Glossary of pet food ingredients

Glossary of Dog Food Ingredients“To be of use in this world is the only way to be happy."

...Hans Christian Anderson

“Speak up for the animals who can’t speak for themselves.”

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Below are definitions of the most commonly used phrases that describe the ingredients in dog food.  

BEEF: meat unfit for human consumption. This may consist of diseased material or meat containing high levels of drugs, heavy metals, or pesticides.

LIVER: source of the liver is not stated. Unfit for human consumption, liver used in pet food can be diseased and riddled with liver flukes.

MEAT: ( e.g., lamb beef, chicken) - Meat is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to the part of the striate muscle which is skeletal of that which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus; with or without that accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels.

CHICKEN: animals deemed unfit for human consumption. These may be chickens that have died from disease of have been found to contain excess levels of drugs or hormones.

POULTRY- poultry is the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone.

POULTRY LIVER (ENZYMATIC) HYDROLYSATE: liver of poultry, unfit for human consumption. It is subjected to acid hydrolysis.

DRIED WHOLE EGGS: this can be broken eggs, rejects from hatchery operations or eggs unfit for human consumption.

FISH: Heads, fins, tail, skin, bones, and viscera. As this is not the whole fish it does not contain many of the fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, or omega-3 fatty acids.

MEAL-Though the meat has been cooked, dried, and ground, it’s still meat, and has not had any added blood hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Anything less than “Meal” is not fit for dogs.

MEAT MEAL (e.g. lamb meal, beef meal)-Meat Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Need not state what animal; any mammal can be used.

Poultry Meal is the cry rendered products derived from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or with out accompanying bone.

FISH MEAL is dried ground tissue of fish. As this is not the entire fish, it does not contain many of the fat-soluble vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids or minerals.

LAMB MEAL, BEEF MEAL OR CHICKEN MEAL is the rendered product of those meats. Though the meat has been cooked, dried, and ground, it’s still meat, and has not had any added blood hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

MEAT AND BONE MEAL is the same product as above, but with the addition of bone. The percentage of meat to bone included is not stated.

BY-PRODUCTS-When you get to by-products you’ve really departed from a product of any quality. These are the things other than the meaty muscle tissue. This in reality is a deadly mixture of contaminated animal heads, toenails, bones, pus, intestines, chicken feathers, stomachs, hair and lungs.

MEAT BY-PRODUCTS - Meat by products is the non rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines.

POULTRY BY-PRODUCTS - Poultry by products must consist of non rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera.

POULTRY BY-PRODUCTS MEAL- Poultry by products meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, birds that are condemned for human consumption, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS MEAL - Animal by products meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents. This ingredient definition is intended to cover those individual rendered animal tissue products that cannot meet the criteria as set forth elsewhere in this section.

"Digest" is the worst of all. Digest is a by-product which has been treated with heat and water to create a slurry.

Poultry Digest: material that results from chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of poultry tissue.

When it comes to meat, in general, the more specific the ingredient description, the better the quality is. Chicken is better than poultry. And, in turn, “chicken meal” is better than “chicken by-products”, which is better than “chicken digest,”which is better than “Animal digest”.

If a label says it is “Beef dog food,” it must be at least 95 percent beef, minus the water required for processing. If a label identifies the product as a “Beef dinner platter,” “Entree,” or “Formula”, beef must comprise anywhere from 25 to 94 percent of the ingredients. If the dinner is a “Combination of meats” (i.e. ”lamb & rice dinner”), the lamb and rice combined must comprise at least 25 percent of the content.

SATURATED FATS such as those found in meat, poultry and dairy products may contribute to cancer and heart disease.

MONOUNSATURATED FATS such as canola oil are beneficial in the management of blood cholesterol.

POLYUNSATURATED FATS such as flax seed and fish oils contain omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which help maintain the fluidity of cell membranes and fight diseases such as cancer.

ANIMAL FAT PRESERVED WITH BHA: from tissue of animals or poultry extracted in the rendering process. Devoid of free fatty acids.

POULTRY FAT: (preserved with BHA): obtained from the tissue of rendered poultry. Devoid of free fatty acids.

SUNFLOWER OIL: Obtained by extracting the oil from sunflower seeds; loaded with Omega 6. If heated it is changed to toxic derivatives and can contribute to tumor formations.

SAFFLOWER OIL: loaded with Omega 6; if heated it is changed to toxic derivatives.

