A new study indicates that environmental chemicals found in many dog foods may cause a decline in dog sperm quality, an increased rate of cryptorchidism, fewer male pups born and an increase in female pup mortality.
We are constantly encouraging dog breeders and lovers to feed the best, least processed foods possible to their dogs. This one decision, what to feed your dog, has lifetime implications for its health, longevity and mental stability. Now researchers have provided evidence that that decision, even early in puppyhood, may have implications for dog sperm quality and with it, the health of your dog’s puppies.
Inspired by a human study showing a 50% decline in human sperm quality over a 10-year period, researchers spent 26 years analyzing canine semen quality in an assistance dog breeding colony with five breeds (Lea, Byers et al, 2016). Over that period, the stud dogs’ sperm quality declined at least 1.2% per year. Dog food, and the environmental toxins it contained, appeared to be the key to poorer sperm motility, as well as problematic changes in morphology. These, in turn, had consequences for pup health and survival.
The same chemicals that disrupted dog sperm quality were also discovered in a range of commercially available dog foods — including brands specifically marketed for puppies.