The Shocking Truth About Commercial Dog Food


Warning. The following story is shocking but true. It’s taken with permission from an article published in 1990 by the Earth Island Journal.1

“The rendering plant floor is piled high with ‘raw product’. Thousands of dead dogs and cats; heads and hooves from cattle, sheep, pigs and horses; whole skunks; rats and raccoons — all waiting to be processed.

“In the ninety degree heat, the piles of dead animals seem to have a life of their own as millions of maggots swarm over the carcasses.

“Two bandanna-masked men begin operating Bobcat mini-dozers, loading the ‘raw’ into a ten-foot deep stainless steel pit. They are undocumented workers from Mexico doing a dirty job.

“A giant auger at the bottom of the pit begins to turn. Popping bones and squeezing flesh are sounds from a nightmare you will never forget.

“Rendering is the process of cooking raw animal material to remove the moisture and fat. The rendering plant works like a giant kitchen.

“The cooker, or ‘chef’, blends the raw product in order to maintain a certain ratio between the carcasses of pets, livestock, poultry waste and supermarket rejects.

“Once the mass is cut into small pieces, it is transported to another auger for fine shredding. It is then cooked at 280 degrees for one hour.

“The continuous batch cooking process goes on non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week as meat is melted away from bones in the hot “soup”.

“During this cooking process, the “soup” produces a fat of yellow grease or tallow that rises to the top and is skimmed off.

“The cooked meat and bone are sent to a hammer-mill press, which squeezes out the remaining moisture and pulverizes the product into a gritty powder.

“Shaker screens sift out excess hair and large bone chips. Once the batch is finished, all that is left is yellow grease, meat and bone meal.”

Welcome to the
Dark Side of Recycling

So, what on earth could this unsavory concoction be legitimately used for?

Certainly not to make anything edible — right?

Unfortunately, as hard as it is to believe, the final product of this grisly process is sold as a source of protein and fat for making animal feeds.

That’s right, food made to be fed to chickens, pigs, cattle — and dogs.

Every day, hundreds of rendering plants across America ship thousands of pounds of this recycled rubbish to ranches, farms, feed lots — and pet food manufacturers.

Each batch of rendered product must be labeled according to its dominant animal source. 

So, the ingredients most likely to be made in this same way tend to have vague names that fail to clearly identify the source animal.

For example:

  • Animal by-product meal
  • Meat by-product meal
  • Animal fat

All are products of similar rendering process.

Toxic Waste
and Euthanized Pets

However, this same system which converts waste into animal feed has also evolved into a recycling nightmare. That’s because many rendering plants are unavoidably processing toxic waste, too.

You see, dead animals are frequently accompanied by a host of unwanted contaminants. Pesticides enter the rendering process via tainted livestock.

Fish oil is commonly contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals.

Dead pets collected from shelters are frequently thrown into the grinder with their flea collars still attached. Insecticide-laced patches found on the skin of slaughtered cattle are also carelessly added to the mix.

Antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals follow livestock directly into the soup. And drugs given to euthanize animals have been regularly found in the rendered product.

Unwanted metal contaminants can be traced to a variety of sources including pet collars, ID tags, surgical pins and needles.

Even plastics can sometimes end up in the process.

Even Spoiled Grocery Meats

Every day, out-of-date supermarket meats as well as spoiled fish and poultry arrive by the truckload, right in their original Styrofoam trays and shrink wrap. 

There’s simply no time for the tedious task of unwrapping each individual package of the many thousands of rejected products.

Plastic cattle ID lags, pesticide patches and even the green waste disposal bags containing dead pets from veterinary clinics and shelters are tossed directly into the pit.

As difficult as it can be to imagine, literally all of it — plastic, paper, cardboard — goes right into the rendering machine.

As shocking as it is to believe, much of what goes into some dog food is simply what’s left over after the processing of human food — what’s commonly classified as “unfit for human consumption”.

Unfit for Humans
Yet Legal for Dog Food

Here’s a short list of some of the unsavory raw materials already mentioned — plus a few others. And although each of the following ingredients are appalling, each can be lawfully used to make dog food:

  • Slaughterhouse waste (organs, heads, hooves, beaks, feet)
  • Bread and cereal rejects (cobs, stalks, mill sweepings)
  • Dying, diseased and disabled farm animals
  • Road kill (deer, skunks, and raccoons)
  • Contaminated grain middlings
  • Distiller fermentation waste
  • Spoiled supermarket food
  • Euthanized cats and dogs
  • Restaurant grease
  • Dead zoo animals

The Bottom Line

By now, it’s probably become obvious the pet food industry can be nothing more than a sinister waste disposal vehicle for human food manufacturers — and a way to profit from its own garbage.

That’s why it’s so important for every pet owner to be able to spot these dubious ingredients — and to avoid buying the products that have been made using these questionable materials.

Look for brands made by conscientious manufacturers who take pride in producing quality products — those designed to enhance and extend the life of your dog.

You’ll almost certainly be buying a better dog food.


  1. Keith Woods, “The Dark Side of Recycling”, Earth Island Journal, Fall 1990
  • Bill Pickersgill

    They need carbs [ grains] , it’s a lie their bad for them Matt 15 : 27 Niv bible . In biblical times they had[ domesticated ]dogs and the people rarely ate red meat ,mostly grains, fish , chicken “, whole” dairy [ very good] .
    Dogs don’t need fruits / veg they produce their own Vit C unlike humans .

  • Bill Pickersgill

    Not true , and giving them raw is dangerous because of the e- coli, mad cows etc , cooking [ heat] is fine and it destroys these bacteria .
    And in biblical times people had dogs [ domesticated ] and the people rarely ate meat it was a rare occurrence , grains are very good contrary to what you hear today Isa 59 : 15 [Niv] bible , the bible backs it up Matt 15 : 27[ NIV] bible .
    As for cats they love and need whole milk room temp and tuna fish is great .
    Basically all cat and dog food is junk theyfull of chemicals they care about money not your pet 1 Tim 6 : 10 [ Niv] bible .

  • Renate Mnmnm

    if you doubt this is possible, watch the Frontline episode on human dietary supplements. It was on last night, and was a real eye opener as to what manufacturers will do to make money. And, that’s with things made for humans!

  • Renate Mnmnm

    it’s not at all hard for me to believe. The number 1 goal of pet food manufacturers, is to make money.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    super excellent information! thanks!

  • Renate Mnmnm

    I’ve been trying that, too. My dogs and cats love it. What else do you add to their diets? Just read the ingredients on their enzyme toothpast. ‘chicken digest’ are you kidding me right now??? thanks for the feedback.

  • OkayBye

    I feed my cats and dogs raw chicken among other things. Bones and all. It’s healthy for them and they’re meant to eat raw.

  • theBCnut

    Some shelters cremate, some do not.

  • Shawna

    That’s actually inaccurate per an article written by the EPA.

    “Plants that collect their raw materials from a variety of offsite sources are called independent rendering plants. Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.”

    Edit — I do know that some cremate (the one in my city does) but obviously not all shelters do.

  • Shawna

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the FDA disagree with the statement that the drug cooks out.

    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug
    residues are not destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed.”

    The FDA tested grocery store kibble diets and found pento in several of them. Assuming they wouldn’t have been able to find it if it cooked out. “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.”

  • Patricia Ann Cousins

    Good to know, thanks Pamela.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    Hi, aimee…yes, I read el doctor’s reply. It was extremely informative. I plan to leave all alliums out of my dogs’ diet. Even after reading that garlic may not be as toxic as onions…feeding ‘the least toxic’ doesn’t make sense to me. My home made/raw food education is a work in progress. Many thanks to all of the people who replied. : )

  • Renate Mnmnm

    seriously not boring…please explain ‘green tripe’…thanks, Patsyfagin

  • Renate Mnmnm

    Thank you, El Do Doctor, Shawna and Shawn, Again, there are conflicting messages here. But, I will err on the side of caution and avoid garlic, onions and leeks. There is so much to know. Maybe my dogs are the best at telling me how their diet is doing. They are shiny, active and at good weights. Many thanks to the replies.

  • aimee

    Hi Renate Mnmnm,

    I do hope you read el doctors reply to you as is was well written and supported.

    I want to add a bit to it. In regards to toxicity. I’ve have read that garlic is less toxic than onion. I’ve also read that garlic is more toxic than onion. so which is it?

    Consistently I’ve found that veterinary toxicologists report that garlic is the more toxic of the two.
    “Garlic is considered to be about 5X as potent as onions.”

    Wanting to know what that was based on I looked further and I think it is based on doses linked to clinical toxicity. As el doctor pointed out any amount is damaging on a cellular level, but at what point does it become a problem for the dog ? Cope (2005) reported the toxic dose as 15-30 grams/kg for onion and most citations all go back to him but honestly I don’t know where he got that number from. Garlic has been reported to cause problems with as little as 1-1.5 grams/kg Lee (1994) but more often I’ve seen Lee (2000) quoted at 5 grams/kg. Based on those two reports then garlic would be 3-6 times as toxic as onion or higher.

    In 2009 The National Acadamies Press published the Safety of Dietary Supplements of Horses dogs and Cats. In that book is a 28 paged chapter devoted to garlic.

    You can find a summary here:

    In the original full text there is a section on purported health benefits. They reported the overview of benefits as “inconsistent” and some found at doses much higher than normally consumed and yet unknown if those doses would be toxic when consumed.

    So what is safe? Based on historical use about 1 clove (3-4 grams)/ 20-25 kg for a dog. This is an amount equivalent to what some dog food manufactures use in their diets for flavoring. So if you are feeding a food with garlic flavoring in it be cautious about adding to that.