SOYBEAN OIL: loaded with Omega 6; if heated it is changed to toxic derivatives.

CORN OILS: If heated it is changed to toxic derivatives.

FLAXSEED OIL: Obtained by extracting the oil from flaxseeds; they stimulates the immune system, helps absorb calcium and has anti-tumor properties, anti-oxidant, helps with diabetic conditions, and lowers triglycerides and cholesterol...

VEGETABLE OIL:  nonspecific as to the type of oil.

GRAPESEED OIL: A rich oil in Vit. E and loaded with Omega 6 and (linoleic) fatty acids.

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES/PROBIOTICS:  (microbial inoculants) To facilitate good health, live digestive plant enzymes assist your pet’s digestion and absorption of essential nutrients; they control harmful bacteria.  Dried streptococcus, faccium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus, Acidophilus Fermentation product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation product, Dried Saccharomyces cervisiae permentation product .

ANTIOXIDANTS: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C.

AMARANTH: (A grain from Central America) - called “the grain of the future” by nutritionist.  This grain is used for stamina and endurance. Amaranth has a relatively high mineral, fat and protein content and its well balanced amino acid profile make it a desirable protein source.

MILLET: A nutritious, ancient grain, thought to be one of the first ever cereal grains used for domestic purposes. Millet is renowned for being a “soothing”, non-allergenic and easily digestible grain.

BARLEY: A wholesome grain, which helps to keep the arteries clear. Barley is recognized as one of the most  readily assimilated grains for dogs and is commonly recommended for dogs with joint problems or allergies.

BROWN RICE : Brown rice has a rich source of B-Vitamins. Rice bran has an important part of the whole grain, which has cancer and heart disease fighting properties.

OMEGA 3 & 6:  The correct ratio of the Omega 3 to Omega 6 essential fatty acids is 1-to-4. Flaxseed and canola oils are balanced and provide the Omega 3’s necessary for health.

YUCCA: breaks down food particles into smaller pieces in the intestines to give better absorption of the nutrients and make the stools smell less. Good for arthritis, bone and joint problems, any soft-tissue swelling.

BRAN: bran contains the B vitamins, Its fiber helps keep the intestines clean, good for the heart and helps to protect against cancer.

FLAX MEAL: compounds that are extremely protective against cancer. improve nerve function and prevent diabetic nerve disease.

BLUEBERRIES (Vaccinium myrtillus) renowned for their ability to improve vision and protect the sensitive mechanisms in the retina. Inhibits bacteria such as E. Coli to adhere to the urethra and bladder wall.

Soybean is the #1 allergy of dogs, wheat is the #2 and corn is #3. The dog may scratch at the base of  his tail & lick his feet, although no fleas are seen. CORN is the #3 allergy of dogs.

GROUND CORN: ground or chopped corn is a good source of carbohydrates. And, because it contains the entire kernel, it contributes additional protein, corn oil, corn bran, vitamins and minerals to the diet.  According to the AAFCO, must not contain more than 4 percent foreign matter.

CORN FLOUR is the fine-size hard flinty portions of ground corn containing little or none of  the bran or germ.

CORN BRAN is the outer coating of the corn kernel, with little or none of the starchy part of the germ.

CORN GLUTEN MEAL is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch, bran and germ. No nutritional value.

WHEAT is the #2 allergy of dogs. WHEAT is a constituent found in many pet foods. Again the AAFCO gives descriptive terms for wheat products:

WHEAT FLOUR consists principally of wheat flour together with fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, and the offal from the “tail of the mill.”  Tail of the mill in nothing more then the sweepings of leftovers after everything has been processed from the week.

GROUND WHEAT:  same as wheat flour only a courser grind.

WHEAT GERM MEAL consists chiefly of wheat germ together with some bran and middling or shorts.

WHEAT MIDDLING and shorts are also categorized as the fine particles of wheat germ, bran flour and offal from the “tail of the mill.”

WHEAT MILL RUN/MIDDLINGS/MIDS: consists of coarse and fine particles of wheat bran, wheat shorts, the waste from the tail of the mill from commercial flour milling.

GROUND BROWN RICE: the entire product obtained in grinding the rice kernels after the hulls have been removed. A very high quality source of carbohydrates and natural fiber.

GROUND RICE: The dehulled rice kernel, without the pericarp, ground or chopped.  A very high quality source of carbohydrates,  The most digestible grain for pet foods.  also considered to be relatively hypo-allergenic.

