Recently, I attended a workshop on healthy pet foods. The seminar was conducted at a veterinary clinic and the speakers focused on many issues, including the process of making pet food. This process includes removing many nutrients, and then adding them back, in artificial versions.

One of the nutrients, after removed, is replaced with a version that is considered carcinogenic (cancer causing). What’s even more frustrating is that the original version of this nutrient actually has ANTI-cancer properties.

This nutrient is a mineral called selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant rich substance found in many foods including sardines, grass fed beef, turkey, beef liver, chicken and elsewhere. It is also naturally found in soil and therefore many vegetables, however our soil does not have the selenium content it used to have.

Unfortunately, during pet food processing, a version of selenium, called sodium selenite, is used. According to the experts at my workshop, this version is actually carcinogenic. So we take out the natural, cancer-fighting version, and replace it with an artificial, cancer-causing version.

Sure enough, I looked on numerous labels of seemingly wonderful dog food and what did I find? Sodium selenite. To me, this is just one more reason to feed human-grade, homemade meals to my dog. And as for the supplements I use (and I do recommend rounding out a homemade diet with supplements) I researched and found a few without sodium selenite.

If you’re looking for natural sources of selenium, try some of the foods listed above, and try some recipes with  sardines, grass fed beef, turkey, beef liver or chicken.