How To Choose a Dog Food

When considering a new dog food, there are several items that should be on the list. Your dog’s food should be free of overly processed meats, high levels of plant protein, cheap vegetables, and cancer-causing preservatives. Unfortunately, a lot of the pet food industry is built around easy profits as a result of compromises in those four areas. In most cases, it isn’t a moral issue, but it is good to consider the company that you purchase your pet food from and what their philosophy is on the products that they make available for purchase. russian grocery store

First a lot of consideration should be used regarding the type of meat going into the product. If the meat is labeled as a “meal”on the side of the package (for example, “chicken meal”) a dog owner should be aware that this is not the kind of chicken that he would sit down to eat at the dinner table. Chicken meal is basically the remains of a chicken that has been parted out. The parts of the chicken that we are familiar with (the breast and the leg meat) tend to be mostly missing. What is left is a some chicken meat and skin. A lot of skin actually. The most disturbing part of a chicken meal though has to do with a significant portion of what else is thrown into the vat and cooked before it becomes the high-protein pellets known as chicken meal.

4-D animals could be a high percentage of the meat meal in the food you serve your pet. A 4-D animal, is an animal that was either dead, dying, diseased or disabled. Some feel that if dogs were left to their own devices in the wild, that 4-D animal matter is precisely the type of meat that they would consume. The answer is debatable. But the question remains, how much does the use of 4-D animals push the profit margins of corporate pet food companies up?

Whether pet owners know about meat meal or not, might be beside the point. The only real issue that I see here is the integrity of the pet food companies themselves. If 4-D meats can be purchased for significantly less than regular meat, then what is to stop a pet food company from using as much 4-D product as possible to keep their margins up? 4-D meats might very well be one of the most profit making aspects of pet food. In short, a pet owner should have a good comprehension of the philosophy behind the company that makes the pet foods that you buy.

While researching this article, I did in fact contact the FDA. After a bit of back and forth, I did receive confirmation of what is said in the above two paragraphs. The FDA zeroed in on the definition a bit more, citing that these foods shouldn’t be in a state of decomposition and should contain zero toxins or chemical substances. Most interesting was the argument that the FDA allows this usage of 4-D animals because they see a benefit in using the meat product, rather than wasting it.

There are a few pet food companies that make their pet foods with free-range, table-grade poultry, however. What does this mean? A big part of it (perhaps the biggest of all) is that the chickens are allowed to do what chickens do for the bulk of their lives until they are gathered for pet food. But this is reflected with the cost of the pet food. Obviously, if you care about your animal, the higher grade, possibly pricier pet foods shouldn’t be a deterrent. It seems obvious that in the long run, these foods are better for your pet anyway.