SERIES: What's Really in Your Dog's Treats: By-Products
Welcome to our New Series: What's Really in Your Dog's Treats
BY-PRODUCTS? SAY WHAT?
Look at almost any edible product for your beloved dog and chances are you'll see the term, "by-product." But what does that actually mean? And even more importantly, is it something you should feed your dog?
By-products could be chicken, lamb, beef, fish, turkey or some other type of meat. Typically, by-products are the internal reamins of an animal, not the muscle meat. While raw animal organs are nutritionally beneficial for our carnivorous dogs, what you probably don't know is that these "by-products" can also include diseased tissues, organs and tumors.
DogFoodAdvisor.com defines animal by-products as: "What's left of a slaughtered animal after the parts intended for human consumption have been removed."
In other words, it's the scrap (or "offal") remaining from meat processing that many consumers would consider inedible waste. These meat by-products are then used in one of two primary ways by the industry:
- Canned pet food; and
- Creation of by-product meals through rendering (learn more about rendering under the heading below).
Petmd.com explains the motivation behind the common use of by-products in the industry:
"This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels "high" (although not high quality) while keeping food production costs low."
Good for companies, but is it really good for your cherished dog's overall health?
BY-PRODUCTS: OVERCOOKED AND OVERPROCESSED
By-product "meat meals" are created through a process called rendering:
- Over-cooking to remove all water and the fat is skimmed away; and
- Then baked.
The high temperatures used throughout the rendering process will potentially "alter or destroy natural enzymes and proteins found in these raw ingredients." (PetMd.com)
So, the by-products originally deemed "unfit" for human consumption are then overly processed (resulting in questionable nutritional quality from batch to batch) and then added to the products you feed your pets every day. All for the goal of keeping production costs low - and profits high - from the very same companies who claim to care about your dog.
Our pets deserve better!
THE BY-PRODUCT TO ALWAYS AVOID!
Think all "meat meals" are equal? They aren't. They are divided into two categories including:
- Named by-products meals (where the animal is identified, like chicken, beef, lamb, fish, etc.); or
- Generic by-product meals.
Generic by-product meals should always be avoided and never fed to your dog. They are identified by terms including:
- Meat Meal
- Meat and Bone Meal
- Meat By-Product Meal
- Animal By-Product Meal
Why should you always avoid the generic by-product meals? Because they can contain:
- Road kill;
- Dead zoo animals;
- Dead-on-arrival poulty;
- Diseased and dying livestock; and
- Euthanized pets from animal shelters (despite this being illegal).
- Gravy Train, Kibbles 'N Bits and Skippy Premium (all produced by the J.M. Smucker Company);
- Party Animal Dog Food;
- Evanger's Dog & Cat Food; and
- Against the Grain Dog Food.
Remember, your pet is relying upon you to protect him and give him the best quality of life! Keep reading those labels and following our blog for more information to protect your beloved dog.
IT BEARS REPEATING: 3 SIMPLE STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR PETS
- Read all labels thoroughly and carefully. Unsavory details are often buried in the fine print.
- Use products containing limited, human-grade ingredients you recognize.
- Learn and follow independent, non-biased experts including:
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Want MORE great K9 content?
5 Ingredients You Never Want to Find in Your Dog's Food
The Truth About Animal By-Products in Dog Food
Pet Food (What You Need to Know for Your Pet’s Sake)
New Report Exposes Dangerous/Unhealthy Pet Food