An evaluation of the quality of some pet food ingredients from the website recyclepetsnorcal.org
Recycle Pets Nor Cal
A Private Non-Profit All Breed Animal Rescue
"Before doing rescue, I used to volunteer at the City Shelter. One of the first horrific facts you learn while volunteering there is after killing dogs and cats, the animals are not buried in a field covered in poppies and little crosses. They are instead put in barrels and sold to a rendering plant. According to the Sacramento County website regarding Sacramento Rendering Company, a rendering plant “accepts and processes (renders) animal waste materials” from a variety of places including the shelters but also from road kill, butcher shops, ranches, zoos, sick animals and feedlots. They take all the left over parts (or animals that are otherwise unfit for human consumption) and then they “recycled them into materials that go into manufacturing soap, paints, cosmetics, lubricants, candles, animal feed, and biofeed.” I know, that makes it sound really ideal, recycling dead animals so they do not fill our landfills, but I am betting that right now you are wondering if that means what you think it means, and the answer is a scary yes! When your neighbor took his aggressive dog to the shelter, that dog was not adopted but then later used possibly to make your soap or “animal feed.” This is important because when you pick up a bag of dog food, and you see the words “animal fat” or “bone meal” (and it does not say “salmon,” “chicken” or even “salmon meal” or give you a specific protein source, it very well may contain Fluffy, Sparky, and Daisy. Now, you might expect this enrages me as a rescuer and dog lover because I know that food is full of dogs and cats, but honestly that is not my biggest concern. Do I find it grotesque, yes, but (as an omnivore who used to live in China) I understand that protein source is protein source. I don’t want to eat that (and it is illegal to sell for human consumption), but my true concern has to do with the fact that the shelters are poisoning the animals, that animals are dying of unknown diseases, and even that oftentimes the meat is not refrigerated for some time and all the illness and poison is in their blood and organs and then they are being put into food- the same foods I used to feed my animals. There are many companies that use quality proteins (and are kitty and puppy free), just read your label to make sure if yours is one of them. Also know “meal” and “by-product” are not equally as good. So if the first ingredient is “beef by-product”, drop the bag (or box) and walk away (don’t look back lest you want to be chased by zombie zebras that may be in it)."
Read the label
"We told you of one huge red flag to look out for, but there are many others. Some are much simpler to detect, for example, knowing that dogs are carnivores you can make improvements simply by ignoring any food that says “rice” on the front. But also make sure to avoid anything with corn in it as well. We see many foods with sweet potato in them, and generally they are a good choice, but we have even seen some food with quinoa in them as well. High quality ingredients are important, less chemicals and more real food. In preparation for writing this blog, I asked people to send me pictures of their dogs’ food. I understand most of my contacts understand about the importance of feeding quality dog foods, and so most of the labels I received were great. One I read was a little like reading the back of a candy wrapper. When I said it was the worst I had seen, the owner said “it is a good thing it is only a topper for the real thing.” This idea of it being ok (even as a flavor topper), to me, is like serving your children broccoli covered with moldy candy. Look at the label below and tell me, if those ingredients were in your food, would you eat it?"