Dirty Secrets of the Pet Food Industry

List: Posted: 09/12/11

Pet food can get very expensive, particularly if you have larger pets that eat several times a day.  Although it may be tempting to buy discount pet food to save money, cheaper food comes with some serious caveats, some of which may shock you.

Poisoned Pets


The poisoning of dozens of household pets has occurred in the past, due to the cheap and non-regulated ingredients used in some pet foods.  Most people are unaware that the pet food industry is really an extension of the human food industry - once all the edible bits of a meat animal have been removed and sent off for human consumption, whatever is left is processed (known as 'rendering') and turned into pet food.  Pet food also includes spoiled 'human grade' meat from restaurants and supermarkets.

What Kind Of Meat IS That?


However, that seems tame in comparison to other ingredients commonly found in pet food.  You may be horrified to learn your cheap dog or cat food (dry or canned) also includes 'reclaimed meat' from breeds of slaughtered farm and zoo animals that are not traditionally eaten, including those who have died from illness, injury, cancer or natural causes.

The Lowdown on 'Rendered Meat'


Even more horrific, a study done by the Animal protection Institute revealed that meat from roadkill and euthanized pets from the animal shelter or vet's office is also included in cheap pet food, after being sterilized at rendering plants.  This practice is widespread, and not something the pet food industry wishes consumers to know about.  You can learn more by running a Google search on 'Rendering Pet Food.'


This meat is not in itself unfit for animal consumption, although most owners would object to it on moral grounds if they knew where the meat came from.  However, the unsanitary conditions at the rendering plants are breeding grounds for sickness and disease-causing agents.     


With a bit of forethought and knowledge, you can get discounts on food for your pets, without compromising quality or your morals.

Protecting Your Pet


These days, the only real way you can be sure exactly what you are feeling your pet is to make their food yourself, from fresh ingredients.  However, not may of us have the time or energy to do that.  If you want to buy better quality animal food online, make sure you buy from a reliable source so that you can be assured of the freshness of the food. 

Trusted Brands


Pet food is generally safest if it comes from a name you trust.  Look for Pedigree, Beneful, Purina, and Iams for healthier options.  The extra few dollars per bag you pay is an assurance that you are feeding your pet food with better regulated ingredients.  Opting for organic pet food is also a great option for your pet, as it comes without the chemicals and replaces them with natural ingredients.  This is safe and it's easy to find deals and coupons on organic food websites.

Why Corn Should Be Avoided


One thing you really want to avoid in pet food is corn.  It sounds healthy, but only to humans - grains are completely indigestible to both cats and dogs, and can cause stomach upsets and allergies.  It is used primarily because it is a cheap filler.  If corn is listed as the #1 ingredient in your cat or dog food, put it back on the shelf and look for another brand.


Purchasing food from your veterinarian is also a great way to see what food agrees with your pet the best.  After finding a good brand your pet likes, look for discounted rates online or at large retailers.

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