RICE: nonspecific as to the form of this rice, i.e., rice flour, rice bran, rice hulls, chipped and broken rice of rice polishings.

WHITE RICE:  is useless and is missing 75% of its nutrients, especially the B vitamins.

BREWER’S RICE: rice sections that have been discarded from the human food manufacturing of wort or beer, which contain pulverized, dried, spent hops. It is the broken grain of the white rice missing nutrients.  It used to be swept out. Now it is dumped into dog food.  Little, if any, nutritional value but better than rice flour..

RICE FLOUR; This is a very highly preprocessed ingredient.  all the naturally occurring vitamins have been leeched out of this ingredient. Very low nutrition value.

SOYBEAN is the #1 allergy of dogs. SOY FLOUR: Powdered material from screened and graded product after removal, by a mechanical or solvent extraction process, of most of the oil from selected and dehulled soybeans.  Removing this oil reduces the essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin content.

VEGETABLE FIBER: Ground up corn husks, peanut shells and sawdust.

PEANUT HULLS: the outer hull of the peanut shell used for a filler; this has no nutritional value whatsover.  there are concerns regarding the level of residual fungicides that soak into the peanut hulls as they are grown.

SODIUM BENTONITE: filler

GUAR GUM: mucilage (glue). Used as a stabilizer.

BEET SUGAR: is the dried residue from the sugar beet..

BEEF PULP:  (saponins) may irritate and even inflame the intestinal tract causing a range of gastrointestinal disorders up to and including death.

SOYBEAN MEAL is the product obtained by grinding the flakes that remain after the removal of most of the oil from soybeans by a solvent extraction process.

POWDERED CELLULOSE is purified, mechanically disintegrated cellulose prepared by processing alpha cellulose obtained as a pulp from fibrous plant material. In other words, sawdust.

SPRAY DRIED WHEY:  dried by spraying on the surface of a heated drum. High in lactose.

SUGAR FOODS BY-PRODUCTS result from the grinding and mixing of inedible portions derived from the preparation and packaging of sugar based food products such as candy, dry packaged drinks, dried gelatin mixes, and similar food products that are largely composed of sugar. SUGARS: as in beet pulp, cane molasses, corn oil and in white rice bran  require almost no digestion.  Sugar may contribute to chronic ear infections, diabetes and pancreas problems. They are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream, flooding it; Insulin is secreted by the pancreas to take up the excess. Eventually, the overloaded pancreas breaks down. SALT: may contribute to heart and blood pressure problems.

GROUND ALMOND AND PEANUT SHELLS are used as another source of fiber; they have no nutritional value..

BREWER’S DRIED YEAST: dried residue from the brewing industry. Cooked yeast fractions that the brewers cannot use. A rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

IRON PROTEINATE, FERROUS CARBONATE, AND FERROUS SULFATE are minerals that are necessary for the production of hemoglobin. Deficiencies will manifest themselves as anemia and fatigue. Ferrous sulfate can deplete the vitamin # which many “natural” pet foods use as preservatives.

COPPER OXIDE, COPPER PROTEINATE, AND COPPER SULFATE minerals that are necessary for converting the iron into hemoglobin.

MONOSODIUM PHOSPHATE: emulsifying agent.

CHOLINE CHLORIDE: member of the B complex.

DI-METHIONINE: an amino acid.

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE: mineral. Potassium salt of hydrochloric acid.

ASCORBIC ACID: Vitamin C. used as a preservative.  The potency of vitamin C is completely dissipated within 12 hours after the manufacturer opens the bag.  Not only does heat destroy Vitamin C, but light destroys it also. Vitamin C containers are dark brown or opaque white to keep the light out.

ETHOXYQUIN: a preservative.

ZINC OXIDE: mineral.

ZINC SULFATE: mineral.

MANGANESE SULFATE: manganese salt of sulfuric acid.

MANGANESE OXIDE: mineral. Oxide form of manganese.

BIOTIN: Vitamin H

BIOTIN SUPPLEMENT: Vitamin K.

VITAMIN A ACETATE: water-dispersible source of vitamin A.

CALCIUM IODATE: mineral. Calcium salt of iodic acid (iodine)

CALCIUM PANTHENATE: vitamin B5

CALCIUM CARBONATE: mineral.

