sodium selenite

Millie’s wolfheart are working on two new wet foods and they have added them to their website with ingredients listings. When I add them to the instant review it flags up sodium selenite as a red ingredient. However this is in all MWH foods, Eden and akela to mention just three and yet not flagged up on any of the reviews. When you search for foods containing this as an ingredient none of these foods come up yet if you enter Edens full ingredients listing including all vitamin additives into instant review it flags up and downgrades the food to a 4.9 rating. Just using that as an example as I don’t doubt it would do the same with the others I mentioned. Can someone please explain why it’s not flagged with any of these foods?

its in the majority of dogs wet and dry foods as a trace element and found naturally in meat, potatoes land grown things and land dwelling animals. I think if ive read right.
Ive read some USA hype about this as they use larger volumes but I think its a trace element in many food.
I know now that USA guidelines and laws are different to EU and many refer to USA which can be misleading.
I know Burns explain it well and I think its in Millies faqs.
I think people mix it up with salt.

It seems one of those ingredients or trace elements that has to be in and there are many camps that like or dislike it

I personally dont think tiny trace elements are to worry about myself considering its a requirement to have in a food to make it complete.

interesting though


I understand why its there, what I would like to know is why its a red ingredient yet not flagged up as such in high rated foods on this site?

:-X oh sorry my mistake
I am sure David the owner of the site will reply
perhaps as many companies dont state the trace elements ? or maybe because its really about personal opinion?
trundles off will wait for a reply from David

*** be nice of you to introduce yourself to the forum so we can all welcome you?

Arden grange also mention it in their FAQs :smiley:

Hi Juice09 and thanks for bringing that discrepancy to my attention. I will look into it and get back to you asap.


Thank-you David, it seems that if you only enter food ingredients you get the higher rating whereas if you enter all ingredients including the added vitamins then you get the red flag. All the foods I mentioned have food ingredients and vitamin/minerals listed separately which may be why it’s not flagged up?

Are trace elements part of the analysis or part of the ingredients list? It may be that these substances occur naturally in one of the ingredients and are not necessarily added as an ingredient, which would likely move them out of “trace ingredients”

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They’re part of the analysis. MWH did post on their Facebook group that SS is added to the food and they use the minimum amount but if it’s added then it’s an ingredient no matter how small. There is another red ingredient in the wet food but I don’t believe it’s added to any of the dry foods I’ve mentioned or at least it’s not listed

so its a stab at MWH ::slight_smile:

I understand now
take a look at their FAQs I think your twisting words least they are honest and transparent !
But it is ofcourse your opinion
going to be hard for you to find a dry food without this trace
good luck!

Eh? I was just using that as an example as they had recently made a statement about it. I’m not twisting anything it’s a genuine question… :-/

Sodium selenite and sodium selenate are both relatively controversial ingredients due to their toxicity at high concentrations. It should be said that the concentrations used in pet food should be far too low to cause problems but with other completely safe selenium supplements available, there’s no real justification for their inclusion in high end pet foods.

If either are listed on a pet food then they are being added as a supplement. Unfortunately for those of us looking to avoid it (or for those of us trying to rate pet foods), their inclusion does not need to be mentioned anywhere. Some companies do include the information on which minerals are added, sometimes in their ingredients list, sometimes as part of the typical analysis or occasionally separate from both but no mineral declaration is legally required at all.

Our rating algorithm only currently looks at the declared ingredients list so for those companies that have added sodium selenite/ate but have listed it elsewhere or have not listed it at all, their products have not been downgraded. Obviously, this is far from fair and I will look again at our rating procedure. I thank you again for bringing it to my attention.

Thanks David
However is there studies to prove that by using the yeast you could not have issues?

I have just spoken to a nutritionist who formerly worked for one of the big manufacturers and she said you have to add up to 10 x that of the SS

I know its your opinion but I just wonder what studies you are referring to and whether you have also studies using high volumes of yeast?

I know you dont want to bite the hand that feeds you as many companies subscribe to you, so surely its not cost only?
I know its made me ask questions today I am happy its a low amount in many foods shame some dont disclose it as everyone would be on a level plain and She did say if its under a certain percent ingredients dont have to be disclosed???.
gosh what a shocker that there could be ingredients companies just dont state!

off to do some googling do post your studies though be good to see but hope they are not all american !
thanks again
Lou x

so do we add full analytics to your search or do we just add the ingredients ? how are you going to get a level plain here are you going to down grade eden autu akela etc etc ? because they are honest

Hi Louise.

