By products in pet food

Susan's picture

I often get asked about which commercial pet foods I recommend and it always makes me twitch a little. Even though I worked at the vet hospital and have studied nutrition for a long time, pet foods have become a huge market and constantly change, so it's hard to make a suggestion on what's best for any individual dog.

Instead, I often just tell folks what I feed my own dogs. This can get me some sideways glances because the food I feed my dogs contains ( low on the list) some by product. The source of the by product is listed- Chicken by product. Anything that says meat by product is suspicious to me. What kind of meat? Road kill?  Chicken by product from a reputable made in the USA dog food company actually gives me some comfort because the truth is, I even eat some chicken by product! You may have too! If you have ever enjoyed wings at a superbowl party or during wing night, you are eating by product. The left over bits after all the good cuts have been processed( breasts and thighs)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced. In the context of production, a by-product can be defined as the 'output from a joint production process that is minor in quantity and/or net realizable value (NVR) when compared to the main products'.

The other thing is that if you have ever seen a dog in a hen house, you will note they eat the whole bird. Feet, beaks etc and to be honest, chicken feet are available in my local Shoprite store. People eat them!

The biggest kicker of all, for me, is that the same folks that are reluctant to feed a kibble with by-product are also the ones that spend big bucks on hooves, antlers, marrow bones and bully sticks for their dogs. All By-product! You do know what a Bully stick is made from, right?

So, in closing, it's good to read labels and know what your dog is eating but don't forget that they will also eat from the litter box if you let them.