Ingredient Panel Definitions

Included is a list of ingredients that we need to understand in order to make the best and most informed choices possible for your pets. 

 

Corn
Ground Whole
Corn
Ground Yellow
Corn
Whole Grain
Corn

AAFCO: The entire ear of corn ground, without husks, with no greater   portion of cob than occurs in the ear corn in its natural state.

Ground Yellow- Same as ground corn, except that the corn used is   yellow in color.

 

Most corn is genetically modified, also making it undesirable. Because   corn lacks or is low in critical essential amino acids such as lysine,   methionine, arginine and taurine, it is not a good source of protein.   Processed corn is a common culprit in food allergies. Dogs with sensitivity   to corn may gnaw at their paws or scratch excessively at themselves. Skin   infections, hot spots, and even hair loss may develop.

 

 

Corn Gluten
Meal

AAFCO: The dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger   part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process   employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by   enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.

 

An inexpensive by-product of human food processing which contains   some protein but serves mainly to bind food together.  It is not a harmful ingredient but should   not rank high in the ingredient list of quality product.

 

 

Soybean Meal

AAFCO: The product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after   the removal of most of the oil from soybeans by solvent or mechanical   extraction process.

 

A poor quality protein filler used to boost the protein content of   low quality pet foods.  Has a biologic   value of less than 50% of chicken meal.

 

 

Ground Whole
Wheat

May also appear as “Wheat Middlings”

AAFCO: Coarse and fine particles of wheat bran and fine particles of   wheat shorts, wheat germ, wheat flour and offal from the “tail of the mill”

 

An inexpensive byproduct of human food processing, commonly referred   to as ‘floor sweepings’. An inexpensive filler with no real nutritional   value.

 

 

Soybean Mill
Run

AAFCO” Composed of soybean hulls and such bean meats that adhere to   the hulls which results from normal milling operations in the production of   dehulled soybean meal.

 

An inexpensive byproduct of human food processing, commonly referred   to as ‘floor sweepings’.  An   inexpensive filler with no real nutritional value.

 

 

Poultry Byproduct Meal

AAFCO: Consist of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcasses   of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and   intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur   unavoidably in good processing practices.

 

The parts used can be obtained from any slaughtered fowl, so there is   no control over the quality and consistency of individual batches.  Poultry byproducts are much less expensive   and less digestible than chicken meat.    The ingredients of each batch can vary drastically in ingredients   (heads, feed, bones, organs etc.) as well as quality, thus the nutritional   value is also not consistent.  Don’t   forget that byproducts consist of any parts of the animal OTHER than   meat.  If there is any use for any part   of the animal that brings more profit than selling it as “byproduct”, rest   assured it will appear in such product rather than in the “byproduct”   dumpster.

 

 

 

Meat & Bone
Meal

AAFCO:  The rendered product   from mammal tissues, with or without bone, exclusive of any added blood,   hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except   in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

 

The animal parts 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. road   kill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on.  It can also include pus, cancerous tissue,   and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.

 

 

Peanut Hulls

AAFCO: The outer hull of the peanut shell.

 

No nutritional value whatsoever, and are used exclusively as a cheap   filler ingredient.  Possibility of   pesticide residues being present.

 

 

 

Chicken Byproduct Meal

AAFCO: Consists of the dry, ground, rendered clean parts of the   carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and   intestines – exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur   unavoidably in good processing practices.

 

Chicken byproducts 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   byproducts consist of any parts of the animal OTHER than meat.  If there is any use for any part of the   animal that brings more profit than selling it as ‘byproduct’, rest assured   it will appear in such a product rather than in the ‘byproduct’ dumpster.

 

 

Propylene Glycol

A colorless viscous hygroscopic liquid, CH3CHOHCH2OH, used in   antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent.

 

Used as a humectants in semi-moist kibble to keep it from drying   out.  May be toxic if consumed in large   amounts, and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will   eat daily for weeks, months or even years of its life.  IN countries of the European Union,   propylene glycol is not cleared as a general-purpose food grade product or   direct food additive.

 

 

BHA

 

Butylated Hydroxysanisole- a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant,   C11H1602, 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.  The oxidative characteristics and/or   metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or   tumorigenicity

 

 

 

BHT

Butylated Hydroxytoluene- a crystalline phenolic antioxidant,   C15H240, 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.  The oxidative characteristics and/or   metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or   tumorigenicity.

