There is substance to the old adage, “You are what you eat.” While it would be nice if everyone could trust the marketing on pet food packaging, dog and cat parents must become detectives and read ingredient lists to make informed buying decisions.
Some pet foods are enticing because they boast low prices. However, these manufacturers often use filler ingredients with little or no nutritional value to cut costs. While they may have a lower price tag than premium pet foods, these low-quality recipes should be avoided for the sake of your pet’s health. Dog and cat owners would be wise to look for pet foods free of fillers and low-quality sources of protein, including:
1. Meat, poultry, and fish by-products. These include the internal organs of animals, but not the muscle meat, and can include diseased tissues and tumors.
2. Corn and rice bran. The outer coatings of the kernels add bulk to low-quality pet foods, but add little nutritional value.
3. Oat hulls. After milling whole oats, hulls remain. They are sometimes used as pet food filler, but they do not add value to the food.
4. Cereal by-products. Remnants of breakfast cereal ingredients come from unknown sources and nutritional quality. They also are known to contain chemical residue, sweeteners, and other additives.
5. Soybean hulls. These are by-products of soybeans used in human food processing and are commonly known as “floor sweepings.” Composed of skins and bean product that stick to the skins, they have little nutritional value.
6. Peanut hulls. These shell parts not only have no nutritional value, they can also bring pesticide residues into pet food.
7. Wheat mill run. Also known as “wheat middlings,” these bran particles come from wheat shorts, wheat germ, and wheat flour as by-products of human food processing.
8. Citrus pulp. The dried residue of citrus fruits, peels, and seeds are sometimes used to add bulk carbohydrates and fiber to dog food. Pesticides and fertilizers can enter the foods with citrus pulp.
9. Grain fermentation soluble. This inexpensive by-product of human food and beverage creation is what is left after separation of solids from grain fermentation. It has little to no nutritional value for dogs.
The list of fillers and pet food additives is long and ever growing. Other fillers can include modified cornstarch, cottonseed hulls, and even weeds and straw! Pet owners should avoid buying products that contain these, as well as corn, brewers rice, soybean meal, and rice protein. Instead, look for high-quality pet foods that list meat, poultry, and fish as the first ingredient and are void of useless fillers.
At CANIDAE®, we only source the best ingredients for your pets and ours. Our recipes use fresh meat, poultry, and fish along with fruits, vegetables, and legumes grown on our very own farm in Kansas. Go ahead and read the ingredient list! You’re going to like what you see. Learn more about where your pet’s food comes from at CANIDAE® Farms.