Deoxidizer In Dog Treats

You turn your back and your dog has inhaled the entire bag of treats, including that itty-bitty sachet of who-knows-what that are included in every package of treats.

You probably don’t know much about them, other than the “Do not eat” warning on them. The unscientific explanation is they are in there to keep stuff fresh.

You’re thinking, just what in the *bleep* is in those damn bags anyway? Could it hurt my dog? Heck, come to think of it – could it be contaminating the jerky treats with something horrible?

Google results: Nothing much, except a bunch of other hysterical pet parents. Some say it’s just harmless silica, others swear it’s got something magnetic in it. Some say it is iron. Some say the iron could actually be scrap metal, some go further and say that scrap metal could be contaminated with radioactive material.

We know the product is irradiated – what happens when it, whatever “it” is, is nuked? What happens when you irradiate a radioactive material?

Is the info on the packages? Oh please, don’t waste your time. You know you’ll never get a straight answer from the manufacturer anyway, and if the product is from China – it’s a crap shoot.

However, you can be sure to get the truth here on Poisoned Pets, because digging up stuff to rake the pet food industry over the coals with is my favorite thing to do.

While feverishly poring over article after article, study after study about the effects of irradiation on food until I thought my head would explode, I came across the answer to your question:

Just what, in dog’s name, is in those freshness packets anyway and more importantly, will that stuff kill my dog?

I can’t speak for all pet treat manufacturers, but in the case of the poisoned pup (see below) the main ingredient of the oxygen absorber he ate was iron. And in the case of the poor pup that swallowed the little sachet filled with iron – it caused a nasty case of iron poisoning.

So, fair warning pet parents, the bags are bad and I don’t just mean the jerky, but those ubiquitous little pouches of poison can make your pup sick, very sick. If he eats it, that is.

Now, what happens to iron when it’s irradiated? I don’t know and I’ll bet you a-nickel-to-a-doughnut that Purina, Milo’s, Dogswell and all the rest of the treat importers haven’t a clue either. And if they do, they’re not talking.

Here’s the story that alerted me to the danger lurking in those ubiquitous oxygen absorber sachets:

In the packaging industry, those little packets or sachets, as they like to call them, inhabit the fascinating world of “active packaging” (who knew).

The terms active packaging refers to packaging systems used with preserve foods, pharmaceuticals, and other products. In the case of the poisoned pup, the “active” ingredient in the sachet was iron.

Iron is a natural oxygen scavengers, and iron oxide powders are enclosed in the itty bitty sachets to control the oxygen environment in the package.

Inside the sachets is powdered iron, and as the iron rusts, oxygen is removed from the surrounding atmosphere. Oxygen scavenging is one class of widely used active packaging technology, for example, whereby iron-based pouches or sachets are inserted into individual food packages to retard oxidation and spoilage.

Little bit o’ trivia: Did you know where this system of preservation originated? The military! Those poor boys needed to be kept alive with military rations, otherwise known as Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) or fondly referred to Meals Refused by Ethiopians (MRE) to the sorry recipients of such meals. Their hard-as-tack grub which may or may not have reached them until one or two years after its date-of-pack had to still be edible, at least sort of. And what better way to keep food indefinitely? Simply remove all the moisture and oxygen.

Trouble is, knowing China’s frightening history of counterfeiting you-name-it and downright spooky industrial processing plants; we can only hope it actually is iron and not some freak mixture of lord-only-knows. Think about the recent scare involving Petco’s stainless steel dog bowls contaminated with radioactive scrap metal containing Cobalt-60.

Not that you need one, but, now you have one more reason to be scared sh**less of anything from China.

What happens if a dog eats silicone?

Neither packets nor beads will expand in the body, but the dog may vomit or have loose stools until the packets pass. Contact a veterinarian if your dog ate a silica packet and seems to be acting strangely or if the gel inside the packet is blue or another color, as it could contain dyes or potential toxins.

Usually the content of the packet is non-toxic, so there is no worry there. The problem may be the packet, as it passes through the intestine. Since your puppy is relatively small, it might cause an obstruction.

What happens if my dog eats magnesium?

This leads to muscle weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, and eventually respiratory paralysis and cardiac arrest. Magnesium is normally excreted by the kidneys. In dogs, normal kidney function will maintain a typical magnesium serum concentration below 2.5 mg/dl, even if high levels of magnesium are ingested.

Can a dog die from eating a Sharpie?

If your dog chews or eats small amounts of any of the items on this list, you do NOT have to worry unless the object becomes lodged in the stomach or intestines, causing an obstruction. If you have any doubt, always call your vet or local emergency clinic.

Can rubber earbuds and silicone earplugs pass through a dog’s digestive system? The short answer is yes. Rubber earbuds, as well as silicone earplugs, can pass through a dog’s digestive system. Dogs can take in many times, even the ones we don’t imagine they would.


Are Deoxidizer packets harmful to dogs?

Q: Is it a threat to dogs? A: No true toxicity risk exists from exposure to silica gel packets. The beads do not enlarge in the stomach and the exterior packaging is usually soft and presents little risk of injury of obstruction.

What happens if your dog eats oxygen absorber?

What is it? Elemental iron granules are placed in small packets called oxygen absorbers and added to bags of prepared or dehydrated food to absorb excess oxygen. This prevents oxidization (rancidity) of the food and preserves freshness.

What if dog eats moisture pack?

Elemental iron can cause severe poisoning, even in the small amounts contained in one oxygen absorber packet. 2 It also irritates the gastrointestinal tract and has direct corrosive effects. After ingestion, vomiting (with or without blood) is one of the first signs of poisoning.