    And what is unsafe? Harder to say…
    not all garlic is going to be the same. The amount of toxin can depend on variety and growing conditions and processing and the individual dog.

    Considering there is a report of a dog who ate dumplings flavored with chives and garlic becoming quite ill I’m respectful that this herb can cause significant harm at doses that likely are not all that high and much much lower than what “garlic fans” would lead you to believe.

    Be Safe!

  • Renate Mnmnm

    Excellent information, Shawna. Thank you. Will check out the site you metioned.

  • el doctor

    Hi Renate Mnmnm

    There is evidence that garlic, onions, leeks and chives damage red blood cells in dogs, even in small amounts. In small amounts there is a small amount of damage, in large amounts there is a large amount of damage. All of my references to garlic apply to onions, chives, leeks, etc.

    When dogs consume small amounts of garlic they don’t show any observable signs of toxicity so people assume there is no damage being done.

    On a cellular level, even small amounts of garlic fed to a dog will cause red blood cell damage. Garlic causes red blood cells to rupture (hemolysis).

    Here are some links and quotes from vets and veterinary toxicologists that point out some of the dangers of garlic and…

    “—as little as one clove of garlic can
    lead to toxicity in dogs and cats.”

    Allium species
    toxicosis typically ensues after consumption of a single large quantity of thematerial or repeated small amounts


    “According to vet toxicologist, Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, even in small amounts, garlic has demonstrated a
    proven ability to cause subclinical damage to a dog’s red blood cells”

    Shawn Finch, DVM –
    “However, I believe that any amount of garlic or onions is unacceptable, because it always causes damage on a cellular level, whether or not we notice the effects of the damage and label it “toxic.””

    Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of Veterinary Services at Pet Poison Helpline and a veterinary emergency critical care specialist. –
    “I would never recommend adding any garlic powder to your pet’s meal; you could potentially injure your pet over time.”.

    R.B. Cope, BSc, BVSc, PhD. –
    “Allium species toxicosis typically ensues after consumption of a single large quantity of the material or repeated small amounts”

    I hope this helps you make a more informed decision about feeding your dog garlic or onions.

  • el doctor

    Hi Renate Mnmnm

    There is evidence that garlic, onions, leeks and chives damage red blood cells in dogs, even in small amounts. In small amounts there is a small amount of damage, in large amounts there is a large amount of damage. All of my references to garlic apply to onions, chives, leeks, etc.

    When dogs consume small amounts of garlic they don’t show any observable signs of toxicity so people assume there is no damage being done.

    On a cellular level, even small amounts of garlic fed to a dog will cause red blood cell damage. Garlic causes red blood cells to rupture (hemolysis).

    Here are some links and quotes from vets and veterinary toxicologists that point out some of the dangers of garlic and…

    “—as little as one clove of garlic can
    lead to toxicity in dogs and cats.”

    Allium species
    toxicosis typically ensues after consumption of a single large quantity of thematerial or repeated small amounts


    “According to vet toxicologist, Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, even in small amounts, garlic has demonstrated a
    proven ability to cause subclinical damage to a dog’s red blood cells”

    Shawn Finch, DVM –
    “However, I believe that any amount of garlic or onions is unacceptable, because it always causes damage on a cellular level, whether or not we notice the effects of the damage and label it “toxic.””

    Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of Veterinary Services at Pet Poison Helpline and a veterinary emergency critical care specialist. –
    “I would never recommend adding any garlic powder to your pet’s meal; you could potentially injure your pet over time.”.

    R.B. Cope, BSc, BVSc, PhD. –
    “Allium species toxicosis typically ensues after consumption of a single large quantity of the material or repeated small amounts”

    I hope this helps you make a more informed decision about feeding your dog garlic or onions.

  • Shawna

    Hi Renate Mnmnm,

    YES, both foods are toxic for dogs but there’s a but. The chemical that cause Heinz body anemia is in much lower concentrations in garlic. One study showed that it would take my 9 pound dog getting something like 7 tablespoons of crushed garlic for several days in a row to even start the Heinz body process. No dog in their right mind, and no human in their right mind would likely eat / give that much garlic. The benefits of garlic, when fed raw and crushed right before feeding, are believed to be very great. Everything from killing giardia and the antibiotic resistant super bug MRSA to repelling mosquitos and fleas.

    It also stimulates the immune system in two ways.

    1. has an affect on the white blood cells called neutrophils due to being a prebiotic (it is a source of inulin and FOS) for good gut bacteria (which prime neutrophils).

    2. It apparently has a direct effect on machrophages white blood cells.

    Garlic is also known to prevent and kill cancer as it is scientifically been shown to cause cells to commit suicide (called apoptosis) and helps prune back the blood supply to an already formed tumor (called anti-angiogenesis). Turmeric works in these same ways against cancer cells.

    There are MANY vets – like Dr. Pitcairn, Dr. Becker, Dr. Goldstein and many many others that all recommend using garlic in moderation for it’s many health benefits.

    Wow, sorry…. I got way side tracked. In answer to your original question, yes there has been data showing garlic (in powered form or raw) can kill certain worms (products that kill worms are called anthelmetics). This paper discusses garlic “Garlic may be useful as an alternative treatment against nematode parasites in animals and human. This article includes a new research using Allium sativum anthelmentic effect on mouse and has been patented.” There are many other papers showing this same positive result.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    good question, rosebud102. My cat feed themselves raw. In the good weather, they hardly eat any cat food. Mice, voles, the occasional chipmunk and squirrel…and birds…Cats need more protein than dogs, I think.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    I’ve read, in several sites, garlic and onions are toxic for dogs. Years ago an old vet suggested garlic powder added to my dog’s food would deter worms. What are your thoughts?

  • Renate Mnmnm

    exactly, Patsyfagin…every vet I’ve been to has a product line.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    My concern is that we’ve bred the ‘wild’ right out of our dogs…Many hardly even resemble their wolf ancestors. Do you think that has changed their ability to digest raw foods? Just starting to learn about making my dogs’ food and any advice would be much appreciated.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    good…no need to get ugly because you disagree with someone else, right?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yes, but they deleted their account & comments.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    it’s hard for me to trust manufactured dog foods…they are in business to make money…and, the health and well being of the animals which eat their products don’t trump that.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    exactly, Erin. We’ve bred the wild right out of them!

  • Renate Mnmnm


  • Renate Mnmnm

    ? did someone make negative comments?

  • Renate Mnmnm

    good point…my two Weimaraners eat a lot! The good quality grain-free food was costing me more than it costs to make them the food myself, tho

  • Renate Mnmnm

    sounds good…my dogs do better on chicken thighs than beef…cheaper too

  • Renate Mnmnm

    spinach and celery are great…so is leaf lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is mostly water and little nutrition. Eggs are super. I noticed the shells from the smashed hardboiled eggs weren’t getting digested. Now, I peel them, dry the peels on the woodstove, then pulverize to a powder in my mini blender.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    I use canned green,fancy sliced, beans and canned peas…they get mashed with a potato masher into the brown rice or oatmeal.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    I’ve asked several vets…they tend to recommend the food they are selling.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    You’re right, Jerry. So much conflicting information on this topic! I believe dogs are somewhere in between the two classifications. Carni/omnivores

  • Renate Mnmnm

    That makes sense, but, centuries of human intervention in the breeding of dogs has taken them far, far away from the capabilities of their wolf ancestors.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    a dog’s digestive system can handle things that would make humans deathly ill. Still, my overly-maternal brain doesn’t like the idea of feeding anything I wouldn’t eat myself.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    it all sounds good…my silly dogs will drink out of the pond or any puddle they can find. I gave up on the filtered water and use the water from the tap. It’s well water with no chlorine. I also use an additive (homemade) for their teeth and breath. Works well.

  • Renate Mnmnm

    The sad truth is, consumers never hear about these hideous practices! I never join blogs or discussions…but, this one was the exception. Let’s all do our parts to educate the public…especially pet owners. I make my own dog and cat food. It started out as a necessity. The ‘best’ commercial grain-free pet foods were just so expensive. Within 2 weeks of making my own, I saw more sheen in my animals’ coats, the inflammation on my Weimaraner’s tummy was gone …and their poop was 1/3 smaller (less filler)…now I won’t fed them any commercially made foods. It took some research and time, but well worth it!

  • There is a new book out called “Dead Pets Don’t Lie”. Check it out. And the chemicals used in euthanasia don’t cook out and your pets are eating it. Full investigation. They have some YouTube interviews with the authors and researchers, too. Road kill, expired meat, dead cows from farms that have been sitting, euthanized pets, etc.

  • Anne

    Nauseating repulsive sickening ! Never trust pet food. These companies must be charged and shut down. I hope they all go to prison! Repugnant food not fit for a dead animal much less for living animals who are vulnerable to the same medical illnesses like humans! They are criminals! Jail them for life!

  • toolboxforwriters

    This has got to be the most raw, informative, truthful article about rendered meats, ever written.

  • Diane

    Sorry, Pam, but that is not true. Shelters cannot afford to cremate animals! They do go to rendering plants or landfills. I used to take the dead animals there myself, so I know . (not proud, but it was my job!) I asked about the Euthanasia drugs and they said it “cooks out” when heated and not dangerous. Sorry.

  • Len C

    QUOTE: “Even plastics can sometimes end up in the process.”

    Use to feed my dogs Blue Ridge beef the stuff that came in chubs, until several times I found it to be quite odorous and then upon closer inspection found what looked like pieces of black trash bags through out. I threw it out and never bought it again.

