearly 10 times as many dogs  get this deadly and painful bone cancer each year as people do.  Is it possible that osteosarcoma in dogs might be tied to fluoride consumption – like it is for boys?  To date, no research has been done on this question.

Pet food manufacturers are not intentionally adding fluoride to pet food.  Rather, most pet food contains meat of animals that drank fluoridated water or ate foods containing fluoride.  Since fluoride concentrates in bones, when meat byproducts and bone meal are added to the pet food , fluoride content of the pet food skyrockets.

As For Cats:

Unfortunately the fluoride content of cat food has not been tested nor do we know the effects of fluoride on cats.  I’m personally concerned about the effect of fluoride on my cat’s bones and joints – plus their kidneys, especially since cats tend to have kidney problems anyway.

The way it looks to me, for both dogs and cats, it may be wise to consider whether I choose to purchase pet foods that include meat byproducts and bone meal.

Here’s a video showing the way that drinking fluoridated water effected cattle in Ferndale, Washington:


Golda Starr


Bassin, E. B., D. Wypij, et al. (2006). Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes Control 17: 421-428.

9 Responses to “Pets”

  1. stealle says:

    These cattle are not suffering from drinking regular fluoridated water as found in most US cities. These cattle were poisoned from much higher toxic levels of fluoride in the water and soil from a nearby plant that was obviously not following safe practice.

  2. Lee says:

    Informative… and shocking!!!

    Lee Miller
    italian greyhounds

    Blogger: rock-n-roll-over

    • goldastarr says:

      Here’s a recent PubMed (government) article on fluoride and cattle:

      Animals seem to be as sensitive to fluoride as humans are. The buildup of fluoride in the body is gradual rather than sudden, therefore we don’t readily make the connection between debility and that little element – fluoride. But there definitely IS a connection!

  3. Joe says:

    Wow! These cattle are suffering from fluoride toxicity? Is that correct?

    • goldastarr says:

      Yep. Correct. Sadly correct. And what about our dogs and cats? Most pet food is loaded with fluoride because it has mechanically separated meat in it – which includes bone dust – which is loaded with fluoride. Dr. John Yiamouyiannis called fluoride the aging factor due to the fact that it causes much more rapid aging and infirmity. We are reminded too that as it happens to cattle, so it happens to humans. The more fluoride we intake, the more fluoride our bodies accumulate, and the more we have effects from it. There is no requirement that fluoride content be put on food labels – either for animals or humans, so finding out the actual fluoride content of foods requires a lab and lots of equipment.

      I can understand your special concern about this subject. It appears you’re a huge greyhound fan.

      • AAron says:

        Why does that study not mention names of the foods tested or where to go for foods that do not have meal in them?? It doesn’t seem like a complete study without that information…..

        • goldastarr says:

          Good question. Studies examine WHAT IS happening. When we’re fortunate, information on WHAT’S NEXT may be addressed in subsequent articles that discuss the studies. I also believe that research authors don’t make recommendations in order to avoid litigation.

          In this case, I was not able to find a LIST of pet foods that don’t contain meat byproducts and bone meal. So instead I went to the designer NATURAL pet food section and began reading the labels. Sure, the label will NOT address the fluoride issue. But it will disclose if any meat byproducts or bone meal are included.

  4. It’s an eye-opener to note the emergence of specialty Pet Cancer Centers. I know it has to do with there being more affluent pet owners, still it is sad. An acquaintance and neighbor has a beautiful German Shepherd puppy, and I told him about your article here, I hope he has many happy years with that pup, avoiding bonemeal and our city water. I’m carting large water jugs home, looking into water filters and possibly a well. Again, thanks for this site.

    • Golda Starr says:

      Thanks for sharing the info with your friend with the puppy. I love German Shepherds – minus their hip issues. All the more reason to take extra care with his food when young.

      I’ve done many hours of research on water filters to get rid of fluoride and the short story is here: Got Water?

      These are the things that I like about Apec reverse osmosis water filters: The component parts for their water filters are made in the U.S.; they are assembled in the U.S.; they are are NSF certified; they purportedly remove 97.7% of the fluoride (many others remove up to about 80%); and each one is bench tested for 24 hours before it is sold. I like that. I got one for my son – who ruptured his Achilles tendon two years ago (one of the symptoms of fluoride toxicity). (Apec Water Filters)