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March 20, 2013

What’s really in your dog’s food.

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) is a non-profit organization that sets standards for both animal feeds and pet foods in the United States.  Below is a list of a few ingredients you may see in common pet foods.  What may sound appetizing on a label in reality could really make your stomach churn – your pet’s too!

According to the AAFCO:

Poultry byproduct meal – “ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”

Corn gluten meal –“The dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.”

animal fat – “derived from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids.” 

**There is no animal type regulation for “animal fat,” thus almost any kind of animal can be used including: dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter.  It can also contain rats, roadkill, restaurant and supermarket waste, and even animals euthanized at shelters.

Fish meal – “The clean, rendered, dried ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil.”

So be careful when reading pet food labels and make sure you aren’t caught up in the glossy packaging claims that tend to be a marketing gimmick if nothing else.  There is a great site called Dog Food Advisor that can really steer you in the right direction when choosing a pet food.

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