Relatively large amounts of deactivated yeast (brewers yeast) are routinely added to pet foods as a natural source of b vitamins and protein and I’m not aware of any problems emanating from its use. In this form, yeast can constitute up to 2 or 3 percent of the food’s total weight while 10x the weight of the sodium selenite/selenate supplement would be tiny - around 0.000006% if my maths is right. Not a cause for concern in my book.

Selenium itself is not the problem. Some selenium is necessary for normal health and, unless the producer makes a concerted effort to ensure it is included in suitable amounts in the raw ingredients, it must be added as a supplement. Both sodium selenate and sodium selenite are classified by the EU as toxic (very toxic in the case of selinite) while selenomethionine, the compound found in selenium yeast and throughout nature, is not. Selenium yeast has long been known as the best natural source of selenium for both humans and pets. All of this information is widely available across the internet and I know which one I would prefer to feed.

As for not wanting to ‘bite the hand that feeds’, I can assure you that I would be a lot better off if I were that way inclined. The site exists only to provide, to the best of my ability, the truth about pet food, warts and all.


Thank-you David. I was honestly surprised when it flagged up in the wet food as I already knew it was in their dry and that has good ratings. I then looked at akela, Eden and orijen as a comparison, orijen has selenium and sodium listed separately with no indication of source but I may email them and ask. The others all listed similar amounts of SS with no red ingredients to be seen. I can’t say I’m particularly surprised to be attacked for asking the question on here though

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I am sure those companies who are rated 5 stars would not be happy to find they are now 4.9 stars neither ones that are on 3.9 stars etc.
It seems rather unfair these new companies who are working very hard to produce and provide us with quality foods and they are now to be slammed for their honesty
these companies are trying to make a real difference of which I am personally very grateful.

“It should be said that the concentrations used in pet food should be far too low to cause problems”

however we are guided by your opinion as consumers and I for one am a little concerned that on one hand you say its such a low dose its ok then the other you say they should use an alternative .

I wonder what response you will have from them?

We want to see honesty but will they now stop being open and honest as it effects their ratings?

Doesnt that make us second think your ratings as they could be misleading as you rate on some full information and others that do not disclose or play with words splitting the atom as such

rather disappointed

and I wont reply to the poster about an attack, for goodness sake

It does make you think who is right who is wrong is there a middle ground or do we trust opinion

I for one will not go for a lower quality food if they dont include SS as actually they may well do but prefer to not disclose it.

lou x

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I’ve had a very quick response from orijen regarding selenium in their dog and cat foods;

"Selenium is a trace element that is essential in small amounts to all animal life; it works in conjunction with other antioxidants in the body. Selenium is added to all our foods to provide a 100% complete and balanced diet.

All of the ORIJEN dog formulas contain selenium yeast, a non-viable yeast that is an organic source of selenium that is readily absorbed into the body of dogs.

All of the ORIJEN cat formulas contain selenium selenite. This alternative form of selenium is used in our cat foods because our foods are formulated to meet AAFCO standards and sodium selenite is currently the only form of selenium that is approved to be used in cat foods according to AAFCO regulations."

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From my experience most minerals are toxic at high levels but are beneficial at the correct amount.

I am not sure what studies are available regarding the range of the therapeutic index for the selenium compounds mentioned here or what are the alternatives

It seems unreasonable to downgrade foods that have put in supplementation for the purposes to improve and support the health of dogs.without some firm evidence that the compound is detrimental at the levels in the food.


I don’t think the issue is whether it’s detrimental in the levels added. I think it’s more that SS is not used by he body as well as selenium yeast. SS is Toxic so I have to ask why you would choose that with all the associated risks over a naturally occurring supplement such as selenium yeast? When you came up with the idea for eden you obviously put a lot of thought into your ingredients so when it came to supplements why was the choice sodium selenite?

I think it is absolutely to do with the levels added, in fact most pharmaceutical drugs are dangerous if overdosed, hence the wording on the side of the packet about not taking more than the amount stated.

My point is that if SS only appears as trace amounts and this is beneficial then it shouldn’t be on the red list.

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You obviously haven’t read my reply properly so again I ask, why choose selenium selenite with all the associated risks over selenium yeast which is better used by the body in both people and dogs? Unfortunately I cannot put links on here but there is a lot of information available all saying the same thing, selenium yeast is safe even at high doses, its better absorbed and has more benefits than sodium selenite which is a manufactured compound used mainly in the production of glass… :-\