How a growth supplement for livestock became a deadly disease for dogs.
The University of Kentucky conducted a study where they added chelated copper (copper sulfate) to hog feed that made them grow faster. This improved growth rate allowed industrial hog farmers to move hogs to market faster and increased profitability. Within years, chelated copper was being added to feed for cows, sheep, chicken, and farm raised fish.
Even without a copper deficiency documented in dogs, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) changed the requirements related to copper supplementation in companion animal diets. When adding copper to diets to meet the minimum requirements, chelated coppers are used. No testing was ever done to support this mandated change.
We lost our beloved mixed breed dog Cookie to Copper Storage Disease at only six years old. As sadness turned to anger, we started our quest to learn everything we could about the disease and what causes it. We contacted pet food manufacturers and found that they had no idea about the level of copper in their food, just that it met the minimum requirements. This means there’s no way for pet owners to know either.
According to scientists at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Cornell University, Copper Storage Disease is being diagnosed at an alarming and increasing frequency. Studies and new research have proven this increase in Copper Storage Disease can be directly related to the mandate by AAFCO in 1997.
Dietary offerings in the pet food market today need to be re-examined. Our goal is to offer information that will start a conversation about transparency in manufacturing practices concerning what’s in our pet food. Ultimately, we need your help to get chelated coppers, copper sulphates and copper proteinates out of our pets’ diets!
Support dogs. Take action!
Statistics about Copper Storage Disease.
Studies and research have proven the increase in Copper Storage Disease can be directly related to the changes in copper supplementation that the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) put into effect for dog food manufacturers. The decision to change the type of copper added to food from copper oxide to a chelated copper or copper sulfate has increased the copper exposure in many dog foods to alarmingly toxic levels.
The damage to your dog's liver is devastating!
Know the signs.
While some breeds are predisposed to getting Copper Storage Disease, ALL breeds are at risk of the deadly liver disease if they consume excessive chelated copper through their dog food.