  • M.Metzger

    We don’t feed our dogs conventional dog food and we don’t give our dogs tap water . We give them the same water we drink spring water and the food ? We buy quality natural food with no by products or grains . We have to remember that animals are not as resilient as we are and therefore cannot tolerate the chemicals and such as well as we can . Not that it’s not killing us also because it is and does it just takes longer for human to get sick or die from these toxins . And once you research what really is in our foods and water you will find they are doing this to us also .

  • Pamela Stiegman

    Shelters that euthanize with an overdose of pentobarbital cremate the remains, they are not sent to rendering plants.

  • Nicole

    It all has to do with how a dogs body was designed to consume food. They have claws and sharp “canines” for the tearing and consumption of flesh. The “raw” diet that you have probably heard of, is the only diet that a dogs body was designed to consume. But not just the meat you buy at the store. You need raw meat that has not been prosessed, still on the bone with organs included. And unfortunatly LL_C what is really absurd is that when all this rejected and fermented meat is prosessed, it eliminates nearly all of the key nutrients and anti-oxidants needed for proper immune health. Poor immune health leaves dogs, as well as other people and animals, voulnerable to infection and disease. A dog in the wild is able to bury their kill and feed on it later due to the fact that a dog has more acidic stomach and better functioning immune system. That is why they are able to eat this prossessed crap, but in the long run, it will hurt them since there is little nutrients. I have a dog that is only 2. She was diagnosed with an incurable disease 6 months ago and i was told she wouldnt make it more than a month and the drugs they gave her were obviously not helping. I but her on a raw diet and gave her several vitamines and probiotics while weening her off the drugs, and today she is in PERFECT health. She has no signs/symptoms/ traces of the diseases which was confirmed by the Pathology lab. The diet is simple, raw meat. Not just the meat though, the animal bone & organs as well. I fish a lot so i regularly give my dog a few whole fish (scales in tact) and since my boyfriend hunts, i give her that (minus the guts because dogs wont eat it) and the leftover meat i portion and store in a big freezer. But for those who dont have access to whole animals, various meat markets will sell turkey necks or chicken livers as well as turkey legs ( try to avoid chicken legs because your dog probably wont chew their hollow bones well enough to safely swallow).

  • tim simms

    Actually, in the wild, they would get some vegetation in the stomachs of the small herbivorous animals they killed, so they are technically omnivores.

  • LL_C

    This is absolutely absurd we are talking about ANIMALS here dogs and cats are totally capable of eating carrion matter of fact animals bury meat for later to make it tender and easy to digest kinda like fillet mignon

  • Shawna

    Thank you Sandy! Not sure why that happened -uhg. You are awesome!

  • There was a seemingly unrelated picture attached to the bottom of your post with some foreign language included. That might be stuck in the filter

  • This is a concern to anyone who cares for an animal. I’ve been feeding my girls raw since they were 8 weeks, the eldest is 6 years. I’ve been researching raw (and processed Commercial) for this amount of time.

    I personally believe that since I’ve leant how their stomach digests foods, the effect processed foods have on their system and everything else that goes with research, if they are fed a balanced raw diet, WITH some fruit and vegetables, their immune system is strong enough to fight any bacteria that enters their body.

    The reason I feed some fruit and vegetable along with raw muscle/meat, offal and bone: Studying wild dogs reveals that they do eat some fruit (berries, wild apples etc), grasses, tree bark, some grains etc.

    Living in the wild is one thing, living as a domesticated pet is another. They are subject to chemicals, pollution, in a lot of cases bad breeding, vaccinations etc etc.
    Maintaining a healthy immune system does not come from feeding a pet processed commercial pet food.
    Some people include fruit and vegetable, some don’t, whichever way you look at it, anything is better than feeding a processed commercial diet!

    This article is interesting from Jean Dodds..

    So, to answer your question, not sure what you mean by “backingbacking”??
    I have a Facebook group “As Nature Intended”. If you would like some advice from people, from all walks of life, professionals, pet carers, cancer researchers and people who have taken on the challenge of researching the RAW diet themselves. People who have made the transition successfully or have been feeding their pet on raw for years, my Facebook group is there to help. Great tips, hints and advice and guidance. 24/7

  • I applaud you. I hear of so many people fostering dogs and then feeding them processed food. Makes no sense to me, so good on you!

  • Shawna

    PS — for what it’s worth, I am a raw feeder for over 10 years. I’ve fed nine of my own raw and about 30 foster dogs some raw (a few of the fosters with digestive issues got only raw). I have yet to ever have an issue with raw. I do not however feed an all-meat diet.

  • Jerry McClintick

    The first thing I think of when I hear someone say they feed a raw diet is bacterial contamination. Can anyone recommend any sites that discuss raw diets with some scientific backingbacking, either for air against? The same goes for all-meat diets. Even vets don’t agree on whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores.

  • DogFoodie

    My thanks to you, Dr. Mike, for the part you’ve played in advocating for our pets and by educating us and helping us to hold manufacturers accountable for the the quality of ingredients used in our pet’s commercial diets!

    The word “transparency” was seldom used in 2008, the way we use it currently.

  • You said: “I have a hard time believing that euthanized pets and road kill are sent to rendering plants.”

    Please keep in mid that the article you are reading here was originally published on this website in 2008 (over 7 years ago).

    However, if you still need proof, here are a few links to get you started:

    And this:

    And this:

    Or this:

    Or this:

  • I do too. Regardless of the ingredients, (and there are other horrific ingredients other than what they mention here), any processed commercial food is not healthy for our pets.

    I cannot imagine what it would be like to live a life on processed foods! Can you?

    How can people believe that it is healthy? We wouldn’t eat nothing but processed foods for our whole life, so why do people feed it to their best friend/s?

  • Yep. this is especially important for feeding processed commercial foods

  • lisabeth

    I’d honestly like to see your sources that you pulled all of this information from. I have a hard time believing that euthanized pets and road kill are sent to rendering plants. Please back all of this up.

  • Jerry McClintick

    It’s not just that you need to avoid those foods that are toxic for your pet but also that the diet is appropriately balanced for your type of pet. Each species has specific requirements and if some are missing or if others are too plentiful over a several year period you can do considerable harm to your pet.

  • Jami Briner

    Thank you. I didn’t even know about this website. That is great. They have a lot of interesting information. I just put their poison control hotline into my phone’s contacts. Thanks again, Shay

  • Shay Tillman

    you can check what foods are bad for what animals on They also have an app.

  • Joanna Ruckenstein

    Thanks for all this info Crazy4cats. Appreciate it!

  • Joanna Ruckenstein

    Thanks for the info George!

  • Jami Briner

    If u are going to cook or make ur own dog food ALWAYS CONSULT A VETERINARIAN. Several “human food” are toxic to dogs. Use your head and talk to your vet about what food is safe for your dog to eat. And cat. Please it is not just chocolate that is bad. Many types of fruits and vegetables are poisonous to your pet. PLEASE DO YOU RESEARCH and dont just give your dog whatever you eat

  • George Peterson

    Hey Joanna, Kale works great as recommended below. Spinach, celery, and iceberg lettuce also work great. However, if you want to make you’re covering every essential nutrient, you can add a powder supplement to the mix. Something along the lines of an all in one product would be ideal, example:

  • Activist

    neosporin can cause IVD and seizures. Human meds aren’t made for pets.

  • Activist

    right on – raw is not necessarily better. what is better is being part of a family that consistently cares for the dog, takes them to the vet and loves them. The rest is education and budget – supermarket dog food is more expensive that making your own if you know how to stretch your dollars.

  • Activist

    as long as you use the best judgement for your rescues and they are in a safe home at last waiting for a forever person don’t feel you have to explain or justify what you feed them. Dogs live for love and being part of a family – what you are doing is awesome. Better than a dog left alone in a crate all day with expensive label dog food and no love.

  • Activist

    Don’t forget you can mix it up for less money – if you buy a grinder that sale tri-tip or 7 bone is the same as hamburger but you know it isn’t supermarket mystery meat.

  • Activist

    My grandparents, parents always cooked our dogs food – our dogs typically lived to advanced age with few problems. Cooking for your dog is just like cooking for family. I can say that adding kale isn’t really on the top of the list – what works best for our dogs is consistent fresh veggies that don’t mess with their digestive system. Make certain that you use high quality food and cook it right. Crockpot simmered meats with veggies added in area great base to chop and mix with rice, or what ever works for your dog. my dog will not eat fresh peas, but if they are mashed in sauce she loves them. Yams are good for digestion too – always add a couple of tablespoons of roasted yam to the mix, your dog will love you for it.

  • Joanna Ruckenstein

    Thank you DogFoodie. Appreciate the help!

  • DogFoodie

    You could certainly add a greens supplement; or cook and puree veggies to add to their food, especially kale! They’ll get more nutritional benefit from them that way as well since they don’t otherwise have the ability to break down and utilize whole, raw veggies.

  • Crazy4cats

    If you are looking for a supplement, I’ve used granular greens by Ark Naturals and Essential Greens by Flint River Ranch. My dogs ate both with no issues mixed into their meals. I hope this helps.

  • Joanna Ruckenstein

    Question. How do you guys get greens or veg into your pets’ diet when feeding them homemade prepared food? I feed my doggie different raw or cooked meats, brown rice, quinoa, eggs, fish, but feel like she’s missing out on greens. Any comments?

