Home / What is the Best Type of Dog Food?

What is My Pup Really Eating?

Meat, meal, protein, beef meal, bone meal, blood meal, byproduct meal, what is all this stuff in my dog food?!?!  Parts is parts – right?  There are lots of euphemisms for the contents of common dog foods, but what do they really mean?  Many sound OK, but some are intended more to hide the facts than convey an accurate account of what is in it.

Fortunately there is a group who sets a standard which most, though not all, dog food manufactures follow.  AAFCO (Assoc. of American Feed Control Officials), sets these standards and below I have provided their meanings of the terms.  It is important to note, however, that this is an association of good people in the industry trying to self-regulate, because there is no real governmental regulation out there to protect your pup.  Keep this in mind, especially whenever you see something from a country like China.

                                                                                                                                              

Beef & Bone Meal:    The rendered product from beef tissues, including 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.  A byproduct made from beef parts which are not suitable for human consumption.  It can incorporate the entire cow, including the bones, but the quality cuts of meat are always removed.  This is an inexpensive, low quality ingredient used to boost the protein percentage.

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Blood Meal:    Blood Meal is produced from clean, fresh animal blood, exclusive of all extraneous material such as hair, stomach belchings and urine except as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing process.  A large portion of the moisture is usually removed by a mechanical dewatering process or by condensing by cooking to a semi-solid state.  The semi-solid blood mass is then transferred to a rapid drying facility where the more tightly bound water is rapidly removed.  The minimum biological activity of lysine shall be 80%.   An inexpensive protein booster.  You have no way of knowing what type of animal the blood came from or what residues of hormones, medications or other substances are in this product.  It has a better use as fertilizer than as a dog food ingredient.

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Chicken Byproduct Meal:    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.

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Meat & Bone Meal:   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. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on.  It can also include pus, cancerous tissue, and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.

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Meat Meal:     The rendered product from mammal tissues, 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. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on.  It can also include pus, cancerous tissue, and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.

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Pork & Bone Meal:   The rendered product from pork tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, skin, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.  A byproduct made from pork parts which are not suitable for human consumption.  It can incorporate the entire pig, including the bones, but the quality cuts of meat are always removed.  This is an inexpensive, low quality ingredient used to boost the protein percentage.

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Poultry Byproduct Meal:      Consists 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, feet, 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 a product rather than in the "byproduct" dumpster.

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Poultry Meal: The clean combination of poultry flesh and skin with or without bone. Does not contain feathers, heads, feet or entrails. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e. chicken, turkey etc).  Note how in this product the source is not defined as "slaughtered poultry".  The manufacturer does not disclose the species (or the mix of species) of the poultry used.  The fowl 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), turkey, chicken, geese, buzzard, seagulls, misc. roadkill, birds euthanized at shelters and so on.

GROSS!  Seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up!  That it is so common a usage that they even have an industry term like “4-D Animals” for dead, diseased, disabled, or animals dying prior to slaughter is scary for your pet.  Maybe the tempuratures at which they cook it kills bacteria, but what about the drugs used to put the animals down, or the cancerous tissues mixed in there.  Who wants to eat that stuff to a beloved family member?

On the other hand, if you feed an all-natural, organic, raw meat like RAW WILD, then there is only the one ingredient – meat.   Pure, raw, wild deer and elk from the Rocky Mountains, what more could you ask for!  Just buy an all-natural, organic raw meat like RAW WILD.