Despite the fact that fluoride is added to many municipal water supplies and toothpastes, fluoride is bad for dogs. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in soil, air, food and water. It can also be found in some dental products and medications. When ingested in large enough quantities, fluoride can cause adverse health effects in humans and dogs alike. For this reason, you should take steps to minimize your dog’s exposure.
Can Dogs Have Fluoride?
No, dogs shouldn’t have fluoride. Fluoride affects your dog’s:
- Brain development
- Bone strength
If you have city water, this means you may want to use water from the grocery store from large jugs. Now, you may be asking, what about my dog’s teeth? Short answer…fluoride won’t improve your dog’s teeth either.
Fluoride Is A Neurotoxin
Is fluoride bad for dogs? is a question that needs an answer. The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical publications in the world, published a research paper in 2014 that labeled fluoride as a harmful neurotoxin. The same study grouped fluoride with other well-known carcinogens including arsenic, lead, and mercury!
According to the study, children who were exposed to fluoride in drinking water at levels lower than 4 milligrams per liter (the permitted amount in US water) experienced an average IQ decline of 7 points.
It might not seem like much, but 7 points can make a huge difference. And, it’s enough for the researchers to be concerned that fluoride might be contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders. These include problems that impact millions of youngsters, such as ADHD, dyslexia, and other cognitive abnormalities.
Also, according to the EPA, “adults exposed to excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime may have increased likelihood of bone fractures, and may result in effects on bone leading to pain and tenderness.”
Fluoride Toxicity In Dogs
There are two major ways that fluoride gets into your dog.
#! Fluoride In Your Dog’s Water
Fluoride is added to many city water supplies to “help prevent tooth decay in children and adults.” Although, there is a significant amount of controversy within this statement.
Legal Limits On Fluoride In the US
The US Public Health Services formally recommended a 0.7 milligrams/liter ideal fluoride content in 2015. However, this is merely a suggestion and not a binding law. According to the PHS, this amount limits the danger of dental fluorosis while providing enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay in both children and adults.
Due to fluoride’s inherent presence in most water, some private well water may potentially include it. Fluoride is also permitted in bottled water, with a current restriction of 0.7 milligrams per liter. Nevertheless, there is no legal necessity to state this on the label, so you must get in touch with the manufacturer to learn more.
Due to its hazardous effects, the majority of European nations have stopped adding fluoride to drinking water. 97% of Western Europeans have access to non-fluoridated water as of May 2019. High levels of natural fluoride are present in the water in various nations, including China, India, and portions of Africa. Several nations are removing fluoride from their drinking water supplies due to high levels of toxicity.
But in the US, fluoride is still added to drinking water… WHY?
Additionally, because it can be absorbed through the skin, your dog is probably exposed to dangerous quantities of neurotoxic fluoride every time you give him a bath or let him swim in your pool. There are more ways for your dog to get too much fluoride.
#2 Fluoride In Commercial Dog Food
Fluoride is present everywhere since it is added to drinking water. Fluoride builds up in plants, processed foods, and animal feed until the safe drinking water levels are completely exceeded. For processed foods and kibble in particular, this is true.
Big Kibble: The Hidden Dangers of the Pet Food Industry
The guidelines—or lack thereof—for pet food production are set by a private, non-profit organization that is heavily influenced by the corporations that sell it, allowing them to include ever-cheaper ingredients, and create ever-larger earnings. Therefore, legal ingredients that could be in kibble include poultry feces, saw dust, expired food, and diseased meat, among other horrors. So far, these corporations have been able to get away with it—until now.
Some manufactured dog diets include excessive amounts of fluoride that are as much as 2.5 times higher than “safe” levels, according to independent research, including those conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG analysis highlights the connection between fluoride and neurotoxicity, hormone disturbance, and bone cancer.
Most of the fluoride in pet food comes from:
- Chicken byproduct meal
- Poultry byproduct meal
- Meat meal
- Meat and bone meal
- Animal digest
- Chicken meal
If you feed a commercial dog food, look for these substances on the label and steer clear of them. But bear in mind that during processing, fluoridated water is also added to the product. And, if it doesn’t state it’s included, contact the manufacturer to ask directly to be on the safe side. Most kibble products have ingredients in the food that aren’t labeled.
Risks Of Fluoride Toxicity
One of the main risks of too much fluoride is a disease called skeletal fluorosis.
A buildup of fluoride in the body results in the painful, incapacitating condition known as skeletal fluorosis. Due to the symptoms’ resemblance to those of other diseases, this illness is frequently misdiagnosed, especially in its latter stages.
The cumulative effects of fluoride make it simple to confuse the symptoms of fluorosis with those of arthritis. X-rays only display the disease’s later phases and completely omit its earlier ones. Stiffness and sore joints are early fluorosis symptoms that might be mistaken for your dog’s normal aging process or a mild case of arthritis. More advanced stages of the disease can also be misdiagnosed as conditions like spondylosis or renal osteodystrophy.
Although it is often believed that skeletal fluorosis is not a problem in North America, early onset is likely common and frequently misdiagnosed or entirely ignored.
More Risks Due to Fluoride
Ironically, fluoride and dental disease are related in new studies. In other words, the agent used to stop tooth decay is also harming teeth in other ways. For example, fluoride can also contain:
- Weak bones
- Bone loss
- Bone cancer (especially osteosarcoma)
And research also shows that fluoride can affect kidney and endocrine health resulting in kidney disease and hypothyroidism. GI upset has also been linked to fluoride. The damage from excessive fluoride is cumulative and for the most part, irreversible. So, it’s important to learn about it now.
Avoid Fluoride For Dogs
While certain symptoms can be managed, it is always best to limit your dog’s exposure to fluoride.
- Don’t feed commercial kibble. If you do, make sure it doesn’t contain ingredients like chicken byproduct meal, chicken meal or other meat meals, or bone meal.
- If you feed your dog a raw diet, buy the best ingredients you can afford. Try to get free-range meats, and buy organic fruits and vegetables.
- Check to see if the water from your well or municipal water supply contains fluoride. Give your dog filtered water to drink if it does; however, many filters, including those sold under the Brita brand, do not remove fluoride. Fluoride may be removed by the majority of reverse osmosis filters, though.
- Fluoride may also be present in certain bottled water, although the FDA does not require manufacturers to report this on the label. Thus, contacting the manufacturer is the only method to learn more.
How To Detox Fluoride From Your Dog
Here are some ways to help remove fluoride from your dog’s body.
Feed Your Dog Kelp
Adding kelp to your dog’s diet is a smart option because iodine can aid in the detoxification of fluoride buildup. Be sure the kelp you purchase is from a trustworthy supplier that checks it for purity. Because their waters are less polluted, kelp obtained from Nova Scotia, Iceland, and New Zealand is typically regarded as the best.
The capacity of chlorella to bind toxins and aid in their elimination from the body is well documented. For small dogs, start out cautiously and work your way up to 1 gram every day, and up to 3 grams for larger dogs.
Other herbs that may help remove fluoride include:
Even though it’s practically difficult to avoid fluoride, your dog may benefit from these nutrients by detoxifying and protecting him from fluoride-related illnesses.
Fluoride Poisoning in Animals – Toxicology – Merck Veterinary Manual
Evaluation of optimal water fluoridation on the incidence and skeletal distribution of naturally arising osteosarcoma in pet dogs
Dog Food Comparison Shows High Fluoride Levels | EWG
Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity – The Lancet Neurology