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Why do Dogs Treats have Glycerin in them?

As a dog owner, you should be highly concerned about the food your dog eats. Many companies sell reliable and safe dog food. However, it would be best if you always look at the ingredients before buying food for your dog because even a slightly unsafe ingredient can cause stomach issues, which directly affects its overall health.

Most dog owners wonder why their dog food has an ingredient listed as ‘glycerin.’ Are you finding the same answer? What’s the purpose of glycerin to dog foods? Is it an additive? Let’s find out.

Why do Dogs Treats have Glycerin in them_

What is glycerin?

Glycerin is commonly used as a byproduct of soap manufacture. However, it is also formed by other processes. Glycerin is often used in many dog foods as well as other treats.

There are two major forms of glycerin commonly found in dog foods; vegetable glycerin, glycerol, and propylene glycol. Some of its forms are potentially safe, while some are extremely harmful and can cause severe stomach issues to your dog. Therefore, you should always have a close look at the type of glycerin your dog food has.

What is the purpose of adding glycerin in dog treats?

Glycerin, also called glycerol, is often used in many foods. However, its primary use is in canned and preserved foods.

It thickens the food, and stabilizes it if it contains a mixture of oil and water. Similarly, you can also use it to maintain the moisture level of the processed food.

The purpose of adding glycerin in pet food is similar to the purpose of its addition to other foods. As dog food is also canned or preserved, glycerin plays an important role in keeping the food fresh and the same.

Here are the main reasons for adding glycerin in dog treats.

·         Glycerin is odorless and has a sweet taste and smell. Thus, dog food companies generally use it as a sweetener in dog treats to make it more appealing to dogs and make them eat more food.

·         It is used as a binder for dogs’ treats and foods, making them chewy and soft. Dogs enjoy eating chewy and soft food, as hard food is a bit difficult to swallow. It also makes dogs dislike the food. Therefore, you should prefer soft food for small dogs as well as puppies.

·         Glycerin also plays the role of a humectant. It keeps the food moist and does not allow the moisture to speed up the food’s decomposition. In this way, it keeps the dog food fresh and soft for a long time.

Is glycerin beneficial for dogs?

Many dog owners are curious if glycerin in dog foods is beneficial for their dogs or not. It is because glycerin is derived from many different sources, and not each form of glycerin is safe.

Glycerin is more common in dog treats than in regular foods. Generally, vegetable glycerin is used in dog foods, which is safe. It is not poisonous and doesn’t cause health issues to your dog.

Does glycerin in dog treats have any nutritional benefit?

Glycerin does not have any nutritional benefit when added to dog treats. So, we can call it an additive. However, it is not necessary, and many dog food companies claim to manufacture glycerin-free dog food.

Glycerin finds its benefits only as a sweetener and a binder. It only enhances the quality of the preserved food, without any nutritional benefits or harms. The addition of glycerin has proved useful as its taste and smell is appealing to dogs. They also like the chewy and soft texture of the semi-moist dog foods. In this way, the dog gets maximum benefits from the food, and its diet is improved.

Is it necessary to add glycerin in dog treats?

Glycerin is mainly found in semi-moist pet foods. It is just an additive, so removing it from your pet’s diet won’t cause any nutritional losses. Manufacturers typically include 10% glycerin to stabilize the moisture levels of the food. However, it can increase to 15% or more in moister treats. The cooking down further increases the levels of glycerin in dog food.

Many dog food companies have now discontinued the use of glycerin as an additive due to its potentially unsafe production process.

Therefore, we recommend avoiding dog foods and treats with glycerin, except those which contain natural or vegetable glycerin.


Glycerin is manufactured in many forms, some of which are safe while some are not. However, vegetable glycerin is potentially considered safe for dogs as it does not cause any harm. The primary purpose of adding glycerin in dog treats is only to enhance its taste and smell. It gives a soft and chewy texture to the food, which attracts the dog.

The dog likes the taste and eats more food, which eventually leads to better health and appetite.