The 5 Worst Ingredients in Pet Food

It is strange but true that pet food is made from leftover animal products that are unwanted or condemned for human use. The prices of the pet foods vary with the quality of ingredients used to make the pet food. The cheapest of the pet foods are made from the lowest quality of ingredients discarded from human consumption.

Following ingredients on a pet food label give a good indication of the quality of food

Animal fat

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Animal fat, also called tallow, is produced in a rendering process in which pieces, parts, and even whole animals are grinded in a gigantic grinder and then boiled for 30 minutes to several hours.  They are boiled on high heat to kill the bacteria, molds, pathogens and viruses. Boiling makes the fat float on the top which is skimmed off and used in making cosmetics, medicines, industrial lubricants and pet foods. Fat from single species of animals is better for pet food than the fat made from a number of different animals.

Meat and bone meal

Meat and bone meal, or MBM, is also a product of rendering. It is a single ingredient made at the render-er. The remaining material after the fat is removed is pressed a, dried and made into a brown powder which is called MBM. It is a high protein powder used to make the food for low grade dogs and cats. Animal fat and MBM, both may come from anyone species of animal or from a wide variety of animals.Animal fat and meat and bone meal were the ingredients associated with the presence of sodium phenobarbital which is a drug used by veterinarians and shelters for euthanasia—in the food. Both include outdated market meats. Dry livestock in the farm and grease from restaurant and hotel wastes.

Animal digest

this ingredient is a flavoring agent commonly sprayed on dry foods to make them attract the dogs and cats. It is made from a mixture of animal parts broken down with the help of enzymes or chemicals.  These can again be derived from a single species of animals or from several species of animals. There are chances of this animal digest creating allergies to certain pests.

Corn products

Different forms of corn are found in pet food sand they are used as the primary source of energy to the pets. These include whole grain corn, corn meal, corn bran, corn grits and corn gluten meal. Corn meal is specifically problematic and is used as a cheap substitute for meat. Since cats and dogs are by nature carnivorous, they live better on meat diet. Corn protein is not a complete protein in itself. It must be balanced with animal protein to make the food suitable for pets. If corn protein is used alone it can lead to muscle loss in dogs and cats. Low quality corn used in pet foods is also a cause of problems as they contain toxins which can damage the liver and kidneys of the pets.

Chemical preservatives

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Powerful chemical preservatives are used by manufacturers of pet food to provide a cheap means for long shelf-life to the product

Chemical preservatives used in foods are linked with a number of health problems including cancer.  Synthetic preservatives like BHA, (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are preservatives derived from petroleum. Ethoxyquinis used as a pesticide and in food preservatives. It is found in pet’s food that has meat and fish in them.

Chemical preservatives must be substituted with foods using natural preservatives like vitamin C, vitamin E and rosemary oil.These natural preservatives are common in truly healthy pet foods as people realize that the small additional expense is worth it when the safety of the petsis considered


Pet food should be carefully chosen by reading the labels on the foods that are made from good quality ingredients. There are chances of dry foods containing rendered ingredients and corn products. Cats prefer high moisture foods that are frozen canned and homemade. A long and healthy life to the pet can be ensured by choosing their foods carefully.  Pet foods made of natural preservatives are a little expensive but they are beneficial to keep the pets healthy.