Dog food packets generally have an appealing picture of a healthy dog and food with fresh meat. But, the picture painted is very much different from reality. The meat that is for human consumption undergoes a process where when the animals are slaughtered, the lean muscle is cut off to make human edible meat-food. The remaining carcasses are used to produce pet food. These carcasses are called as by-products.
Many such by-products are used for the production of dog-food. Following are the secrets, Dog Companies don’t want you to know:
1. Dog food is never fully meat:
If the label lists, “chicken” it means chicken weighed when wet. If the dog food label reads “meat (any type) by-product meal” or “meat (any type) by-products” it was never meat to begin with. By definition, by-products may contain anything from the specified animal except, (in the case of chicken), feathers and feces. Meat and fat are separated out first because they are costlier and are therefore not present in any appreciable quantity. What’s left is the bones, tendons, cartilage, beaks and feet. Proudly displayed and masqueraded as meat. Some foods even use the term , “SELECT by-products”. All these contortions serve one purpose; To make you think that you’re getting more meat than you really are in your bag of pet food.
2. High Usage of By-products:
The meat shown in the picture on dog food packet has no relevance with the actual meat that goes into the manufacture of their dog food. The meat that goes into dog food is not the fresh and healthy meat as shown, rather, the meat used in these foods are from diseased, dying or disabled animals. Pet food is essentially not as healthy or hygienic as the companies make it seem like.
3. 4D livestock animals:
Apart from the remaining carcasses a lot of other unhygienic components go into dog food. Leftovers from restaurants, expired or out of date meat from supermarkets, and 4D livestock animals are found in dog food. 4D refers to dead, diseased, disabled and dying animals that are slaughtered and used for production of dog food through the process of rendering.
Rendering is the process where leftovers, diseased meat etc are put into huge vats, ground and then cooked for several hours. This process is done to separate fat, remove water and kill bacteria, viruses and other infectious organisms. The fat obtained from rendering is called animal fat and is used in production of dog food. The remaining dry food obtained from rendering becomes by-product meal for addition to dog food.
Although dog food companies may argue saying the amount of protein in rendered products high, results have proven that the quality of these proteins is questionable. These inferior proteins are often disliked by dogs due to which dog food companies add additives and artificial flavours or fats in order to make them appealing for dogs.
5. Heating at high Temperature:
Most of the packaged dog food are manufactured by heating the raw products to a very high temperature, so as to kill the bacteria present in them. This high temperature heating reduces the nutritional value of the resulting food items. Addition of additives to make it’s life longer adds to the unhealthy aspect of the packaged dog food
Your pets depend on you to make the right choice when it comes to feeding them a nutritious diet. Their quality of life is at stake. Become a label reader!
Your options are now – either to go for All Natural Foods and Treats, or regular visits to Vet and feed them artificial supplements (read calcium, vitamin supplements).