If you’re a parent looking to avoid the by-products that you see in your pet’s food, you’ll want to learn about animal by-products. These products come from animals we wouldn’t want to eat, including organ meats, blood, bone, and underdeveloped eggs. Although they have gotten a bad rap, by-products can actually be healthy for your pet.
Many by-products are valuable sources of nutrition for cats and dogs. For instance, animal organs and tissues are not only edible but also highly nutritious. Most wild animals consume them first, and other cultures even consider them delicacies. This approach to animal nutrition contributes to the common sustainability goals of our modern world, because it prevents the loss of food and highly nutritious materials. In addition, by-products do not compete with ingredients found in human food, so they do not take up additional land.
The AAFCO Official Publication outlines the composition of pet food. Pet food manufacturers exploit gaps in the AAFCO Official Publication by incorporating by-products into their products. While the AAFCO Official Publication identifies the ingredients used to produce pet food, the food industry is not entirely sure of their identity. In other words, manufacturers and companies know what’s going into your pet’s food, and they exploit the gap by using the name of a competitor. While meat is the most common ingredient in pet food, it’s high in moisture, containing nearly 75 percent water. Meat meal, on the other hand, contains only 10% water, and is largely protein and minerals.
Chicken is another popular animal by-product. This includes the chicken eggs, intestines, and organs. Some of these are highly nutritious for dogs. In addition, some by-products can be considered “flying” if they come from other animals. Nonetheless, the by-products may not have been used in the human market. By-products are used to make chicken products that can be sold to the public.