What Exactly is in Your Pet’s Food?

People often say things like “you are what you eat,” and it’s true that the things you put into your body, or choose not to put into your body, can have an impact on your overall health and wellbeing. The same is true for your domesticated animals.

The list of ingredients on a bag of dry pet food or a can of “meat” can “mask the real toxic horrors behind innocuous-sounding phrases such as’meat meal,’ ‘bone meal,’ and’meat by-products,” which are the most common ingredients found in pet food, according to organicpetproducts.com, an online retailer that provides high-quality organic products for pets. The retailer continues by stating that the substances in the pet food that you are unaware of “may sicken or even kill your pet” and that this is the reason why you should not buy that food.

==> More important pet news from your favorite animal website.


So, exactly what are the ingredients found in the majority of commercial pet foods? The Animal Protection Institute (API), a national nonprofit organization that advocates for animals, provided the following rundown of some of the more common ingredients that can be discovered in the majority of commercial pet foods:

  1. Products derived from meat and poultry. After an animal has been slaughtered, these are the unrendered parts of the animal that are left over: bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, and almost all of the other parts of the animal that are not typically consumed by humans. On the labels of pet food, these “other parts” are more commonly referred to as “by-products,” “meat-and-bone meal,” or other names along those lines. When something is referred to as “meal,” it indicates that the material in question is not used in its fresh form but rather has been rendered or otherwise processed for use in industry.

According to organicpetproducts.com, some of the other things that could go into rendering include spoiled meat from the supermarket (most of which is still wrapped in plastic); roadkill that cannot be buried on the roadside; the “4-D’s” of ranch animals, which are dead, dying, diseased, and disabled; rancid restaurant grease; and euthanized companion animals.

  1. The fat of animals and poultry. The rancid smell that can be detected when a fresh bag of pet food is opened is typically caused by rendered animal fat, grease from restaurants, or other oils that have gone bad to the point where they are considered inedible for humans. To add flavor to an otherwise tasteless or unappetizing product, these fats are sprayed directly onto the extruded kibbles and pellets before they are packaged. In addition to its role as a flavor enhancer, fat performs the function of a binding agent in the product manufacturing process.
  2. Wheat, soybeans, corn, peanut hulls, and various other types of vegetable protein. Over the course of the past ten years, there has been an increase in the proportion of grain-based ingredients found in pet food. Cereal and grain products, which were once considered filler by the pet food industry, now replace a significant portion of the meat that was used in the original commercial pet foods.
  3. Ingredients such as additives and preservatives Chemicals are put into food in order to improve its flavor, stability, characteristics, or appearance. Additives are substances that are added to a food product that do not contribute any nutritional value. These substances include emulsifiers, which keep water and fat from becoming separated, antioxidants, which stop fat from becoming rancid, and artificial colors and flavors, which make the product more appealing to consumers and more palatable for their companion animals.


What kind of effects could the prolonged consumption of products like these have on the animals that we keep as pets? Some veterinarians are of the opinion that exposing animals to the waste products of slaughterhouses puts them at an increased risk of developing cancer and other degenerative diseases.

According to the website organicpetfoods.com, it is estimated that up to two million companion animals suffer from food allergies. Many veterinarians believe that commercial pet foods are the primary cause of food allergies in companion animals and can contribute to a host of other health problems.

According to a number of studies, the consumption of processed foods is a contributing factor in the rise in the number of pets that are diagnosed with cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease, and cardiovascular disease. Poor nutrition is typically the root cause of dull or unhealthy coats, according to the opinions of the majority of veterinarians and breeders. This issue is common in both cats and dogs.


There are a lot of companies out there that make pet food, and many of them produce high-quality pet food by making use of the newest and best ingredients they can get their hands on. It might just take a little bit more time and effort to track them down. Due to the fact that the majority of these manufacturers are small businesses with limited or nonexistent advertising budgets, their products are not widely known and, as a result, major supermarket chains and pet product retailers typically do not carry them.

Their foods will ultimately cost more than commercial pet foods due to the fact that you are paying for the freshest and highest-quality ingredients available, and it is likely that distributors and specialty pet product retailers will carry their foods. Blue Buffalo, Foundations, California Natural, Drs. Foster & Smith, Flint River, Innova, Karma, Natural Balance, Newman’s Own Organics, Petguard, Pet Promise, Triumph, Wellness, and Wenaewe are some of the brands that you should keep an eye out for.

Talk to your pet’s veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about the food that they eat.

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