Dear Labby – Why is ascorbic acid in my dog food?
My dog food label is so confusing and contains many ingredients that I don’t recognize. Today, I noticed that there is something called Ascorbic Acid in my dog’s food. Acid? Should I be concerned? I don’t want to be feeding my dog acid!
I am not a chemist
This is such a great question and one that we have written about in the past in our post on preservatives in dog food. Before we answer, we want to say that you have given us a great idea for an article series, which we will call “Dog Food Ingredients, A-Z” in which we will write about specific dog food ingredients, moving through the alphabet in order as best we can. Based on the large number of ingredients that are used in dog food, this series should go on for a very long time.
Now to your question and the first installment of Dog Food Ingredients, A-Z.
What is ascorbic acid?
According to Wikipedia, “Ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties”. Also known as vitamin C from a nutritional perspective, it is an essential nutrient for both humans and dogs.
What are other common names for ascorbic acid?
Some common names for Ascorbic acid include vitamin C, Ester-C, calcium ascorbate, ascorbate, and stabilized vitamin C.
Why is ascorbic acid included in dog food?
Ascorbic acid is included in dog food for two primary reasons. First, ascorbic acid acts as a natural preservative and can extend the shelf life to the food product. Second, it provides the dog with this essential vitamin, over and above that which is provided by the food stuffs alone.
Common benefits or risks
There are many benefits to ascorbic acid including collagen synthesis, immune system support, and possibly help mitigate joint and muscular-skeletal disorders.
Miscellaneous fact about ascorbic acid
Unlike with the human body, which cannot produce vitamin c on its own, a dog’s body does produce some amounts of ascorbic acid naturally.