  • Karen Mitchell

    I have a golden retriever and a Shih Tzu.
    They get fed a natural raw meal in the morning and then bones at night.
    Kangaroo and beef meat, then i add vegetables, etc etc, (including choice herbs and spices).
    The meat is purchased in bulk from suppliers which turns out cheaper.
    (that is AU $ btw)

  • Keele Fishel

    Thats awesome 🙂 You might try to add some liver ( small amount 2-3 times a week ) and some veggies ( green leafy ) and some uncooked bone ( some butchers with grind it up for you OR some meat processing plants sell or even give you bone saw shavings … 🙂

  • Keele Fishel

    Well … I am about 5.5 to 6 lbs a day total. ( Very large and active dogs ) If you can do that for less than a 1.00 than it is definitely the quality of meat . I only use human grade . meat.
    This company can provide some great things when I am not able to get local from my meat processing plant. I found a local small shop that processes a limited quantity a week and can provide me most of the bulk I need. HOWEVER this website can provide the salmon , necks , and other meat necessary for balance.

    Add that with fresh veg and in that cost I also included my supplements for coat and enzymes… ect …

  • Crazy4dogs

    I am curious as to how you are able to feed raw for less than $1/meal. I’m thinking you have small dogs? I’m also assuming you’re making your own raw meals?
    The original poster of $75/week has very large dogs & I have Labs so I don’t think I could possibly feed for that cheap. Please explain, I’d love to know.

  • Karen Mitchell

    Sorry ’bout that C4d

  • Karen Mitchell

    $75 a week?? WT hell are you feeding it!!.
    We have two dogs and we feed them a well balanced natural raw diet for less than $1 a meal!
    (I am in Australia. That probably makes a difference). I would shop around!

  • Candace Cutler

    Im a little late but look up homemade dog food. I feed two smoll dogs on ground beef brown rice boiled eggs for abiut 50 a month.

  • Crazy4dogs

    You are replying to the wrong person. Keele Fishel is who you would reply to.

  • Karen Mitchell

    Being a responsible animal carer, one needs to know where the food source comes from! You don’t just go and buy commercial food just because it’s easily accessible to you. These manufacturers take advantage of gullible ignorant pet carers. I feel sorry for you people who live in places where you can’t get access to kangaroo meat. It’s the best. But kangaroo meat isn’t the only meat that you can feed your pets. Venison, rabbit, beef, sheep, goat, horse, chicken, sardines (omega 3), the list goes on.
    Feeding then an all raw diet doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m on a pension and struggle each week, but my dogs are fed well and cheaply. A meal costs less than $1….

    If anyone would like help with dog nutrition, I have a Facebook group. People like yourself and professionals there to help. Just search As Nature Intended. x

  • Karen Mitchell

    $75 a week?? WT hell are you feeding it, gold??!!

  • LabsRawesome

    C4D you just can’t reason with some people.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL, Labs, probably, but I might have a bit of Sponge Bob in me thinking people will understand. 😉

  • LabsRawesome

    She lives in her own little perfect world. And she is the only perfect resident. You’ll never change her mind. All dogs want is a loving inside forever home. And people are always going to have to feed them within their means. So it’s useless to argue. Just let her go on thinking that she is perfect.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, but I’m trying….

  • Crazy4dogs

    That’s wonderful that you do that and consider yourself extremely lucky that you have the finances to do that, but my point is that there are so many people out there that can’t do it financially. They simply can’t afford $75/week to feed a dog.
    If you are in the rescue world, would you deny a family a dog unless they feed it raw? The dogs I foster come from very poor rural areas. Many of the people that apply for adoption are not in the financial position to spend that much money on feeding their dogs. Should a rescue say: “Sorry, you don’t make enough money to have this dog.”
    Every dog placed with someone who is willing to take on the responsibility of a dog means another dog is saved from euthanasia.
    I know several people in Great Dane rescue. They are wonderful dogs. But the fact is there are not nearly the number of Great Danes in need of homes, let alone kill shelters, in comparison to Labs, Pit Bulls, Hounds, Beagles, and the thousands of mixed breed dogs.

  • LabsRawesome

    You might as well stop arguing with Keele. Because she is perfect. It’s everyone else that is the problem. lol.

  • Keele Fishel

    Once again you are assuming I do nothing … lol … I founded Great Heart Foundation where we rescue , foster and help home Great Danes. When I caught West Nile , I wasnt able to do my duties and passed the foundation on to a wonderful lady. I still take care of them monetarily …. we all have a place in this world. So please stop assuming you know everything and I … do nothing

  • Crazy4dogs

    People will be irresponsible and I despise it, but the animals and children should not suffer for it. It’s wonderful for your dogs that you spend so much on them, but if you want to be a truly caring human being, why don’t you either work to help educate people on their responsibilities or foster some dogs that will otherwise end up dead. They are wonderful dogs that just want to be with someone. I pull the adult dogs on the euthanasia lists that have no hope and no interest in them. I fund seniors that I can’t foster so they can spend the rest of their days in loving care. Take one of those dogs and save it’s life and find it a home. That’s being a truly responsible human being. I choose to spend my extra money on dogs that would be dead without my intervention. Judgemental comments, although they are not affecting me, are not appreciated by people who are simply trying to do the best they can for their dogs at whatever financial level they are at.

  • Keele Fishel

    Oh I have thought about it. I stand by it – YOU are taking care of others who are irresponsible …. YOU are feeding what others failed to do. YOU are awesome! I detest the people that dump them in your lap because they are done … it is sad.

  • Crazy4dogs

    BTW, I have several dogs and foster them as well without accepting food from the rescues. A budget like you are proposing with more than 200 lbs of dogs in my home would be at least double what you spend and that is just not possible for me. It would mean dogs being put down. I feed excellent rated foods and include fresh. Think about your post.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I am repeating my comment to you as you’ve placed it in 2 places on this forum:

    It’s wonderful that you are able to afford to spend that much on your dogs and I’m sure they appreciate it, but please realize that many people on this site simply cannot afford $300+ per month to feed their dogs. Some can only afford that much to feed themselves. They are trying to do the best they can and the fact that they are on this site researching better food for their dogs in a price range that is comfortable for them is the best they can do and their dogs are getting better. They do not need your comment to make them feel bad or uncomfortable.

  • Keele Fishel

    I feed raw only with an occasional kibble from Instinct. For about $75 a week I feed two dogs and two cats raw meat – organs – bones and veggies. Take the time to educate and feed them great or dont own them … they deserve better. and no … nothing has changed since this article … if anything it is worse

  • Karen Mitchell

    I think things have change since this article was published!

  • Erin M. Schaffer

    Carina, it is all “meat” to a dog, and some products are okay — ie, dogs do really well using natural bones and hooves as chew toys. But the issue here is that some of the animals are in a diseased state prior to being made into food, or include other human contaminants such as metal, medications, flea collars, and the like. The issue is not what TYPE of meat is used, but the quality of the meat used. Euthanized pets and diseased livestock, and often roadkill, are not suitable choices because a dog or wolf in the wild wouldn’t choose to eat them — the dog can smell whether the meat source is safe. Keep in mind, as well, that the further domesticated an animal becomes, the less able its body is to deal with “wild” meat product (ie, scavengers like coyotes have totally different gut bacteria than what you’d find in a household pet). Once pressed into kibble, however, a dog is less able to determine whether a meat source is good or bad. Most low quality pet foods are honestly more corn than meat anyway, but ultimately it’s no different than feeding a human being McDonald’s as a sole diet. It’s workable, but you won’t feel or look your best. For those expressing concern about the price of food, I offer this: we’re on the lowest edge of the working middle class, scraping paycheck-to-paycheck, but we still give the dogs Canidae or Wellness Core grain free. Not free-feeding helps conserve cost. The better quality the food, the less you need to feed, because the more easily it is converted into energy by the animal. That’s why raw diets work. It also saves money in vet bills down the road. My mom was feeding Beneful until I told her to stop, and she actually said she saw immediate improvement in her pup. She didn’t even go to a high quality food…..just to a BETTER supermarket brand. Even a small jump like that can make a difference. Beneful vs. Rachel Ray’s food was enough that my mom’s vet asked her what she had changed. Sometimes even baby steps are enough!

  • Carina Marie Corrow

    The issue isn’t if it’s meat or not. The issue is with the poisons in the meat. Euthanization drugs weren’t meant for animal consumption. Just sayin….

  • Jane Peters

    I think the world is going to be awash with all kinds of weird diseases in a couple of years as a result of filthy practices such as these. .

  • spaze

    I do not agree with A to Z pet care
    the intro. lines
    sometimes folks who own pets can
    not always afford the top of the line foods
    for themselves never mind the pets.
    But it does not mean they are making poor decisions
    for their pets
    The majority of human food is not really
    what we are lead to beleive it is either but
    we tend to have to eat it or starve .
    so maybe sharing our food with animals is not so
    bad concidering they could very well become
    part of the food chain themselves if we did not take them in and provide them
    with love and a life.
    and just do what you think is the best with what we are given.

  • Point noted. Just trying to spread some information around. Will ease up on the links. Thank you

  • trying 2 get it right.

    understand your concerns – but I didn’t know the dangers of neosporin until I read this so I’m glad it was posted for me to see.

  • A to Z Pet Care,

    We welcome your participation. However, please read our commenting policy which includes the following:

    “We do not allow spam of any kind. This includes the repeated posting of links to any website in which you have a personal or business interest — and for the apparent purpose of promoting that site.

    “If we suspect a user is posting here in promotion of any prohibited business activity, all comments previously posted by that user will be subject to immediate removal.”

    Please respect this anti-spam policy. Thanks for your cooperation.

  • Shawna

    Got it!! I do disagree with some raw feeding mentality but that mentality is not due to a lack of researching but simply a differing of opinion. I definitely do see what you are saying, I just don’t think it is as pervasive as “very few”.

