While BPA is known to cause a number of negative health effects (it is for instance, an endocrine-disrupting chemical), it is also ubiquitous in the environment.

The goal of the study was essentially two-fold: first, it was to determine whether or not short term exposure to BPA could significantly increase the levels present in the body. Second, it was to use the study population (in this case, dogs) as potential indicators of the presence and effects on humans.

For the study, healthy dog owners volunteered their pets to be fed with one of two common commercial canned food brands for two weeks; one diet was presumed to be BPA-free. Blood and fecal samples were collected prior and presumably after the feedings.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and Investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center, Cheryl Rosenfeld, stated:

The dogs in the study did have minimal circulating BPA in their blood when it was drawn for the baseline.

However, BPA increased nearly three-fold after being on the either of the two canned diets for two weeks. We also found that increased serum BPA concentrations were correlated with gut microbiome and metabolic changes in the dogs analyzed. Increased BPA may also reduce one bacterium that has the ability to metabolize BPA and related environmental chemicals.

We share our homes with our dogs – Thus, these findings could have implications and relevance to humans. Indeed, our canine companions may be the best bio-sentinels for human health concerns.

This new study thus has frightening implications for both pets and humans, and stands as an example as to why BPA must be eliminated from our environment.


“Bisphenol A (BPA) in the serum of pet dogs following short-term consumption of canned dog food and potential health consequences of exposure to BPA” was published in Science of the Total Environment.