VITAMIN B12: supplement.

NIACIN: Vitamin B6.

THIAMIN MONONITRATE: Vitamin B1.

MENADIONE DIMETHYLPRIMIDINOL BISULFITE: source of Vitamin K, classified as “commercial feed grade vitamin.”.

RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT:  Vitamin B2.

INOSITOL: SUPPLEMENT.

PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE: Vitamin B6.

MENADIONE SODIUM BISULFATE COMPLEX:  Vitamin K.

D-ACTIVATED ANIMAL STEROL: vitamin D3

ETHYLENODIAMINE DIHYDRIODIDE: iodine.

VITAMIN D3:  from animal origin.

POTASSIUM IODIDE: potassium salt of iodic acid (iodine).

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE: mineral. Potassium salt of hydrochloric acid.

FOLIC ACID: Vitamin B9.

SODIUM SELENITE: mineral. Sodium salt of sulfuric acid.

CELLULOSE: a pulp from fibrous plant. Also has been described as sawdust.

DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE: mineral.

VITAMIN E ACETATE: water-dispersible source of Vitamin E.

VITAMIN E: used as a preservative, but works for only one month after manufacture date; heating up Vitamin E changes it from the CIS form which is helpful, to the TRANS form which is harmful and may cause tumors to form.

VITAMIN D3: D-activated animal sterol.

TAURINE:  amino acid.

CARRAGEENIN: seaweed.

NATURAL FLAVOR: no nutritional value.

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) this poorly tested preservative is implicated by some scientists as a cause of liver damage, metabolic stress, fetal abnormalities and serum cholesterol increase.

ETHOXYQUIN: originally developed for use in the production of rubber, this common preservative is among the compounds most suspect as causes of severe health problems in dogs.  The makers of ethoxyquin state that it is a hazardous chemical, it may cause skin problems, eye problems, and problems in the kidneys and liver.  In addition, there may be a reduction in the survival of the offspring. The law says that if a manufacturer puts ethoxyquin in the dog food, they have to list it in the ingredients.  But if it’s in the animal/poultry fat when he buys it, he doesn’t have to list it. “No ethoxyquin added.” That doesn’t mean that there is no ethoxyquin in their fats or oils - it only means that they have not added any to the product.

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) This preservative is known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL ( a first cousin to anti freeze)  This compound causes the fatal destruction of red blood cells.  This compound is used to maintain the right texture and moisture and to tie up the water content, thus inhibiting bacterial growth, it is added to some “chewy” foods to keep them moist.

POTASSIUM SORBATE. This preservative is known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction. This is a commonly used preservative chemically similar to fat.

AMMONIATED GLYCYRRHIZIN Add this to the list of sweeteners. It is also considered a potent drug that should be tested further for safety.

PROPYL GALLATE. Manufactures add this chemical to retard spoilage, but it is suspected of causing liver damage.

SODIUM NITRITE. This compound is widely used as both a preservative and a red coloring agent. Sodium nitrite used in food can produce powerful carcinogenic substances known as nitrosamines.

ARTIFICIAL COLORS: Red no. 3 Red no. 40 ( a possible carcinogen) Yellow no. 5 Yellow no. 6 Blue no. 1 Blue no. 2 (shown in studies to increase dogs’ sensitivities to fatal viruses)

ARTIFICIAL FLAVORINGS or synthetic flavorings are called safe with little or no testing.

SWEETENERS including corn syrup, sucrose, and ammoniated glycyrrhizin, added to attract dogs to unappealing food.

SYNTHETIC VITAMINS AND MINERAL COMPOUNDS:  pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, iron carbonate, potassium chloride and manganose oxide.

DISODIUM GUANYLATE: a flavoring commonly used in instant soups.

Recommended Reading:


Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

NEW EDITION Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

By Ann N. Martin, foreword by Shawn Messonnier, DVM

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

By Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D. & Susan Hubble Pitcairn

Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs

Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs

By Dr Ian Billinghurst, B.V.SC, B.Sc.Agr., Dip. Ed.

Give your dog a bone

Dr. B'sGive Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed DogsBy Dr. Ian Billinghurst

© 1993, reprinted with permission

Dr. Billinghurst is self published.
His books can be purchased from his web site
www.BONSAH.com

Dogs Eat Bones

If dogs are to become and remain healthy, its diet must be based on raw meaty bones.

