By Deborah White
I’ve been wanting to write about pet foods for awhile now and anybody that knows me know that I’m completely nuts when it comes to my animals. I love my cats and want them to be around for a good long time. After my third cat passed away of yet again the dreaded cancer, I really started to think…what’s causing this? Then I started to read. Then I read some more and I was completely and thoroughly horrified by what I found out. about pet food ingredients.
Pet Food Ingredients
Do you really know what goes into that can of pet food? I mean, really know besides the obvious stinky stuff when you open the can? Well let me enlighten you. When I started to research cat foods and unfortunately dog food is not exempt, I found out that most of the stuff the big pet food companies try to pass off as food isn’t even edible! Pet food companies are an offshoot of human food and agricultural industries. Pet foods are just another way for big industry to make money off of waste products. Surprised? I was. These companies use waste products also known as “by-products” that are labeled “unfit for human consumption” and turn them into profits. Just a few of these “by-products” are intestines, udders, heads, hooves, tendons, ligaments, unborn babies, and diseased and cancerous animal parts. However, so-called “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food.
To make this a little easier I’m going to break this info down into a list of things and what they really are. This will be what you would find on a typical pet food label. Organic and natural varieties of pet food don’t use by-products the meats they do use are still leftovers with little meat left on the bones.
By-products: intestines, udders, heads, hooves, tendons, ligaments, unborn babies, and diseased and cancerous animal parts.
Meat or poultry meals, by-product meals, meat and bone meals: Meals are not fresh. They are produced by a processing called rendering. Rendering is where all the excess animal material (waste products) including euthanized cats and dogs are dumped into a big vat and cooked long periods of time to remove fat, water, bacteria and other unmentionables. It’s really scary to think about because all that disease, cancer and poisons don’t magically disappear after rendering. Your pet eats it! Not to mention there is very little if any nutritional value left after all that boiling.
Vegetable Protein: Grains and vegetable products. Most pet foods have a high amount of cereal grain or starchy vegetables as a cheap filler loosely translated into “energy.” You and I call them calories. They are used to boost the “protein” percentages to make it look like your animals are getting great protein = (meat) in their diets…NOT! Corn and wheat gluten also used like this. Typically foods containing these filler proteins are among the poorest of quality that you can inflict on your pet.
Animal & Poultry fats: These pungent smelly fats are sprayed on kibble with other flavor enhancers to make the distasteful and disgusting a yummy treat. Pet food manufacturers long since found out that these fats are irresistable to your pets. They serve no other purpose other than tricking your kitty or dog into eating something they normally wouldn’t!
Additives: There are so many chemicals in pet foods it’s no wonder so many pets are getting sick with different diseases.
Excerpt from: http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359
“A wide variety of additives are allowed in animal feed and pet food, not counting vitamins and minerals. Not all of them are actually used in pet food. Additives can be specifically approved, or they can fall into the category of “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS).
Pelleting agents and binders
pH control agents
Synthetic Preservatives: butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. All of these are dangerous to our pets. Propylene Glycol has been banned from cat foods because it causes anemia but is unfortunately still allowed in dog food. BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin are known cancer causing agents and are found in most all types of pet foods canned and in higher amounts, dry. Shockingly enough Ethoxyquin is common in veterinary controlled diets for cats and dogs.
I don’t know about you but the thought of my furbabies eating this stuff terrifies me so I decided to do something about it. Several years ago I found a great recipe online for raw food for cats, bought myself a meat grinder and never looked back. I have found sources also online for preground meats and mixes but I prefer to make my own pet food so I know exactly what’s going into my kitties food bowl. I have to say I’m happy to have switched. It has made the biggest difference in my cats. They are more active, they love their food and their eyes are bright and their fur is shiny and oh so soft! There are a few more benefits I’ve noticed. They don’t poop nearly as much and when they do, IT DOESN’T SMELL! Ah, the joys of raw food.
I would hope that you could do some more research yourselves and think of your pets health while your thinking of your own. The cost is very reasonable. You can make a better product than the premium pet foods yourself and save some money too! Be sure to chime in in the comments section, I’d love to hear your thoughts and the things that you do to help the health of your pets!
Here are some informational links on the subject at hand: