Ingredients to Avoid
This is no where near a complete list of all dangerous and/or poor quality ingredients nor is it listed in any specific order, but it names many ingredients that are used in lower-end foods such as grocery store brand and veterinarian-prescribed
diets and should be avoided at all costs.
Corn, Corn Gluten or Corn Gluten Meal
An inexpensive by-product of human food processing which offers very little nutritional value and serves mainly to bind food together. It is not a harmful ingredient but should be avoided simply for its poor nutritional value and quality. Unfortunately corn is often abused as the single most abundant ingredient in many pet foods, contributing to the many diseases linked to high carbohydrate diets, including obesity, chronic inflammation, diabetes and cancer.
Soy, Soybean Mill or Soybean Mill Run
An inexpensive byproduct of human food processing, commonly referred to as 'floor sweepings'. An inexpensive filler with no real nutritional value. Along with corn and wheat, soy is one of the most common allergens in companion animals. Carnivores were never meant to eat soy, it is commonly used in pet food as an inexpensive substitute for meat protein.
Wheat or Wheat Gluten
Wheat is another ingredient found in abundance in many pet foods. The repetitive and persistent exposure of wheat to pet animals has resulted in allergies and intolerances to wheat and wheat gluten. Wheat gluten is also used as an inexpensive protein source in pet foods. Wheat gluten contamination was the cause of the massive 2007 Menu Foods pet food recall, which caused a countless numbers of companion animals to suffer from kidney failure, debilitation and death.
Cellulose or Powdered Cellulose
Dried wood is the most common source for cellulose. It is cleaned, processed into a fine powder and used to add bulk and consistency to cheap pet foods.
Brewers Rice or Ground Brewers Rice
A processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice. Contrary to what many pet food companies want to make you believe, this is not a high quality ingredient, just much cheaper than whole grain rice.
Rice hulls are the outer covering of rice and an inexpensive byproduct of human food processing, serving as a source of fibre that is considered a filler ingredient.
Dried Beet Pulp
Dried Beet Pulp is the left over residue from the extraction of sugar in the production of table sugar. It is used as a filler and sweetener. Note that the source of dried beet pulp is from sugar beets, not red beets.
Note that the animal source is not specified and is not required to originate from "slaughtered" animals. The rendered animals can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: "4-D animals" (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant and supermarket refuse and so on.
A cooked-down liquid made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. The animals used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: "4-D animals" (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant and supermarket refuse and so on.
Salt or Sodium Chloride or Iodized Salt
While sodium is a necessary mineral, too much sodium intake is unhealthy for animals as is the same for humans. In poor quality foods it is often used in large amounts to add flavour and make the food more palatable.
Chicken By-Product Meal
Chicken by-products are much less expensive and less digestible than the chicken muscle meat.The ingredients of each batch can vary drastically in ingredients (heads, feet, bones etc.) as well as quality, thus the nutritional value is also not consistent. Don't forget that by-products consist of any parts of the animal OTHER than meat.
An unnecessary, feed-grade ingredient in pet foods, added mainly as a flavouring to make inexpensive food more attractive. Yeast culture lacks the nutritional value of higher quality yeast supplements. Also a potential allergen for some dogs.
Meat & Bone Meal
A byproduct made from unidentified meat parts which are not suitable for human consumption. It can incorporate the entire animal, including the bones, but the quality cuts of meat are always removed. This is an inexpensive, low quality ingredient used to boost the protein percentage.
BHA & BHT
Used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods. Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments.
Originally developed by Monsanto as a stabilizer for rubber, Ethoxyquin has also been used as a pesticide for fruit and a colour preservative for spices, and later for animal feed. It has never been proven to be safe for the lifespan of a companion animal. Ethoxyquin is used as a food preservative and a pesticide. In pet foods it is typically found in meat and fish based ingredients. Ethoxyquin has been banned from use in human products because it is believed to cause cancer. It is important to note that when a manufacturer obtains an ethoxyquin preserved ingredient from a supplier or if it is added to pet food ingredients prior to food manufacture, the manufacturer is not required to list ethoxyquin on the pet food ingredient panel. The same applies to the other chemical preservatives.