The majority of dried pet food brands available on the market contain ingredients labelled “by products”. They may be labelled as chicken, poultry, lamb or meat.
Looks harmless enough, but that’s not the full story. Depending on what type of by-product they are, they will not be doing your pet much good…and they may even be harmful.
If the by-product is from a specified type of animal – chicken, poultry – etc then the result is not as bad as it could be. The petfood industry’s standard definition of chicken by-product, for example, is:
“the non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered chickens such as heads, feet, viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice”
In other words, all of the waste unfit for human consumption.
However, if the animal is not specified, the by-product could contain almost anything. The industry standard definition of “meat by-product” 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 freed of their contents.”
In a word, by-products are simply slaughterhouse waste. So why do petfood companies use them?
Continue reading “The problem with by-products in pet food”