A premium line of dog foods recently reformulated their products and, call me Suspicious Sally, but I know the country is facing an economic crunch and I wondered how the new ingredients would stand up to scrutiny. Here are the first ingredients listed in one of the new formulas:
Beef, brewers rice, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, animal fat, whole grain corn, soy flour, soybean meal, dried beet pulp, fish meal, animal digest, glycerin
Beef – OK. Ideally this would be USDA inspected beef muscle meat, obtained from local, humane, sustainable farming methods – not feedlot misery. But yeah, I know I’m dreaming.
Brewer’s Rice – Alcohol industry waste product which, if not bought by pet food companies, would otherwise end up in the trash bin. AAFCO allows this ingredient to contain “spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.” Spent hops, when ingested by dogs, can be fatal.
Whole Grain Wheat – OK for some dogs but it is a common allergen
Corn Gluten Meal: Waste product from facilities manufacturing corn syrup, used in the extrusion process to bind kibble. Corn gluten is one of many known contaminated pet food ingredients to have poisoned pets in the past.
Poultry By-Product Meal: The bits that people won’t eat (such as heads, intestines, and feet) but from what kind of poultry – anyone know? Does the manufacturer know? Apparently not.
Animal Fat – AAFCO describes this as fat from mammals and/or poultry. Dang, how would YOU like to have a dinner made from “mammals”. Kinda horror flick like.
Whole Grain Corn – indigestible by dogs, another common allergen
Soy Flour and Soybean Meal – Soy is a common allergen in dogs. The flour is presumably used as a binding agent, while soybean meal is simply waste product of the soybean oil extraction process.
Dried Beet Pulp – Dried residue from sugar beets which is yet another ingredient used in pet foods which would otherwise be sent to the landfill. Pet food companies use it because it binds the stool and apparently as owners, we are so excited to see firm stool that we don’t care if it’s the result of some junk ingredient added to the food as opposed to an accurate reflection of good nutrition and healthy digestion. Gosh, we’re dumb.
Fish Meal – What kind of fish is “Fish”? In order to comply with US Coast Guard regulations, all fish meal must be preserved with ethoxyquin. The pet food manufacturer need not list the ethoxyquin as an ingredient since they didn’t add it themselves.
Animal Digest – Ick.
Glycerin – a waste product of the bio-fuel industry
Overall product ingredients review: *sounds buzzer* It looks like this company has cut corners even further in order to try and maintain profitability during the economic crisis. Too bad for the dogs who rely on this food as their main source of nourishment. To my mind, a diet of healthy table scraps would be far superior.