Have you ever been to a slaughter house? What about a chicken or sheep farm? If you have then you know what it is like after animals are butchered, if you haven’t then here is what happens. The animal is butchered for what is called “useable product”, what is left is shoved to the side for other uses. We are talking about brains and guts, things that you wouldn’t think of eating. The problem is not that anyone would feed it to you but they are feeding it to you pet. These are a few of the “nutritionally balanced” ingredients found in most commercial pet food.
Most people feed their beloved pet cat or dog with traditional pet food, the type you purchase in a bag or can from the grocery story, the problem is that most people have no idea what is actually in those pet foods that are created by large pet food companies.
Most people think that the pet food they are buying is nothing but the best, well balanced nutrition with pieces of whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the good stuff that a dog or cat needs. In fact, many companies even make those claims in their commercials. The reality is that chicken parts such as heads and feet as well as cow intestines tongues, esophagi and fetal tissue are used instead.
As for whole grains they are more often then not hulls and other remnants from the milling process. These are “grains” that are fit for human consumption.
When it comes to feeding your pet with what you believe is the best in pet food, you have to take a moment and look at the label. Is what you are feeding your pet really the best? Chances are it is not the best but instead a tangled mess of bi-products and leftovers not fit to feed a human. Normally your dog or cat would not eat the items that pet food is made with however it has become a multi-million dollar industry to discover just how to mask those items so that your pet will not only eat it but enjoy it.
What about the standards you may be asking? There are standards established by the Center for Veterinary Medicine for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they are monitored by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The problem is that the AAFCO standards be deceptive because the product names are confusing. Most people don’t know what the definitions for the listed ingredients mean.
Ground-up slaughterhouse discards often containing disease-ridden tissue and high levels of hormones and pesticides are masked with scientific sounding names on labels.
The bones, blood, pus, intestines, ligaments, subcutaneous fat, hooves, horns, beaks, and any other parts that are not normally consumed by humans that is left in a slaughterhouse is, according to the pet food industry, is perfectly fit as a protein source for cat and dog food. Bi-products are what ends up in your dog or cat food and are animal parts leftover after the meat has been stripped from the bone. Chicken bi-products include heads, feet, entrails, lungs, spleens, kidneys, brains, livers, stomachs, noses, blood, and intestines free of their contents. These are all items that end up in your pets’ food.
So is this an issue with dry food or just canned food. The answer is both. The most nutritious dry pet food is no better than the worst canned pet food. So how do they get your otherwise finicky pet to eat this mess? They spray the food with grease or animal fat while it is process. Animals love the taste fat. Many pet food manufacturers use it as a flavor enhancer. The problem with this practice is that some times the way in which this grease or fat is stored is part of the issue. The fat becomes rancid and rancid or heavily preserved fats are difficult to digest thus causing your animals’ stomach problems.
So what about the claim that today’s pet food is nutritional? The bottom line is that if it meets the AAFCO minimum standards a pet food manufacturer can make that claim true or not. In the early 1990’s tests conducted showed that a fair percentage of all pet foods analyzed failed chemical analyses for nutrients. Manufacturers continue to claim that pets can live well on a diet consisting of commercial pet food but research and veterinarians say otherwise. There has been a rise in kidney disease for animals and many veterinarians are attributing it to commercial pet foods.
No matter what you feed your pet there are several rules of thumb to follow if you want to raise a healthy pet. First and foremost, read the label to the pet food you have chosen. Even though many commercial pet foods are questionable in regards to content there are some others that are ok for your pets. These pet foods are going to be more expensive but well worth the price when you consider the alternative.