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Potassium sorbate is a chemical compound that is used as a preservative.
It is a white powder that’s soluble in water, and it is often used in human foods and beverages (such as cheese, yogurt, and wine) as well as in dog foods to prevent mold and yeast growth.
Potassium sorbate is also used in cosmetics and personal care products as a preservative although it might have some irritating effects in some people.
Like any other food additive, it is best to do some research on its safety.
Even an otherwise healthy treat may turn toxic just because of the introduction of an ingredient that is unsafe for your dog.
So, how safe is potassium sorbate for dogs and other pets?
Is Potassium Sorbate Safe For Dogs?
According to a paper published in the European Food Safety Authority Journal, potassium sorbate is safe not only for dogs but also for cats—as long as the content is kept at or below 5,000mg/kg.
And there are lots of other documented studies that demonstrate the safety of potassium sorbate as a preservative in pet foods.
For instance, a study by The Technical Advisory Penal on the Organic Food Production Act of America established that Potassium sorbate is safe for animals.
The oldest recorded study was conducted by the Mellon Institute in the late 90s.
In this study, potassium sorbate at 2% concentration was fed to a couple of dogs for three months.
During the study, it was noted that the additive did not have any negative ramifications on the dogs—not even weight gain.
The conclusion was arrived at after examining the dogs for any change in their hemoglobin concentration as well as looking for any notable abnormalities based on histological examination (skin, stated muscles, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, heart, liver, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, spleen, small intestines, stomach, gonad, and parathyroid glands).
It is, therefore, safe to give your furry baby foods that have used potassium sorbate as a preservative.
However, it’s important to note that although potassium sorbate is safe for dogs, no preservative (natural or synthetic) should make up a significant portion of your dog’s diet.
Ensure you check the label to make sure the concentration is not more than 2%.
In fact, the safest composition is 5,000mg/kg which translates to approximately 0.5%.
You may also consult with your veterinarian and/or follow the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials on preservatives in pet foods.
You may also want to check: Is Sodium Benzoate Safe For Dogs?
Is Potassium Sorbate Safe For Puppies?
There is no evidence that potassium sorbate is unsafe for puppies.
On the contrary, studies have shown that it is in fact safe for dogs of all ages and sizes.
However, as with adult dogs, it is important to make sure that preservatives do not make up a significant portion of your puppy’s diet and consult with your veterinarian if necessary.
For the most part, most foods that use this additive keep the concentration within safe limits so you do not have to worry about its safety for your peers.
But don’t leave it to chance though—cross-check the ingredients label just to be sure it’s all good before administering the food to your pups.
Potassium Sorbate Side Effects
Even though potassium sorbate is generally safe for pets and humans, there are some possible side effects that you may want to watch out for.
These include skin irritation and allergies, gastrointestinal discomfort, and headaches.
Potassium sorbate is a known skin and eye irritant, so it is advisable to avoid getting it on the skin or eyes.
However, since it is a food additive, the danger of irritating the skin and eyes is slim since the food is taken orally.
In some cases, it may also irritate the respiratory tract although this is debatable since there hasn’t been much study on its inhalation toxicity.
Is Potassium Sorbate Natural Or Synthetic?
The debate over whether or not potassium sorbate is natural or synthetic has been ongoing for years.
Proponents of the natural side claim that potassium sorbate is derived from berries, while synthetic proponents assert that the compound is created in a laboratory.
So, which is which?
The truth is that potassium sorbate can be both natural and synthetic.
If it is derived from berries, it would be considered natural.
However, if it is created in a laboratory, it would be considered synthetic.
The term “natural” can be misleading, as it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is good for you.
For example, poison ivy is natural, but you wouldn’t want to rub it all over your body!
Similarly, just because something is synthetic doesn’t mean that it’s bad for you.
In fact, many synthetic compounds are actually quite beneficial.
So, whether or not potassium sorbate is natural or synthetic isn’t the issue.
The most important thing to remember is that it can be both, and neither one is necessarily better than the other.
Do All Dog Foods Have Potassium Sorbate?
Not all dog foods contain potassium sorbate, as it is not a necessary preservative for pet food.
Some dog food companies may choose to use other preservatives instead, or they may not use any preservatives at all.
However, most commercial foods will have some form of preservative which helps to keep the food safe for your pup.
Some of the common alternatives to potassium sorbate include butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and ethoxyquin.
These preservatives can increase a food’s shelf life by anything from one to two years.
Potassium sorbate is a safe and commonly used preservative for both human and pet foods.
It can be derived from natural sources or synthetically produced, but neither one is necessarily better than the other.
When choosing a dog food, it is important to check the ingredients list for any preservatives, including potassium sorbate, to ensure that they are being used at safe levels for your pet.
The rule of thumb is to get foods that have less than 2% of potassium sorbate though the best composition is 0.5%.
By so doing, you will ensure your furry baby only gets food that is safe and you will rest easy knowing they will not have any health complications from the additives.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.