Are bones dangerous? That question is uppermost in many people’s mind. The answer is …yes, but only if they are cooked. Dogs are not designed to deal with cooked bones. Cooked bones are harder, more brittle and more splintery than raw bones. They are the ones most likely to be caught in the mouth, to pierce the intestines, to set like concrete in the large bowel, or stick like fish hooks into the rectum. All those events are bad news for dogs. The long and the short of it is…Don't feed cooked bones. They are unnatural and a danger to dogs.

Raw Bones are Completely Different! Whilst cooked bones are potentially fatal for dogs, raw bones in my experience, and in the experience of numerous dog owners, dog breeders, and other veterinary surgeons have been the only single food item that guarantees a dog will have excellent health. This is hardly surprising. It’s a dog’s heritage.

Bones and Dental Health. Bones are Nature’s toothbrush for dogs. As dogs chew on bones, rip the flesh off bones, crush bones, that very action cleans the teeth, and massages the gums, stopping tarter, gum infections, tooth root decay, dental abscesses, and a whole body poisoned by a grossly infected mouth. An extremely common condition in today’s dog fed on soft mush convenience food.  The rise in the incidence of mouth problems has paralleled the increase in consumption of processed food, together with the decline in consumption of raw meaty bones. The result of no bones on a dog’s menu, processed food only, is teeth covered in TARTER, receding gums, tooth root decay, and the most vile, stinking mouth infection. Left untreated that mouth infection, spreads via the blood stream,and may lodge in other organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, prostrate, uterus, etc. The rapid increase in canine dental problems over the last years has spawned.

Bones ..Essential Nutrition for a Dog. Bones are full of vital nutrients for dogs.   Because bones are living tissue, just like any other part of the body, they are a complex source of a wide variety of nutrients. Bones contain minerals which are embedded in protein. They also contain fat. With the fat are fat soluble vitamins and the central part of most bones contains marrow which is a highly nutritious mix of blood forming elements, including iron. Raw bones also provide natural anti-oxidant/anti-ageing factors including enzymes.

Bones Provide Your Dog with all the Minerals it Requires. Bones are nature’s storehouse of minerals for your dog. They contain calcium and phosphorus in perfect balance, together with all other minerals essential for your dog’s normal functioning. Bones are the storehouse of all the minerals your dog requires in perfect balance, and in the perfect form for optimal absorption with no excesses or deficiencies. It is natural for dogs to eat bones. A dog’s body is designed to use bones as it’s main source of minerals. This is what dog’s bodies have been doing for millions of years.

Protein in Bones. Fresh bones contain all the essential amino acids in adequate amounts with the exception of methioine. The amino acid lysine, essential for normal bone growth is present in large quantities. Fortunately methionine is found in abundance in meat. This means that raw meaty bones contain your dog’s total protein requirements.

The Marrow in Bone. When your dog eats bones, your dog is receiving many of the nutrients which help produce blood and a healthy, well functioning immune system. This is because the bone marrow is where blood is formed and it is also part of the immune system of an animal. When your dog eats raw bones, he or she is consuming all the important blood forming nutrients, particularly cooper and iron.

Raw Bones Prolong Your Dog’s Life. Bone eating dogs are long lived healthy dogs. They seem to be particularly free of the degenerative diseases of old age.

Beef or Chicken Bones? Raw chicken, on the bone is without a doubt the very best form in which to feed your dog most of its requirements of raw meaty bones. I often recommend chicken wings. DON'T FEED COOKED CHICKEN BONES TO YOUR DOG. There is an incredible difference between cooked and raw chicken! Beef bones may be older and will probably be harder. Most butchers and supermarkets will supply bags full of bony off-cuts. We think of these off-cuts, as good general bones.

Buried Bones. We all know that dogs bury bones, saving them for later on. In the case of raw bones, they slowly decompose under the action of their own enzymes. It is quite healthy for your dog to eat these buried bones, as long as it was a buried RAW BONE. It is nutritious for your dog. It just has different qualities to fresh bone, similar to aged meat. With cooked bones in which all the enzymes have been destroyed, the resulting rotten bone could possibly make your dog sick.  Buried cooked bones cannot decompose under the action of their own enzymes because they have been destroyed by the cooking process. Instead, they are attacked by bacteria, which can produce dangerous toxins such as Botulism, a deadly paralysis.

