What Is Rosemary Extract?
Rosemary Extract is a processed form of Rosemary, which is one of the most popular herbs used in modern-day cooking.
Rosemary Extract usually comes in the form of oil, and many who are fans of essential oils may have seen this Rosemary-based oil available.
However, Rosemary Extract isn’t just used for its scent, it is a common ingredient in certain foods.
Examples of human consumption include sauces, dressings, cereals, baked goods, margarine, and other processed food products.
This includes food products from well-known brands such as Kellogg’s Froot Loops and Nature’s Valley Trail Mix Granola Bars.
However, Rosemary Extract isn’t just used in food for human consumption and can also be included in food for animals, including pet dogs and cats.
Why Is Rosemary Extract In Pet Food?
Those who have closely studied the ingredient list of their pet’s recipes will notice that there are tiny quantities of Rosemary Extract present.
This Rosemary Extract is often at the very end of the ingredient list, and given that most pet food recipes’ ingredient lists are not short, it means the portion present must be tiny.
Rosemary Extract is added to pet food recipes for some of its minor beneficial qualities. The best-known examples of these include the fact that Rosemary is a natural antioxidant and preservative.
Natural preservatives such as Rosemary are important for dry pet food recipes to ensure they remain safe to eat for long periods and avoid the requirement for unnatural or chemical preservatives.
Also, Rosemary has also been shown to act as a minor anti-cancer agent, which is a trait that should not be overlooked, given the increased rates of cancer in dogs and cats.
However, given the tiny quantity of Rosemary found in most pet foods, we must question whether they will be able to fully take advantage of these potential health benefits.
Lastly, and once again related to the tiny quantities of Rosemary Extract used, it does not provide any noticeable level of the core nutrients like Protein, Fat, or Carbohydrates.
Is Rosemary Extract Bad For Pets?
While Rosemary Extract may seem like a very innocent ingredient to be found in pet food recipes, it is actually quite controversial, and there have been some strongly worded discussions on its use.
This mainly comes from the fact that Rosemary Extract has occasionally caused seizures in humans after consumption, and people presume that this symptom may extend to pets.
However, based on our research, we could find no reliable or trustworthy evidence that this was the case, and what we could find was extremely anecdotal.
Our only suggestion is that if your pet has a history of seizures or you think they may be more prone, it may be best to avoid a pet food recipe with Rosemary Extract.
If this isn’t the case, we do not think this Rosemary Extract should be a major concern, and instead, you should focus on selecting a recipe high in animal-based ingredients with a plentiful supply of animal-based protein and fat.
Pet Food Brands That Use Rosemary Extract
There are many well-known pet food brands that include small portions of Rosemary Extract in their recipes.
Some examples that you may be familiar with include American Journey, Iams, Royal Canin, Rachael Ray Nutrish, Victor, and Nutro.
While researching ingredient use in dog food, we found that 29 of the 100 most popular dry dog food recipes on Chewy.com contained Rosemary Extract, making it one of the most popular minor ingredients in dog food.
As we mentioned earlier, these brands often use microscopic quantities of Rosemary Extract, which can be easily demonstrated by the ingredient list of Iam’s ProActive Health Indoor Weight Hairball Care dry cat food recipe.
As you can see, Rosemary Extract is listed last, below other ingredients that would be present in tiny quantities, like Vitamins, Minerals, and Taurine.
For this reason, if you are looking to avoid Rosemary Extract, you will want to carefully study the full ingredient list of any recipe you are considering.