Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's Really in Bags of Pet Food

Pet food labels are very misleading, much less truthful than labels on human foods.  Pet food regulations are written to favor manufacturers; human food regulations aim to protect human consumers, at least to some extent. 

Pet food advertising shows human foods -- juicy steaks, whole chickens, glasses of milk, blocks of cheese -- going into bags of kibble.  The truth about pet food ingredients is quite different.

Randy Wysong, DVM, produces lines of dehydrated meats, canned pet foods and kibbles for dogs and cats.  His more honest description of pet food ingredients:

Notice that pet food labels may list such things as corn meal, meat and bone meal, soy mill run, wheat middlings, whey products, and the like. The descriptive words are different from what you would find in a grocery store because most pet food ingredients are food fractions left over after human food elements have been extracted. Or, they may be industry by-products, believed to be unfit for human consumption. The slick advertising portrayal of pet food ingredients, as if they were just like what would appear on a Thanksgiving Day table, is misleading.

The starches in pet foods are unlikely to be whole grains.  More likely, pet food starches are brewery wastes, hulls, and other human food wastes.

Pet food labels deliberately mislead.  Pet food advertising cements the mis-understanding. When a label says "chicken", it does not mean the chicken you would buy for yourself. Think again.

Because "chicken" in kibble is not recognizable (and hardly there), buyers don't have to imagine that feathers, feet, beaks, and entrails are the "chicken" in the bag.

If you want your pet to have real food, buy fresh foods and feed them to your pet!  How hard is is to buy whole chickens, beef heart, blocks of cheese, and fresh eggs?  Your dog will thank you for real foods that are so much healthier than garbage in a bag.

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