By-product ingredients are not quality protein by any stretch of the imagination
By-product meals are made with ingredients which come from rejected animal parts at food processing plants or other resources. Dog food and treat ingredients are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA categorizes by-product meals as rendered products. Rendering animal parts is the process of boiling and separating protein and fat.
What does the FDA say about by-products used in dog treats?
Which parts are used to made rendered products? Absolutely not the ones we see on our dinner table. Obviously, the picture of by-products above is proof of that. As a matter of fact, the FDA regulations make 50% of the animals slaughtered commercially unsuitable for humans. Animal feed and treats can be made up of the parts which are leftover. Of course, easily digestible protein made from whole meat is more nutritious and easier to digest than highly processed animal parts.
The FDA defines Poultry By-Products Meal as the dry rendered product. With a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone derived from parts or whole carcasses of poultry. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. Notice this definition says nothing about the muscle of the poultry. Therefore, “chicken meal” probably doesn’t contain any chicken breast, legs or thighs that we place on our dinner table.
Similarly, Beef by-product meal is the rendered product, 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. Once again, notice that there is no mention of meat muscle. Also the loophole is there for added meaning that blood, hair, hoof, horn, manure, etc.. are acceptable when unavoidable. When is it unavoidable?
Major dog food companies use by-products to keep costs down
For instance, Natural Balance claims they use no animal by-products. However, their label clearly states chicken meal as the number five ingredient in this treat. Then they add molasses to their treats to make them palatable. By the way, I will commit to exploring later, why do companies add molasses or other sugars to their treats? Do they taste so bad, without adding that addictive ingredient, that dogs reject them?
Chef’s Dog Treats never uses by-products. I only use the same high quality ingredients that I serve to my personal chef clients. For example, you can see the ingredients for Chef’s Turkey Pot Pie Dog Treats here. Your pet will love them!