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Dangerous Dog Food Ingredients

Updated on July 12, 2012

What the Heck is in My Dog's Food? Dangerous Dog Food Ingredients Explained


Used in low quality, cheap commercial dog foods, fillers are basically put in the dog's "food" to save the manufacturer money, not to increase nutritional values. These include inedible and hard to digest products such as: cereal byproducts, - cottonseed hulls, - crushed peanut shells, - straw, - corn and crushed corncobs, - weeds, and - feathers.

A cheap dog food filled with corn fillers, listed as corn, corn meal, and corn gluten meal should be avoided as this is used as substitute for higher quality animal protein sources.

These fillers are not just unpalatable, but can be dangerous to your pet. They can cause digestive problems, allergies, and in immune deficient puppies or older pets can cause severe medical problems.


Found in cheap dog food, meat by-products are euphemisms for parts of animals that wouldn't be considered edible by any smart consumer. Meat by-products actually do not contain meat. By-products are part of the animals that are left over after the meat has been stripped away from the bone. Thrown into the cheap dog food stew pot then would be items such as heads, feet, entrails, hoofs, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brains, stomach, bones, blood, intestines and lots of other parts of the carcass not fit for human consumption.

Also, the boiled down flesh of road kill, zoo animals, and 4-D (dead, diseased, disabled dying) livestock is considered okay with these manufacturers. This also can include dogs and cats that have been euthanized. Avoid dog food with blood meal, which is an inexpensive protein booster. The animal source is usually not stated, and the blood can be contaminated with residues of hormones, or medications.


If the main protein source is listed as "meat" this is to be avoided, It is always mystery meat such as: spoiled rotten meat from the grocery store (Styrofoam wrap and all), - Road kill that can't be buried on the roadside, - heads, feet, skin, hair, feathers, carpel and tarsal joints, and mammary glands are used from the slaughterhouses. Animals that died are used, cancerous tissue and all, - tumors and worm infested organs are also rendered. Injection sites are rendered, blood clots and all. Stomach and unclean bowels are rendered. Contaminated material including blood is rendered. Carcasses with high levels of drugs or pesticides in excess of limits prescribed under the FDA (not fit for human consumption) are rendered.

Everything is pitched into large vats and slowly ground, then cooked at low temps till the grease rises to the top. This is the source of animal fat listed in the dog food ingredients. The leftovers are put, raw, into a press where the moisture is squeezed out, and this is the "meat" used in the cheap dog food brands.


Flavor is added, because most pets wouldn't eat the finished product without some sort of cover up for the horrible smell. These additional flavors are usually from rancid restaurant grease. This grease sometimes sits in dumpsters, out in the sun for weeks. This is what the pet food manufacturers buy to add as flavoring, which is sprayed onto the kibble. Also sugar or corn syrup is used to cover up the bad taste of the inferior kibble.

Different dyes are used to make the food look good to us, the pet owner. The pet certainly doesn't care what color their food is, and the dyes are not necessary and are considered harmful.

Artificial preservatives are used to extend the shelf life of the dog food. The main ones to avoid are: BHA (butylated hydroxytolulene), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used in automotive antifreeze, and is suspected of causing red blood cell damage) and ethoxyquin. These are all potentially cancer causing agents that your pets are eating every day.

This all sounds pretty grim, but rest assured there are many extremely excellent, ultra premium dog food now being manufactured without any of the above crap in them. These highly reputable and conscientious companies have philosophies aimed at providing you and your pet the best of the best when it comes to nutrition and peace of mind.

A lot of pet owners are also now making their own homemade dog food, and this is always better than the junk the commercial pet food manufacturers are feeding our pets. It is easy, and comparable in price to buying the premium organic dog food brands, as long as you use a proper nutritionally balanced dog food recipe. There are many all natural, healthy dog food recipe books for sale or at your local library, and many websites featuring homemade dog food.


Whatever you choose for your pet, remember we speak for them, and choose the best for them that you are able to give.

Lola - Healthy and Happy

Lola the sweetie
Lola the sweetie


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      Dog Health Problems 7 years ago

      Rant or not pet food manufactures are FOR PROFIT businesses. That in itself is not a bad thing when it becomes bad is when the health of their end user is disregarded. We applaud pet food manufactures who go the extra mile to make our pets safe. In addition to reading what is in the food, storage and freshness are probably overlooked by most pet owners.


    • profile image

      ethany 7 years ago

      People need to educate themselves. PET FOOD WILL KILL YOUR PET. Make sure the food is HOLISTIC with no 'byproducts', wheat, or corn. Sunflower oil is the cheapest, most unhealthy oil for humans or animals. Solid Gold and Natures Balance are 2 good choices.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 9 years ago from West By God

      Good Hub.