What are they and what do they do?
Unspecified Animal By-Product and By-Product Meal
Animal by-products and animal by-product meals may include mammal and poultry intestines, organs, heads, feet and bones. The proportion of intestines and organs (good and highly nutritious) versus heads, feet and bones (less nutritious and potentially too high in minerals), as well as the specific animals used, may vary considerably, even from batch to batch. Although this ingredi-ent is not necessarily bad, the inconsistencies allowable under the regulations can result in quality variations that may cause digestive problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, gas and refusal to eat.
Animal fat may include mammal and poultry fat and comes primarily from slaughterhouse waste and grocery store fat trimmings classified as inedible for human consumption. Other sources, such as recycled restaurant grease, are also allowable. Again, although this ingredient is not necessarily bad, the variability of sources permitted under the regulations can result in quality variations that may cause digestive problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, gas and refusal to eat.
Meat and Bone Meal
Meat and bone meal is made from slaughterhouse leftovers and bone. The resulting ingredient is low in protein (less than 50%) and high in ash (more than 35%). High ash levels are often implicated in kidney disease, a leading cause of death of dogs and cats in the U.S.
BHA, BHT, Propylene Glycol
BHA has been shown in laboratory studies to cause cancerous tumors. BHT may become toxic or may cause other chemicals to become toxic when found in certain combinations. Propylene glycol is illegal to use in cat foods as it is proven to cause a severe bleeding disorder.
Artificial Colorings and Flavors
Dogs and cats don’t use colors to feed, so why include them? Different colorings have been shown to cause everything from cancer to a wide variety of allergic reactions. Artificial flavors are typically used to make unpalatable things palatable. If it doesn’t taste good enough to eat on its own, then find something better!