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The Hidden Dangers: Is Plastic a Threat to Your Pet Health?


Introduction


Plastic has become a predominant material in our lives. Although it brings innovation and convenience, it also comes with several hazardous effects, especially for our beloved pets. Additionally, the use of plastic storage bins has been controversial over the past few years despite their convenience and practicality. It may be difficult for those who have pets to decide which option is best for them. So, the question is - is it bad to store dog food in plastic containers? The news is both good and bad.

Sadly, plastic bins can end up being unsafe for storing dog food. However, it's good to know that not all plastic containers are unsafe, and there are safer alternatives exist. This article will show you safe, non-toxic, durable alternatives to plastic bins that can be used to store dog food.

Stay with us and explore the hidden hazards of using plastic bins for your pets.


Plastic in Our Daily Life


The pervasive plastic presence

The pervasive presence of plastic, nowadays, ranging from food packaging, toothbrushes, toys, and shampoo bottles. We encounter plastic from the moment we wake up until we get back to bed. Due to its low cost, durability, and lightweight, it acts as a preferable choice for most manufacturers. The versatility and cost-effective nature of this material are the major reasons behind its proliferation.

However, the excessive use of plastic, especially in the case of our beloved pets, including plastic containers for storing raw food, raises potential health concerns. We'll discuss it in detail in the coming section.


Understanding types of plastics

Plastic comes in different forms with unique properties and potential hazards. You need to understand these types to make informed decisions before purchasing plastic containers for your dog food storage. Some good plastics like PET (polyethylene terephthalate) are safe for life and are primarily used in the manufacturing of beverage and food containers. On the other hand, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is evident to emits toxic chemicals in harsh conditions.

However, it is difficult to tell which material is made of food-grade plastic, as you can't rely only on manufacturers' words; therefore, it would be best to go for safe alternatives for your pet.  


The Threat to Your Pet’s Health


The role of plastic in pet feeding

There is concern among pet owners about the use of plastic in pet feeding. It is convenient and affordable to use plastic bowls to serve our dogs, but these containers can pose health risks to them inadvertently. Damaged or scratched plastic bowls can harbor bacteria and make cleaning them difficult. As a result, your pet's food and water might be contaminated, which could lead to digestive disorders or infections.

Furthermore, there are always chances of chemical leaching that can easily be incorporated into your pet's food.  Therefore, your pet would be at the edge of several health issues.


Leaching chemicals

Whenever your beloved pets get exposed to plastic materials, leaching chemicals might act as a silent killer for them. Most of the plastics used in pet accessories, ranging from storage food containers to toys, may exhibit harmful chemicals. Moreover, these chemicals then enter into your pet's water and food and ultimately into the bloodstream. The constant exposure to these chemicals and toxins imposes several health issues on your pet. These include:

·       Allergies

·       Digestive problems

·       Long-term health risks

Generally, people believe that plastic material is harmful only if it is subjected to a harsh environment, but the leaching of chemicals and nanoparticles occurs even in freezer storage.


Impact of BPA

One of the major concerns is BPA (bisphenol A) in plastic storage bins. BPA is a particular chemical that serves to disturb endocrine functions and is openly used in the manufacturing of most pet food storage containers. Plastics like epoxy resins and polycarbonate contain BPA. The vast usage of BPA lies in its nature to impart specific properties like extra flexibility and durability to these plastic products.

However, the major problem with BPA plastic containers is their nature to release BPA on exposure to heat, high-fat foods, and acidic foods. BPA doesn’t require a longer duration to stay in your pet’s body to impose its permanent impacts.

Additionally, conventional minds believe that BPA leaching into your pet's food occurs by heating the food in the microwave or after exposure to UV light; however, modern research shows the release of these chemicals even without these harsh conditions.

BPA is also an endocrine-disrupting agent causing various health complications. High intake of BPA can disrupt the hormonal reproductive development and function in males and females and cause infertility.


BPA is evident to cause several health concerns in your pet, including:

·       Diabetes

·       Prostate cancer

·       Obesity

·       Impaired immune function

·       Breast cancer

·       Hyperactivity

·       Increased aggression    

So, all you need to prioritize is your beloved pet’s health. Therefore, don't rely on BPA-free plastic storage containers, as there are still other harmful chemicals to give your pet a tough time. Search out for some safe alternatives, or stay with us, as we’ve already researched food-grade alternatives for you. 


Plastic-mediated allergies

Such allergies are not common among pets, though it is a concerning issue that can put pets in trouble. Several pets can develop allergies to various plastic components. Some significant symptoms of plastic-induced allergies are:

·       Itching

·       Skin irritation

·       Digestive problems

·       Hair loss

The apparent culprit for such a condition is the usage of plastic food storage bins for storing raw food in the refrigerator. Moreover, with the passage of time, because of scratching or damaging plastic containers, harboring of allergens or infectious entities occurs that cause digestive and skin sensitivities.

Additionally, the presence of certain dyes or additives in plastic containers can trigger allergic reactions in your furry fellow. So, it has become inevitable to go for safe alternatives to plastic storage containers for storing raw food for your pet.