Meaty Bones Provide Incredible Exercise For Your Dog. Meat left on the bone means your dog will have to rip, tear, and chew at it. This is the way nature intended your dog to eat. It is part of keeping your dog healthy. It is vitally important for your dog’s health that it eats its food in as natural a form as possible. All that exercise of chewing, ripping, and tearing at large clomps of bones and meat is a benefit to dogs of all ages.

Choosing the right pet food

Choosing The Right Pet FoodChoosing the right food for your dog is important, with both short and long-term consequences. Your dog’s health depends on you and the nutrition you provide; get familiar with the ingredients in pet food. Many veterinarians have come to believe that the best foods for a dog are those that are closest to his ancestral diet: raw meat, in all different cuts and varieties, and a sprinkling of herbal or vegetable matter. But for many of us, providing that kind of diet is inconvenient and expensive. For those of us who have gotten used to the ease of feeding dried fog food out of a bag, this can help you become an informed consumer.

FOODS SHOULD CONTAIN:

  1. Superior sources of protein. This means either whole, fresh meats or single-source meat meal (for example, chicken meal rather than poultry meal).
  2. A whole meat source as one of the first two ingredients (chicken) or chicken meal, for instance). A meat source in two of the top three ingredients also helps indicate the food is high in meat. Ingredients are always listed in descending order of weight, i.e. the ingredient responsible for the greatest amount of weight in the bag is listed first. If a label reads, “beef, ground yellow corn, rice, corn gluten meal,” it appears that there is more beef than anything else in the sack, but the total weight of the ground yellow corn plus corn gluten meal may outweigh the beef.
  3. Whole unprocessed grains, vegetables, and other foods. Whole unprocessed grains, vegetables, and other foods have a great chance of having its nutrients and enzymes intact.

Look for foods that have whole meat (listed simply as lamb, chicken, beef, etc.) in the top three ingredients. Look for whole foods like rice, wheat, eggs, and foods that are kept fresh with natural preservatives like vitamin C and E (often listed as mixed-tocopherols).

Meat is the most important and natural source of protein for canines. The only exception might be for dogs that have been proven to be allergic to all meat proteins. Pets need enzymes essential for every biochemical bodily function, vitamin C is critically important, vitamin E is an antioxidant needed to detoxify.

No matter what the commercials say, dog food does not contain “all the nutrients your dog will ever need.” Don’t buy any pet food that contains “meat” meal, “meat & poultry by-products," bone meal, animal fat, or tallow.

FOODS SHOULD NOT CONTAIN:

Meat by-products. These “second-class” products are not handled as carefully as whole meat. Meat by-products - the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines.

Poultry by-products - must consist of non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera.

Poultry by-products meal - Poultry by product meal consists of the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

Animal by-products meal - the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents...This ingredient definition is intended to cover those individual rendered animal tissue products that cannot meet the criteria as set forth elsewhere in this section.

Fats or proteins named generically - for example, animal fat, poultry fat or meat meal as opposed to the better quality beef fat, chicken fat or lamb meal. The generic term indicates that the ingredient is actually a mixed bag of ingredients, coming from a number of sources.

Food fragments - brewer’s rice, corn gluten, etc., this item is the least odious on this list. Most foods contain at least one fragment, as makers economize where it least hurts the food.

Artificial preservatives are used to prevent food from turning rancid. These include BHA, BHT, (especially) ethoxyquin, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate, these are known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction.

Artificial colors, Sweeteners - added to attract dogs to unappealing food; Propylene glycol-( a first cousin to anti freeze), toxic when consumed in large amounts; causes the fatal destruction of red blood cells. This is added to some “chewy” foods to keep them moist.

Recommended Reading:

Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

NEW EDITION Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

By Ann N. Martin, foreword by Shawn Messonnier, DVM

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

By Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D. & Susan Hubble Pitcairn

Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs

Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs

By Dr Ian Billinghurst, B.V.SC, B.Sc.Agr., Dip. Ed.


Pet food and your dog's health

Pet Foods And Drugs May be Disabling Your Dog"Unhappiness is the hunger to get.
Happiness is the hunger to give."

 

"Speak up for the animals who can’t
speak for themselves."  ...Get Involved!

Choosing the right food for your dog is an important task, with both short and long term consequences. Your dog’s quality of life depends on your decisions: what you put in his bowl is of critical importance to your dog’s health and long-term well being. Television commercials and magazine advertisements for pet food would have us believe that the meats, grains, and fats used in these foods could grace our own dining tables. Pet food labels can be deceiving. they only provide half the story. The other half of the story is hidden behind obscure ingredients listed on the labels.