  • I apologize if this makes you feel offended. I did not intend to mean it as a blanket statement. It is just that in practice, very few people do the required research and instead go by instinct, hearsay or incorrect information.

  • Shawna

    I kinda take offense to that statement A to Z pet care. I am one that suggests our pets should eat food — not people food or dog food but food. You are correct that there is research to be done if you are wanting to make your own but there are many commercial products that use minimally processed food for those that don’t want to do the research.

    What we put on our skin also absorbs into our bloodstream. For this reason I would not use neosporin on my dogs or my grand kids.

  • The people who are suggesting that we feed the dogs and cats the same food we eat are the ones susceptible to making poor decisions for their pets. There is a lot of research and ground work to be done if you are considering to do away with branded food. The mentality that what works for me should work for my dog needs to go away. I have seen so many guys using neosporin on a dog’s wound thinking it will give him relief ignorant of any harmful effects it may have.

  • Shellie

    Yes, dogs are carnivores that’s a given but what you food you feed your dogs matters. If it’s says animal by product, then that’s just means anything and everything. I wouldn’t want to feed my animals vet euthanize animals or sick farm animals, let alone leftovers from god knows where. Some companies even by their meat from Asia. If you want a good food you have to be willing to look at the ingredients the first few ingredients is something you should know like salmon, lamb, peas, blue berry etc. All natural food are usually the best way to go. They are costly but it worth it b/c it’s less vet visits my pets are healthy, I feed them less b/c it has all the proper nutrient so it still last about the same. Never get colored food for dogs, never get grain, try to avoid chicken if your dog is allergic to grain, all natural food, don’t get anything that said ANIMAL, get one or 2 source protein and never made in China

  • Stargazer32

    dogs are carnivores so the animal parts in the story don’t matter it’s meat to a dog.Just saying….

  • GSDsForever

    To provide hope at the end of the tunnel, I will say

    1)It’s pretty easy and quick here to ELIMINATE a substantial number of companies, including from the 4 and 5 star foods.

    From there it’s a smaller list to plow through. Just find one or two that you like and start asking questions of the company directly. Branch out to other brands from there.

    2)I now have probably several to a dozen companies that I feel trust in feeding and recommending. And within the same company, one you like, you can often rotate flavors/formulas.

    A number of brands I like are not easily available locally, and so I have to purchase online. But if you decide the quality of the food and your trust in the company is most important, then you just buy online or direct.

    A few are cost prohibitive as well as hard to obtain, but then you can just scout sales and deals or rotate between these on occasion.

  • GSDsForever

    Yes, but it honestly takes doing a lot of personal research. I ask a lot of questions directly to the company in addition to studying, learning about, and questioning the ingredient lists, the ingredient sourcing, and manufacturing process.

    Often my views are based on YEARS AND YEARS of watching a company and experience feeding the foods as well as dealing with a given company personally.

    You can start with companies listed as 4 and 5 stars here and checking their ENTIRE history of quality control events and responses.

    Here, once you’re dealing among 4 and 5 star foods, you’ve narrowed your list considerably. But it also becomes MUCH more subjective — meaning we don’t all agree on here about what matters and matters most in buying a food, whom to trust and why, what is a quality ingredient or processing, etc.

    For me, for example, I immediately eliminate all giant companies because I think they are too distanced from the finished product and too profit driven/beholden to share holders. So there goes Nestle, Purina, Mars, Procter and Gamble, et al. There goes Diamond (which makes a LONG list of foods of their own and for numerous other brands). But some of these would also fail just deadly recalls or sheer number/frequency of recalls.

    Some, but not all, small family owned companies are passionate and proud about what they make, run a tight ship, and stay close to the entire process from very intense development of the formula to ingredient sourcing to keeping a close eye on manufacturing quality and safety standards. And many want to make the best product out there that they can possibly sell. Think of the finished product like their baby!

    But even a family owned small company can be disreputable, engage in questionable conduct or exhibit poor standards, and care more for profits than the quality of their product. Having one’s own plant can be good or bad, as it does enable them to closely control their product — and there are good examples of both. And there is a question of when/if a company can become too big and profitable/profit driven, or they have too many projects to oversee (developing, acquiring multiple brands), such that quality/safety/trustworthiness disappear.

    When a company does not OWN the manufacturing plant itself, this can range greatly in how involved they are in directly overseeing/controlling what goes on there and maintaining standards. You either have to trust both the manufacturing plant/company contracted and your dog food brand, or you need to have a very high degree of trust with the dog food brand and know the food’s history.

    When I look at quality and safety standards, I think it makes sense to focus on more than recalls. Look for not only multiple or major recalls with a confirmed failure on the company’s part (not all recalls do, as sometimes it’s a super careful company being proactive and concerned). Research the company for trouble with the FDA such as warning letters and cease and desist letters, various governments (state or country) inspection failures, widespread/well documented complaints and evidence of defective, contaminated, spoiled products. Consider how the company responded to outside concerns from government officials or customers.

    Among companies with great histories, track records for safety and quality, you really have to decide which ingredients you want and which you don’t like. This is VERY subjective and entirely up to you.

    You have to decide how much protein and fat you want, do you prefer grain free or free of some other set of ingredients.

    You can look at things like sourcing and grade of ingredients permitted in the food and valued/sought out by the brand. Brands and customers don’t agree on these things!

    You can look at types of processing and degree of processing, like cooking temperature and length. For many people, this doesn’t matter — as they view all cooked kibble (or all extruded or all baked) as the same and made essentially the same way.

    I pay attention to date of manufacture, air tight sealing of the bag and packaging, smell when I open the bag as well. Again, some people don’t pay much attention — unless there’s a problem they notice.

    I consider digestibility. I really don’t think most people, including on this site shopping the “better brands,” do this!

    Rather, it seems to me that most assume they can tell from the ingredients or perhaps they just watch their dogs stools for extremes problems. Honestly, I have been genuinely very surprised to learn the digestibility values across foods. Some “cheap” foods have had higher digestibility than the most expensive! But really there’s quite a range among the “better foods.”

  • But can anyone identify the conscientious manufacturers / brands? That seems to be the most difficult part of it all… identifying whether or not safe and sanitary production practices are being followed. Please help us understand that or point us to an all-in-one resource (measuring both ingredients – “guaranteed analysis” / biologically accurate ingredients – and manufacturing / product QUALITY). Thank you!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Raw diets can be good, but if they are homemade they must be carefully balanced. Putting some meat, veggies, and grains together does not necessarily equal a balanced diet.

  • Abby

    your not actually right you know

  • Abby

    Actually the best thing you can feed your dog is a raw diet of meat such as chicken or beef and a vegitable mixed with a small amout of grains such as oats.

  • Zombie apocalypse with beans

    This comes as no surprise for, the motive is big bad profits a.k.a luxurious living and seven-figure bank accounts… China (who’s number one delicacy is dog meat) deliberately contaminated tons of dog and cat treat products. Thus, murdered thousands of our pets a couple of years ago and this same hopelessly corrupt gov turned right around and claimed this was an unfortunate accident? BS these SOBs will do anything for MONEY even grind of human corpses (Soylent Green) to make their witches brew that inadvertently we have also consumed on occasion….

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Orijen is a good food. In my opinion, it is pretty much the best kibble you can buy, and it’s from a great company. I would seriously doubt there is rotten meat in it, but I’m glad you are being cautious about your dog’s food! has some good information about pet food issues, and how to avoid them.

  • Jo Welch

    Are they trying to kill our pets putting this crap in dog food, rotten dead aminals or road kill !! Im scared to buy aother bag of dog food. I buy Orijen and its expense. So is this dog food full of rotten meat also

  • Deb

    Where do you think all the murdered shelter animals go? Not one bit funny.

  • dogist

    “Vegan diets for dogs and cats? Why?”

    Because some people object to the horrific way we treat food animals!

    Because some people believe all animals should be treated with the same dignity and respect that we treat our dogs and cats.

    Because some people believe the harm they might be doing by feeding our dogs a Vegan diet is far less than the harm we are doing to the animals we feed our dogs.

    I have a question for you::

    Kibble diets for dogs and cats? Why? Little logic and scientific proof for that diet.

  • Bob K

    Vegan diets for dogs and cats? Why? Little logic and scientific proof for that diet. Animal protein is recycled plant protein is like saying – Eat dirt baecuse plants grow in it and animals eat the plants. Flawed logic and science. – – – My nephew looks good and all his parents feed him is Flavored Gelatin, ice cream, hotdogs and sugared cereal.

  • Crazy4cats

    So are you saying that cats are not obligate carnivores? Do you think that lions and tigers could also thrive on a vegan diet?

  • karenstockton

    Your claims are wrong. Jed Gillen, the author of “Obligate Carnivore”, is still the owner and co-founder of where 4 different Vegan cat foods are sold, including Vegecat brand, which he created. One can order it right now online. That’s being in the Vegan cat food business.

    I would watch what you’re saying: you can be held legally responsible for slandering others (misleading people to believe at first glance that even this prominent author is saying he’s no longer in the Vegan cat food business?) and implying his cat food is killing cats when it is not–defamation laws still exist in the internet age.

    I suggest you check out the “Vegan Cats” forum on facebook–I have plenty of Vegan friends with healthy and happy Vegan cats. Link:

    Fats can and are included in Vegan diets. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t be around. 😛

    I’m curious to know your credentials as well as studies that show cats have died on a well-planned Vegan diet.

    PS–There is NOTHING you get from animal products that are not found from either bacteria or plants.

    Animal protein is recycled plant protein.

    All the minerals and nutrients animals have were first gotten from plants who got it from the ground.