Choosing Safer Alternatives

The advantages of stainless-steel containers


Stainless-steel container is an ideal choice for storing raw pet food in the refrigerator with numerous benefits. These benefits will cater to both your convenience and your pet’s health at the same time. So, if you are among those pet parents who prioritize their pet's well-being, a stainless steel container is a suitable choice for you. Let’s discuss its advantages in detail.

1-Hygienic and easy to clean – The non-porous nature of stainless steel makes it exceptionally easy to clean and sanitize. It is crucial to have this characteristic if you are dealing with raw pet food since it reduces the possibility of bacterial contamination. Stainless steel doesn't harbor residues or odors, so you can guarantee that your pet's food will stay fresh and uncontaminated.

2-Long durability – The remarkable durability of stainless-steel containers is one of the extraordinary features that make it a perfect budget choice. It has the ability to withstand the harshness of time and is totally resistance to damage and scratches, which is crucial for a pet household. Moreover, it will last in the long run because of its indestructible nature, even for your enthusiastic pet eater.

3-Non-reactive material – The inert or non-reactive nature of stainless steel lets it not react with any food type (either acidic or alkaline). Therefore, such characteristic helps to maintain the food's nutritional quality by preventing any chemical reaction, unlike plastic containers. So, you will be more confident about food hygiene and safe consumption to your fellow.   

It is a wise and responsible decision to choose a stainless-steel storage container for the safe storage of your pet's raw food.


Food-grade silicon



Food-grade silicon is well known for its practicality and food safety properties that make it a popular alternative to plastic containers. Moreover, storing food in silicon-made food containers will be advantageous for you and your pet's health. Here are some benefits:

1-Exceptional food safety – The inert and non-toxic nature of food-grade silicon containers would not allow them to react with your pet's food by leaching chemicals or flavors. This way, your pet's raw food will remain safe and free of any infectious entities. Moreover, you can benefit from its easy cleaning and sanitation with extraordinary time-testing properties.

2-Durabilty and flexibility – Silicon has outstanding properties to withstand extreme freezing or microwave temperatures. Therefore, it is suitable for both freezing raw pet food in the refrigerator and storing dry kibbles at room temperature.

3-Easy to clean and maintain – Food-grade silicon containers are stain-resistant and non-porous in nature. It means they are easy to clean and would not absorb previous meal residues or odors. So, such properties promise the food hygiene and nutritional quality of your fellow’s food.


Glass containers

Glass containers are also one of the famous alternatives to plastic storage containers for pets. The multitude of benefits includes durability, breeze cleaning, transparency for food monitoring, airtight sealing, food safety, and eco-friendly nature. However, there are chances of breakage, so careful handling is required to get long-term benefits.


Ceramic containers

Ceramic is also a smart choice when considering pet food-grade storage containers. Its non-porous and non-reactive nature makes it a safe material to ensure the purity of your pet's raw food. Moreover, it also provides an aesthetic touch to the feeding area of your furry fellow. Just like glass containers, one major drawback of ceramic containers is their delicacy.     


Protecting Your Pet’s Food


The rise of raw food diets


Photo: @danubepoodles


Pet owners have become more concerned about safe food storage due to the rise of raw food diets. A pivotal role is played by stainless steel and silicone containers in this trend. The non-reactive surface of stainless-steel safeguards food safety, preserving the integrity of raw foods. As a flexible and durable material, silicone provides airtight storage options, preserving the freshness of food. Versatility, ease of cleaning, and environmental friendliness are the advantages of these containers.


How to store raw dog food




As far as the storage of raw dog food is concerned, take into consideration the selection of food-grade storage materials. For this purpose, stainless steel and food-grade silicone containers are the best options, as mentioned above. However, don't forget to airtight these containers to avoid contamination. Furthermore, store the raw food in the refrigerator for no more than three days. Otherwise, there are chances of toxin production that can prove fatal for your beloved pet.

 

Beyond Food Bowls


Advocating plastic hazards in toys and accessories

Plastic is not only spreading its hazardous effect via food and water bowls but it has been extended beyond reach. From grooming tools and pet toys to crates, you will find the contribution of plastic easily. We've no idea what we are doing with our pets. So, it is necessary to take immediate action to find pet-safe plastic accessories to protect our furry fellows from the evils of harmful plastic.  


Spreading Awareness


Educating other pet parents

It is your moral duty to spread this message to your friend if you’ve understood the potential hazards of using plastic in a pet’s household. You can educate your colleagues, friends, or neighbors to stop running after the cheap but harmful pet food storage materials. After all, if your pet is happy, you will definitely be satisfied.


Recognizing safer pet products

Lastly, we must say that choosing a suitable material for your pet should be your top priority. Therefore, don't forget to consider pet food-grade storage containers like stainless steel and silicon for your best friend if you want to ensure their food safety and healthy lifestyle.


Conclusion


The purpose of this blog is to reveal the hidden dangers of plastic hazards for pets as well as provide practical solutions to protect them. It is possible for your beloved pets to live a longer, healthier, and happier life if you make informed choices, opt for safer alternatives, and spread awareness. Just keep in mind that you have the potential to create a plastic-free world for your beloved pet.


References

 

 

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