6 Pet Food Ingredients That Can Increase Your Vet Bills

Have you ever imagined how much chemical your pets eat every day? Did you know bad diet can cause serious health diseases in your pets? But how bad is ‘bad’? And how do you know whether your pet food is good or bad?

Here are 6 highly unhealthy ingredients that shouldn’t be in your pet food:
  1. Artificial coloring. I’m 101% sure your pets don’t care what color their food is. This is an unnecessary chemical substance in your pet food used to attract pet owners.
  2. Ethoxyquin, BHT, BHA, TBHQ, nitrite, nitrate, and other chemical preservatives. These chemical substances are potential carcinogenic, i.e can cause cancer. Beware, we can find these chemicals in human food too, such as sausages, salami, crackers, cheese, and other processed food.
  3. Propylene glycol (PG). In convenient pet food, propylene glycol (PG) is used as sweetener, but it is also used in human cosmetics and skin care. The good news is, studies on dogs and rats, which were fed doses of PG ranging from two to five grams per kg of body weight per day, showed no links to cancer. Though cancer might not be a concern, it was also found that PG provoked allergic reactions in patients with eczema and other skin allergies, even in formulations of much less than 50%.
  4. Sugar. It is used as sweetener and flavor enhancer in convenient pet food. Needless to say, sugar is high in carbohydrate, can cause obesity and other health problems. Sugar intake causes ‘sugar rush’ which gives fake full feeling for a moment, but makes the consumer even more hungry when the effect is gone. This causes increased appetite and higher food intake which eventually leads to obesity. This rule applies for both human and animal. Reducing the amount of food is not the solution, but changing the convenient pet food into a healthier diet is highly recommended.
  5. Corn/corn syrup/corn meal. These play the same role as sugar and contain similar high carbohydrate amount. Worse, most corn are now genetically modified organism (GMO) which, based on scientific research, is carcinogenic.
  6. Meat bone meal (MBM) and animal fat. Meat bone meal is not bad as long as it comes from healthy live animals, but most of MBM comes from slaughterhouse material, restaurant and supermarket refuse, dead stock, road kill, and euthanized companion animals which are dumped into huge containers. A machine slowly grinds the entire mess, chips or shreds it, cooks at temperatures between 220 and 270 degrees F (104.4 to 132.2 degrees C.) for 20-60 minutes. The grease, which is removed from the mixture, is the source of animal fat in most pet foods. The remaining material is then put into a press where the moisture is squeezed out. We now have meat bone meal and animal fat.

What about “by product“? Why is it not in the list?

By product is “any product that is derived from, but less in value than another product from the same source.”

When we are talking about animal by product, it’s whatever is left from slaughtered animal that is not edible for human consumption. It includes head, brain, liver, lungs, heart, spleen, kidney, digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, intestine), gizzard, feet, skin, blood, undeveloped egg, and so on.

It depends on pet owners opinion whether it is OK to feed their pets with by products. In the wild, wild dogs and wild cats eat all the meat and the organs of their preys. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with feeding by product to your pets. By product is not always bad and can be nutritious. To the contrary, meat is not always good because it can cause allergic reaction in some individuals. It is undeniable though, that most by products contain parasite, let’s say intestinal worms, liver flukes, and lung flukes. Recently rumor says that rotten meat and other inedible meat are also considered as by product. It’s not wrong to feed your pet with by product ONLY if you know where it comes from. Otherwise, please avoid buying pet food which uses by product as its ingredients.

So do you still think convenient pet food sold at supermarket are good for your pet? It may be convenient and easy for the owners, but it can shorten your pets’ lives and increase your vet bills. If you want to give a better and healthier food for your pets, stay tune and I will post some DIY recipes of how to make healthy and natural dog food and cat food for your furry kids. Coming soon.

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