 

 

Blue 2 (artificial color)

 

An artificial color obtained by heating indigo (or indigo paste) in   the presence of sulfuric acid.  The   color additive is isolated and subjected to purification procedures.  The indigo (or indigo paste) used is   manufactured by the fusion of N-phenylglycine (prepared from aniline and   formaldehyde) in a molten mixture of sodamide and sodium and potassium   hydroxides under ammonia pressure.  The   indigo is isolated and subjected to purification procedures prior to sulfonation.

 

The largest study suggested, but did not prove, that this dye caused   brain tumors in male mice.  The FDA   concluded that there is “reasonable certainty of no harm”, but personally I’d   rather avoid this ingredient and err on the side of caution.

 

Red 40 (artificial color)

The most widely used food dye.    While this one is one of the most-tested food dyes, the key mouse   tests were flawed and inconclusive.  An   FDA review committee acknowledged problems, but said evidence of harm was not   “consistent” or “substantial.”  Like   other dyes, Red 40 is used mainly in junk foods.  Personally I’d rather avoid this ingredient   and err on the side of caution.
Yellow 5 (artificial color)  

The second most widely used coloring can cause mild allergic   reactions.

Yellow 6 (artificial color) Industry-sponsored animal tests indicated that this dye, the third   most widely used, causes tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.  In addition, small amounts of several   carcinogens contaminate Yellow 6.     However, the FDA reviewed those data and found reasons to conclude   that Yellow 6 does not pose a significant cancer risk to humans.  Yellow 6 may also cause occasional allergic   reactions.  Another ingredient I would   rather avoid and err on the side of caution rather than risking my pet’s   health.


Who Owns Who…
Huge food manufacturers use pet food companies as a cheap and profitable way of utilizing the byproducts from human food manufacturing plants.  Below is a list of some of the more well known companies and the pet foods they manufacture.

Nestle: Purina,Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskees, Mighty Dog
Heinz: Kibbles & Bits, Natures Recipe, Gravy Train, 9 Lives, and Amore
Colgate-Palmolive:  Hills Science Diet
Mars: Kal Kan, Meal Time, Sheba, Waltmans
Proctor & Gamble: Iams, Eukanuba, Natura

Feeding Our Pets Proper Nutrition

We all know the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.  Nothing could be truer in deciding on the foods we feed our pets.  We must turn the bag over and read the ingredient panel.  Just like when we are shopping for our children, or ourselves, it is important to read the labels on the food we buy, the same is true for our pets.  It is never safe to assume that because the packaging shows big pieces of meat on the bag, that there is real meat of that quality in the food.

Our foods contain real meat like chicken, lamb, beef, salmon, duck, and bison.  They also contain whole grains like barley and oatmeal, and they have real vegetables.  Now, just as importantly, let’s talk about what they do not contain.  They do not contain corn, wheat, soybean, whole grain sorghum, (these sound like cow feed to me).  Our foods do not have any by-products, meat and bone meal, sugar, sorbital, or artificial colors.  They also do not contain any chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin.

Unfortunately, most commercial brand pet foods contain some if not all of the ingredients on the second list.  Many of these ingredients are known allergens to our pets and can cause many different reactions.  Some of the more common reactions are:

  • Licking and biting of legs and paws
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Excessive shedding
  • Dry skin
  • Occasional vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sores that won’t heal
  • Behavior problems

Pet foods have a rating system that was developed to give some insight into the foods quality.  All foods, regardless of cost, start with a score of 100.  Points are then added or subtracted based on what is in or not in the ingredient panel.  Based on the score they are then given a letter grade just like the kids get at school.  Many commercial brands such as Purnina, Pedigree, Science Diet, Ekanuba and Iams have scores ranging from 17-74 points and letter grades of D or F.  Brands such as Diamond Naturals, Nutri Source, Professional, and Taste of the Wild have ratings of  89 to 112 points and letter grades of A or B.

It is apparent from these scores that the commercial brand dog foods do not rate so well.  Understandably this is hard to believe because we trust that the advertising portrays truth and they are names that we have always trusted.  Unfortunately it is not always true.

The number one thing we can do for our pets is to read the label.  You are the only one who can keep your pet healthy, happy, and problem free.  Your pet depends on you completely for his health and well-being.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at 715-421-4112.