    Even the taurine that is put in rendering plant food (aka commercial cat food) is synthetic–the exact same synthetic taurine that is put in Vegan cat food.

  • Les The-DogFather Speiler

    People putting cats on vegan or vegetarian diets are ending up with dead cats for one simple reason, unlike dogs, cats are NOT able to produce fat on their own… they must consume it. I’ve lost count of the cases where cats have died because pet owners think animals can be fed like humans, and give no consideration, or do no research on the animal’s metabolism.

    The author of the book you quote, the son of an actor, who coincidentally is “no longer in the vegan cat food business”. I wonder why that is? Probably because so many cats have died from people feeding a diet to an animal that will kill it!

  • karenstockton

    To those who keep claiming cats and dogs are Obligate Carnivores, please read the book, “Obligate Carnivore”, which makes an excellent case for a Vegan diet for cats and dogs.

  • Susan Kolden

    Personally i would not feed my dog that crap i have had dogs die from a variety of different things most commonly seizers vomiting diarrhea all had been vaccinated but still they died once i stopped feeding the dog food and started making it they stopped getting i’ll how do we know that those animals were not carriers of parvo corona Distemper and other’s and that is what they are feeding our fur babies they aren’t just puts they are our family if you want to eat it go right ahead but my babies won’t

  • Andrea

    Really? do you want to try some of the recycled food, maybe it will help your health of the health of the politicians who only deserve dog food, maybe you too.

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  • Bill Mouro

    Its still a free country If I want to feed the best possible food for my Dog I will do it! And I am sure or at least hope others feel the same. That’s like saying we should all drive the same car. I don’t think so. In my opinion you sound like one whale of a socialist

  • Anita Schoenfeld

    I also use Darwins. Great company with terrific standards for purity. the lot-number every package so they can immediately trace back any issues. I use their raw food and my dogs are doing so much better with allergies and nutrition. Yes it’s expensive but if you own a dog you have an obligation to treat them well.

  • Jim E Brown

    Well if its such a good thing perhaps you would like to eat it then??? Sorry but if I will not eat it then, I do not expect my dogs to eat it, so I will feed my dogs the food that I also eat and leave the slop for you and your family since you deem it to be sufficent…..Oh yea….Good luck with that! Jim

  • Mutha Trucker

    JL … I happen to live within a mile of a plant that produces a product they label “animal nutrition.” They have a fleet of tanker trailers that sit in front of their plant with who knows what kind of slime streaking down the sides … each of these tankers bears a sign on the back that states “Inedible Not for Human Consumption” The smells that emanate from this factory are nauseating. The best description I can provide would be to compare these odors to those of the most atrocious baby diaper one could possibly find and multiply it times 10. And, from my experience in trucking, I am also aware of the fact that this company is making money on the front end, by trucking out unwanted waste, and the back end, their finished feed product.

    From looking at their website, I learned that they use out of date snack cakes, breads, salad dressings, cooking oil, ect. to create their product. I find it ironic that they utilize the words ‘animal nutrition’ in their company and product names since what they are using to create this product contains absolutely no nutritive value that would benefit man nor beast. Heavily processed foods that are again being processed to produce animal feed are NOT nutritional. They are simply recycling garbage to be fed to livestock in an effort to fatten them up for market.

    I really don’t like the idea that when I buy a package of beef or chicken, I may unwittingly consume outdated cupcakes or salad dressing. And I really don’t appreciate that the inflated prices I am paying for meats come from companies such as this.

  • Crabzilla

    I found that all of my dogs problems cleared up as soon as I started making their meals.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Mike

    First let me say that I LOVE DFA. i am happy to be a part of this community. Yes, I have criticisms but that doesn’t take away from the respect I have for all your hard work!

    I do think there is a double standard that applies to criticism. You can say “You’re an idiot and disgusting.” as in the above post and there are no repercussions or warnings (so far). But when I said that Hound Dog Mom’s Large Breed Puppy food list contained food that did not meet AAFCO nutritional guidelines my comment was immediately flagged, I was treated harshly and I was told my comment was unwelcome. I almost lost my privilege to post on DFA. I know that HDM put a lot of time and effort into that list and I appreciate her work.

    DFA is a great site that contains a wealth of knowledge and a great group of dedicated posters who do their best to help people out and to learn new things. I just wish that DFA was a little less harsh towards people who make unpopular comments and criticisms and a little more protective of people who have unpopular viewpoints.

  • JL

    Yeah, totally agree and there are a lot of people looking into that.

  • Katie

    I’m not knocking the rendering process because it’s an awesome way to get protein into products but using diseased and rotting carcasses is pushing it. Why not use those to make fatty oils for fuel instead?

  • JL

    Jip.. Agree to that. Can guarantee you there are people working to find those better ways.

  • Katie

    There are better ways. This kind of practice does harm over time. I agree different processes with better meats are okay using this method but not using disgusting waste like this

  • JL

    No need to get nasty, just read my comment clearly. I research these things for a living and agree that some places do it for the money and process whatever they can find. But you should also be aware of the amazing work some of these companies are doing to try and salvage waste before it pollutes the water you also give to your dog, by producing high energy, good quality protein pet foods. Stop being so emotional and think about saving not only your dog for yourself but the planet for your children and their dogs as well.

  • Katie

    You’re an idiot and disgusting. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your animal. These disgusting products go right into the animals you’re eating. Its not about saving the world , it’s about money. Pure and simple. Waste is waste and should be disposed of, period. You wouldn’t eat food that was made using a product that was made using dead and sick people would you? It’s disgusting and a huge reason this planet sucks. Shame on you!

  • JL

    Perhaps the person who wrote this should just do his/her homework a little better and look at this from all sides. A lot of the rendering plants are taking animal carcasses and waste which has previously been dumped in pits and covered up or dumped on our municipal landfill sites and they make good quality, high energy proteins which is used for different products. This is the direction in which our world should be moving since we will be walking on our own waste in a few years time if we do not recycle the good, the bad and the ugly and try to re-use it. I agree some of the places process a lot of illegal waste as well which might find its way to your dog or even humans, but don’t shoot down a process which is actually saving your country one waste treatment solution at a time.

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  • misard

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  • Shawna

    I don’t think ALL manufacturers are out to produce the cheapest food they can to sell at premium prices. Some yes, but not all.

    Darwins is just one example – raw food with two grades of food available.

    “Natural Selections™ Meals
    – Free-Range Meat and Organic Vegetables
    The highest quality USDA-approved ingredients, free of antibiotics, hormones or chemical pesticides.

    ZooLogics™ Meals
    – Human-Quality, USDA-approved Ingredients
    The same complete formula but with conventionally-raised, human-quality ingredients.”

    USDA approved should not include any 4d animals.

    Bravo raw foods don’t say approved by they are “sourced” from the same plants that make foods for humans. So again, there should not be any 4d animals in any of the Bravo foods.

    “Bravo! is made with all high-quality ingredients sourced from USDA-inspected plants producing human grade proteins in our famly-owned processing plant.”

  • JJ

    I’m officially as frustrated as I can be with all the pet food opinions. I feed a homemade diet, simply because my dog is intolerant of so many food items. Even premium foods made with “a single protein source” then adds eggs, or chicken fat to the beef and he can’t have any poultry products. I am considering adding green tripe and went to a local raw food co-op site to possibly order. Only to find out all these people think they are doing a wonderful thing by feeding their pets raw. But, the places processing their dog’s wonderful food are doing it from down cows. The providers were taking all these cows to a slaughterhouse, and decided to set up a raw dog food processing plant for them instead. While this is perfectly fine as far as processing these cows for pet food, I can’t believe people think they are feeding the best food they can to their dogs, simply because they have them on that “raw diet”. All of the raw food providers use the word “farm” in their name, but don’t really have farms or disclose where the cows come from, unless you ask, then they assure you that even though they were down cows they weren’t diseased! Something made them down for goodness sake and it could have been disease. So these raw feeders have just skipped the slaughterhouse middle man where the kibble processing plant gets them and are taking the down cows from the farm and feeding them right to their dogs. I would guess to that many of these places use some unsavory practices too. My dog gets human grade cooked for him, because that is what I trust. But, it seems that all pet food providers, processed premium and raw, have figured out if they make it seem like it is wonderful for your pet, people will likely believe them.

  • Crazy4cats

    I agree, Losul. Now fresh does smell great. When our local feed store started carrying it, the Petcurean reps had a tent set up all day giving out samples. They were so generous. I ended up with about 10 half pound trial bags of both dog and cat food. It seems like a solid brand.

  • USA Dog Treats

    I see it now. Thank you Losul

  • Shawna

    Agree completely!!

  • LabsRawesome

    You’re welcome. I knew you tried some Victor, but I couldn’t remember which formulas. I hope you find something Sam does well on. 🙂

  • aimee

    Well shoot I had some samples of either Now Fresh or Go and I would have sampled for you but I must have fed them to the dog.

  • Betsy Greer

    Thanks Labs!

    That was one of the Victors that I tried for Sam. The other was the Lamb & Rice. Unfortunately, neither worked for him. ; (

  • losul

    Ha, I vote for Aimee to try it. She ate the fresh pet roll right out of the fridge, and I couldn’t do it!

  • Shawna

    LOL!!! Let us know what you think after that sample taste!!!! 🙂

  • Shawna

    Thanks 🙂

    I very much would like to read the data on AGEs. I still have to read some data USA linked to about chicken feathers too.. It looked VERY interesting..

    I’d also love to hear your thoughts on eggs. I may not agree but I do like having my mind challenged (ever wonder why I keep arguing with aimee?).. 🙂

  • losul

    I can tell you the Now Fresh smells very good…and well fresh, LOL, better than any other kibble I’ve ever sniffed. It’s the first thing I noticed when I opened it.