The truth about the $10 billion commercial pet food industry, which is unregulated by governmental bodies, is ugly and may cause you to give up some comfortable assumptions.   In fact, some of the ingredients can make your pet more susceptible to joint problems and a host of other degenerative disorders. Even worse, they may be shortening your pet’s life.  According to a 1999 press release from the Animal Protection Institute, most commercial pet food is made up of slaughterhouse waste and moldy, contaminated grains. Unfortunately, other dogs and cats are another source of meat you won’t find mentioned on pet food labels.They’ve been euthanized via drugs at our nation’s animal shelters and sent to rendering plants-a fact that has been substantiated by the American Veterinary Association. The sodium pentobarbital used to put pets to sleep survives the rendering process and ends up as a toxin in your pet’s food!

Rendering plants are melting pots for all types of refuse; no testing is conducted to detect drugs, pathogens, heavy metals, or pesticides. At the rendering plant, pets are mixed with other material from slaughterhouse facilities that have been condemned for human consumption, such as cancerous tissue or tumors, worm-infested organs, rotten meat, restaurant garbage, “4-D” (dead, diseased, dying, and disabled) animals. Even animals that have died and have begun to decompose are used. A machine slowly grinds the entire mess to become pet food.  Does your best friend deserve this?

In addition, no matter what the commercials say, dog food does not contain “all the nutrients your dog will ever need.” Vitamins and minerals are as essential to the health of our companion animals as they are to human health. Commercial pet food manufactures add vitamins and minerals but they can be destroyed by the heat processing before your pet ever eats the food. Are the vitamins and minerals chelated or do they pass through the body unused if unchelated? Enzymes are essential for every biochemical bodily function; they occur only in raw foods. Get your dogs to eat as many vegetables and meat any way you can.

If you are concerned about your pet’s well -being, at a minimum, reject any dog food containing any of the following, each of which has been implicated in canine health disorders:

  • Artificial color
  • artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, Potassium sorbate, Sodium nitrate, and especially Ethoxyquin; these are known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction.
  • Propylene glycol (a first cousin to antifreeze) causes the fatal destruction of red blood cells.
  • By-Products, this in reality is a deadly mixture of contaminated animal heads, toenails, bones, blood, pus, intestines, chicken feathers, hair, and lungs.
  • Digest, the worst of all is a by-product which has been treated with heat and water to create a slurry.
  • Sugars and sweeteners like corn syrup, sucrose, and ammoniated glycyrrhizin (added to attract dogs to otherwise unappealing fare).
  • Anything with the term “flavor” in the ingredients list indicates the contents doesn’t have enough of its own good flavor- not the hallmark of quality ingredients.
  • Foods with corn (one of the least expensive grains available to food makers) and or corn by products listed more than once in the first five ingredients.

Look for foods that have whole meat (listed simply as lamb, chicken, beef, etc.) in the top three ingredients are recommended. Look for whole foods like rice, wheat, and eggs, and foods that are kept fresh with natural preservatives like vitamin C and E (often listed as mixed-tocopherols), no additives. Also look for something called AAFCO approval; it’s not a very tough standard, but it’s the only one for dog food there is. If you were ever to find a dog food that offered certified organic meats, grains, and vegetables, we’d suggest you buy a lifetime supply and put it in a refrigerated vault. I want to give you a fish, but I want to teach you to fish for yourself too; understand the ingredients in the bag.

Many experts believe that since the advent of commercial pet foods about 40 years ago, great harm has been done to dogs as a species; arthritis, heart disease, and cancer rates among these pets have skyrocketed.

Not Recommended

KIBBLES 'N BITS: Kibbles 'N Bits is the canine equivalent of Twinkies. The ingredients are led off with corn, each of the animal-protein ingredients are very low quality, and preserved with propylene glycol (a first cousin to an ingredient in antifreeze that causes the fatal destruction of red blood cells).

Recommended Reading:

Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

NEW EDITION Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

By Ann N. Martin, foreword by Shawn Messonnier, DVM

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

By Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D. & Susan Hubble Pitcairn

Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs

Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs

By Dr Ian Billinghurst, B.V.SC, B.Sc.Agr., Dip. Ed.

Have a heart, have your pet spayed or neutered, there are not enough homes.