    It’s the first kibble I’ve ever had that is kind of tempting to sample myself.

    Farmina is the next on my list I think.

  • LabsRawesome

    I’d rather just add them myself. I give sardines (a whole can to each dog) once per week, and 1 Human grade fish oil pill daily, I keep the fish oil in the fridge.

  • LabsRawesome

    Not sure if this will help you, but there’s a Victor gf with no added fish/fish oils.

  • losul

    I tend to believe that the instability is the reason that AAFCO is very hesitant to set up guidelines for Omega 3’s

  • losul

    LOL, Shawna. I don’t want to remove my vote, I VERY much liked the first part of what you said. You always have a way of making folks feel welcome and at ease even if they first come off as a bit defensive or offensive to start with., and Keith turned out to be a real nice guy.

    Just wanted to make clearer my position on meat meals.

    The AGE’s I first became aware of some time back in a Reader’s Digest article, which laid it out in a very down to earth way without so much technical jargon, LOL. I’ll have to see if I can find again. It’s a VERY interesting read.

    I don’t think I can agree with you completely on the raw/cooked egg issue though, I’ll maybe explain my position later.

  • Betsy Greer

    It was only when I realized that my Sam had a problem with fish that I realized how many kibbles contain fish in some form. He has even reacted to fish oil (I believe…, my experiment wasn’t that “controlled,” and I wasn’t doing an elimination diet, just keeping close watch over everything he eats and how he reacts to it.

    And, I definitely agree with you, after reading this article, Fats Chance, written by Steve Brown: I don’t want to buy fish kibbles at all anymore.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Me too, it’s why I haven’t used Halo thus far.

  • Shawna

    The protein concentrates (like the pea protein in the Spot’s Stew Turkey Liver and Duck) would be a deal breaker more so than the meals for me.

  • losul

    I corrected myself on that very shortly after I wrote it, you didn’t see it?

  • Shawna

    I use Fromm CAT kibble to occupy my pups while the slow eaters finish eating. Still a bit low in protein, by my standards at least, but higher than the dog kibble and VERY small which would make for easier digestion. 🙂

  • Shawna

    I REALLY like all the sprouted products in the Carna4 but too low in protein and the sprouts make it pricey (plus increase the plant protein portion of the food making the meat protein even lower).

    DNA is dehydrated but is formed (bigger then kibble but still formed). Hard to thoroughly rehydrate and small enough to swallow whole but too large to digest appropriately/quickly (at least for my crew – even with added enzymes).

    Toxed used to (maybe still is?) get Great Life and said it smelled fantastic. Like you, if they get their act together, I would definitely consider them. And I just looked at the Farmina products and commented about them in a post to Losul. Several of theirs looks really good too. I’ll have to revisit Now Fresh. Still doesn’t give much in the way of rotation though. And most of these are pricey and not locally available. I WILL look in to it further though…. Let me know if you think of any more.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Which FROMM kibble uses fresh or dehydrated meat and no meat meals?

  • USA Dog Treats

    I forgot about Halo!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Shawna

    Farmina N&D Grain Free. This looks like a good food but it’s still brand new in the USA and only time will tell how dogs do on it. and if the company has any “issues”.

    Great Life Grain Free. They have some issues with quality control, This could be a great food if they got their %$#@ together! It is also single protein which I like.

    Now Fresh by Petcurean. A little low in protein.

    These are all I can think of, I hope there are more!

    D.N.A I understood to be a dehydrated food like THK or Ziwi Peak and not a kibble like Farmina, Great Life and Now Fresh.

    Edit: I forgot about Carna4 but at that price I would use a completely dehydrated food. Canine caviar used to make a kibble with dehydrated Venison and Addiction had a dehydrated Kangaroo kibble but I don’t think either one makes them anymore.

  • Shawna

    You can always remove your upvote.. 🙂

    Good lord dude!!! I’m going to have to do some serious studying before I know, even remotely, what is going on with AGE’s!!! 🙂 First site I pulled up to get more info has terms like this “activating PARP1 by damaging DNA. PARP1, in turn, induces ADP-ribosylation of GAPDH,
    a protein involved in glucose metabolism, leading to its inactivation
    and an accumulation of metabolites earlier in the metabolism pathway.
    These metabolites activate multiple pathogenic mechanisms,[which?] one of which includes increased production of AGEs.”

    So setting that aside for now, 🙂 You also talk about food allergens. The protein has to go undigested and then find it’s way into the bloodstream. Unless synthesized possibly, the amino acid lysine is just lysine. That said, many foods add synthetic amino acids which may be and probably are problematic…. Back to allergies, first though the immune system has to be over reacting to begin with. From all my research, it would be the potato, spelt (in Farmina) and carbs that would be the most likely “cause” of allergies to undigested proteins. One of the reasons I INSIST on adding enzymes with non-raw diets. Spelt, a gluten grain, and potato can both cause leaky gut by increasing the amount of zonulin produced by the colon. Once the gut is leaking, undigested proteins can make their way in to the blood stream. Spelt, and possibly potato, can also cause malnutrition in suseptible individuals by damaging the villi in the small intestine.

    In rotation however, I definitely would (and will when easily available) use the Farmina products. Esp the wild boar..

    I like protein to be at a minimum of 45ish percent. Math isn’t my strong point but I have to assume that the higher I can get the kibble the closer I can get to achieving that minimum of 45% while still allowing for adequate rotation.

    And I definetly do agree with you about bioavailability of the protein in meals but that holds true for any processed kibble as lysine, the limiting amino acid, breaks down at a temp as low as 119 degrees (from memory). And taurine is lost via the processing. Protein bioavailability is a major concern for my Audrey. That is why she gets very little kibble (and even canned).

    Digestibility is questionable. Eggs have proven to be better digested if cooked but they are less bioavailable. That said, whipping or mixing them (even raw) makes them less bioavailable too. Aimee has linked to articles where cooked meat are better digested. Not sure I agree with that (at least for dogs). FYI – Lamb is the hardest protein to digest. Not sure why though?

    Upping protein values in kibble — I agree but one has to know what they are doing to achieve “high” protein when doing this. Adding more than 20% total of all fresh foods can cause the balance to change. So what do you add, meat for the protein or blueberries for the antioxidant/anticancer properties? For some I’m seriously over complicating this but for others everything has to be spelled out. I’ve worked closely with both kinds and when posting on DFA or any website one has to assume that both types are reading and considering.

    I don’t know that I’m 100% right as I definitely see the value in what you are saying but even in human nutrition I heavily lean toward the paleo diet. Feel free to change my mind though!!! There are several (if not many) people here on DFA, that with the right argument, could do it. You and USA are two of those people……

  • Shawna

    Okay, in all honesty I totally have to agree with you USA!! I would much prefer to see dehydrated meats over meals. To my knowledge though, there’s a VERY limited number of companies that do this and the price of the food would surely be more I’m guessing.?

    In a perfect world, I wouldn’t feed any kibble at all but….. As it is, I do incorporate some kibble and I rotate EVERY new bag and only buy the small bags. I would be very willing to also support the companies that make the dehydrated meat foods (especially if I can get them locally and they are 34% or more protein). After all, if we don’t support them then there is no incentive for others to change to dehydrated..

    I do use one company as a backup that, from memory, uses dehydrated meats/food (their sample meals come in a small brown bag and they have lamb, venison and two other flavors – blanking on the name). My local store only carries the sample bags. I LOVE Google 🙂 Just found it. They are called “D.N.A. – Dried and Alive”. They are only 30% protein. I also have to cut the pieces up smaller as they are pretty large and my pups rarely chew if they can swallow whole. And not in my price range as they cost as much as raw at about $46.00 for 6 pounds or likely more if I were buying them locally.

    Do you have a list of the foods that only use dehydrated and whole meats?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Halo doesn’t use’s one I may try someday…

  • losul

    It’s really too bad more kibbles don’t leave oily fish/oils and other highly unstable and perishable omega 3 sources/oils out of kibble, I much prefer to add them fresh myself.

    I also imagine there are quite a few others with dogs sensitive to fish/oils.

  • losul

    Fromm and Now Fresh are 2 of them I was thinking of off the top of my head. I have a small bag of Now Fresh here now, I’ve been using as treats.

    Edit: actually looking now I see Fromm does use some meals, but I guess nothing really substantial. I think canine caviar is another

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi losul,

    I’m curious and would love to know what brands of kibble you believe are very good quality that don’t use meat meals. If you’d rather not say, that’s OK.

    I really wanted to try something less processed for my dog with intolerance issues, but have found that the products that interest me all contain fish, fish meal or fish oil, all of which he’s reacted to in the past. I looked at both Farmina and Now Fresh for him. I was tempted, to try one with fish oil only, as opposed to deboned fish or fish meal, just to see what happened, but am finding that they all seem to contain fish.

  • losul

    Shawna, I upvoted your post before I really read it, because I liked the first sentence and a half. However, I don’t agree with the rest. I don’t support getting higher protein levels in a kibble at any cost, that cost meaning the overusage of meals, named or not. No doubt some meals are better than others, but I always view proteins from meals as lower quality and probably less digestible, less bioavailable than fresh, whole meats, that are cooked and processed only once. I would always take a protein level of 28% in one that doesn’t use meals but with good ingredients over a 35% level in one that overuses meals. Upping protein values in kibble is easy with fresh meats at home. Then there are the hidden antioxidants and other hidden unsavory ingredients in meals.

    I have to agree with USA in that strong protein levels can be accomplished in kibble by other means. Farmina accomplished it for instance.

    Several other brands of kibble that I consider very good quality and don’t use meals, but many would look at the protein values and automatically dismiss them as too low, even though the protein quality is very high, IMO.

    I have to wonder if with all the “food” allergies if some dogs haven’t become allergic or sensitive to kibble itself. I mean processing and overprocessing changes-denatures the proteins into abnormal shapes. Shouldn’t any normal immune system see these as foreign invaders?

    There is also the issue of advanced glycation endproducts AGE’s, especially concerning to diabetics, but which should also concern us all.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Shawna

    Dehydrated meats as a protein source could match the protein level of ANY high protein meat meal based kibble.

    Rendered meat meals named or otherwise are primarily used for their cheap cost.

    I could never in good conscience feed one of my dogs a concentrated (it takes 4 pounds of “meat” to make one pound of meat meal), super processed, “meat” that after all that grinding, cooking, pressing, separation of fat from solids, drying, preserving and packaging sells for about 50 cents a pound wholesale!

  • losul

    Thank You Keith, I really appreciate your help and insight!

  • Shawna

    Some of both. I feed five of my dogs primarily commercial raw with a tiny bit of canned topper. Three of my dogs get kibble with some canned topper and some raw. I also buy premixes to use with meat I purchase at the grocer. Because I have eight dogs and some eat faster than others I also throw out a tiny amount of kibble to give the fast eaters something to do so the slow ones can finish their meal in peace.

    Except two that were completely raw fed, my foster dogs over the years have also got kibble with the canned and raw toppers.

  • keith

    I know BHA and BHT we use but im not sure about the other you mentioned. All I know is its very expensive. If you truly want the best kibble I would probably recommend Royal Canin, or Well Pet. Strict Specs and are quick to reject to a bad load.

  • keith

    Very True. Do you buy dogfood or make a home meal for your animal family

  • losul

    I guess things like ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, or mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract, etc.? Palatibility enhancers?

    I’m trying to stop myself from asking you which dog food companies are more demanding in quality and which are not, I wouldn’t want to get you in any trouble, and you’ve been very helpful already, Keith.

  • Shawna

    No worries!!! I don’t think you offended anyone at all. In fact, it is really great to hear your point of view as many of us really do support the use of “named” meals to get that higher protein content.. It’s the un-named meals that we are weary of (like “meat” and bone meal). Could be anything??

  • keith

    sorry for the bump comment, was just giving you a notification that your comment was replied to. You have a great point, and up till when i started working at the plant I had to knowledge to any of this process. I just seen some of the things that he wrote and I really couldnt believe it. Im sorry If I offended anyone.

  • keith

    Yes antioxidant, sorry, those very from company.

  • Shawna

    Hey keith,

    I’m not sure what “bump” means but for the record I am not at all opposed to “chicken meal” or other named meals (turkey meal, salmon meal etc). There’s really not a way to make a high protein kibble without using meals and I prefer high protein foods. But, from different articles and reports written, not all rendering plants put out the same quality of product as yours does. That’s all Mike was saying in his article and all I’m trying to get at.

  • losul

    Hmm. You guys don’t add any antioxidants (preservatives) at all or anything else at your plant?

  • keith


  • keith

    Im not sure if they are gassed but ive heard things about tyson giving supplements so the chicken is larger then your average chicken. If there is anything unnatural that is where it was added in, at the chicken farm. We add no additives during the cooking and rendering process. after it leaves the plant I coulnt tell you what happens

  • losul

    Are they old worn out egg layers from egg farms? I was told by an egg farm worker that they will gas an entire shed about every, I think it was 2 or 3 years, and then send them for rendering. I understand the chickens look really pitiful by that time.

  • keith

    No we just make protein that that derives from “kill plants”. Our plant is privately owned and dont own any of the animals. we just contract out of plant that raise chickens and euthanize them and bring them to the plant where they are rendered for meal and fat. When i first started there I had no Idea that was where our dog food came from. But I like knowing what dogfood brand to buy since some companys have a way more strict specifications for there meal then other companys. Like today we had a truck picking up some chicken fat that had to sit there since yesterday because they company that sent the truck wanted to best product.

  • Shawna

    Yes, that is what I mean.. 🙂

  • Shawna

    I can’t confirm what the Tyson chicken plants do but at the Tyson beef packing plants they do not euthanize the cattle so I can’t imagine they humanely euthanize chickens either.. I think that should actually be common sense.??

    I didn’t write the EPA document so I don’t actually know.

    I’ve read news reports that independent rendering plants take anything from road kill to dead zoo animals (which might possibly be euthanized?). This website has a “digital copy” of an article written by a reporter for the Baltimore City paper in 1995 on the topic.

    It must not be too irregular as even the US Fish and Wildlife Service discuss it in one of their papers.
    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug residues are not destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed…. All pentobarbital-euthanized carcasses should be prominently tagged with one or more highly-visible “POISON” warning labels. Bagged animals should have a label affixed to the carcass itself and also attached to the outside of the bag.”

  • losul

    I think Shawna means they don’t inject them with pentobarbital, Do they gas them at your plant?

  • keith

    They dont euthanize chickens? what do you think Tyson farms and Foster farms do? Those are just too of the many “chicken farms”. And if rendering plants are picking up animals from shelters it must be a huge animal shelter because it takes more then 100,000 lbs of chickens at the plant that I work at to make 50,000 lbs of chicken meal. Including the fat that comes from the cooks.

  • Shawna

    There are rendering plants that render things other than poultry as well. These are the plants, producing products like “meat and bone meal”, “animal fat” and a few others that Mike is discussing in the article.

    The FDA discusses the use of these rendered ingredients and the potential for pentobarital contamination in this article on their website. “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.”

    Last I knew they didn’t euthanize chickens?

    The EPA has an article discussing sourcing from “animal shelters”. ““Meat rendering plants process animal by-product materials for the production of tallow, grease, and high-protein meat and bone meal. Plants that operate in conjunction with animal slaughterhouses or poultry processing plants are called integrated rendering plants. Plants that collect their raw materials from a variety of offsite sources are called independent rendering plants. Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.”

    Of course animals other than cats and dogs can come from animal shelters. The shelter in my city has rats, mice, snakes, hamsters, bunnies and such in addition to cats and dogs. However some working at shelters have posted here confirming pets are picked up by rendering plants. Of course they may be used as fertilizer or such versus dog food?

  • Drifta

    My dog has been raw fed since six weeks old. He was on a WPM (whole prey
    model) diet.. not the commercial alternative. I fed 80% meat, 10% meaty
    bone and 10% organ per day.. at about 2.5% of his ideal weight.
    Unfortunately, he recently lost appetite as he needs to mate and I was
    throwing meat away. 🙁 That’s why I’m on this site.. I just switched to
    dog food for the first time in his life, about a week ago. He’s now
    eating this happily. I just hope to ensure I’m feeding him the best
    possible, wholesome foods and one day I can get him back to the raw

  • keith

    you people are crazy, and the person that wrote this article is even crazier. I work at a chicken rendering plant. I assure that the company that i work for does massive testing, that include salmonella and other bacteria. we dont ship the meal unless it meats a certain standard in protein, fat, moisture, ash and the peroxide value. Im a lab tech and i actually see what goes on in the testing side of things. I have never seen anything other then chickens and turkeys in our warehouse being used. its illegal to use cats and dogs haha that one was hilarious. Most you big name company go through us by the way. Here are the different types of meal. Low ash chicken meal (has the most pepsin digestibility), chicken meal, same as Low ash just less pepsin digestibility. These two meals are made with chicken meat and that is it. Chicken by-product has whole chickens in it. Thought I would educate you a little have a good day.

  • There is an online fundraiser going on right now that is raising money so that massive pet food testing can be done. The Truth About Pet Food is overseeing this. Here’s the link to the fundraiser:

  • Grayson

    If you really want to know all about dog food i strongly recommend this book, it was extremely helpful for me and many of my friends

  • Coceca

    I started cooking for my dog 6 months ago and he gets so many compliments that it is crazy what a good diet does. I make a bog meatloaf very 4 to 5 days. Mix 4 pounds ground beef, 2 pounds grated carrots, 2 pounds grated sweet potaotes (I microvace them first) and 2 pounds zuchini. A big box of oats and 4 eggs, mix it all up, put in big oven casserole and bake for around an hour at 350 degrees, I also bake the eggshells for about 20 minutes and make a powder in the blender, put that inmthe mix too. I also give him an apple and a banana a day. It really does not take long and I know I am doing his health a great favor!!

  • Cyndi

    Since I found this site, just about a year ago, and reading about all the crap in most dog foods, I switched my dog to a raw diet. When done right and balanced, I believe it is the best food for dogs and my dog couldn’t be healthier. It took a lot of research and asking questions on here to learn how to do it right. There are many commercial dry and wet dog foods that don’t contain alot of filler and crap and poison, you just have to do the research and ask questions.

    You are in the right place to do that! 🙂

  • kerry mears

    So which is the best dog food to give our dogs ? Dried ? Wet ? Make ? Confusing me even more now 🙁

  • Betsy Greer


    My comment, from more than one year ago, made no reference whatsoever to former president Theodore Roosevelt.

    I feel no need to “sugar coat this fallen dark world.” My world is full of hope and inspiration and I choose to be, and seek in others, forces of good. I’m sorry if you choose to dwell on the horrors of life, rather than focusing on what you too could do to be a driving force for positive change. Thankfully, I can choose to find inspiration in whomever I choose.

    I somehow fail to see where I’ve made a blind “pledge of allegiance to the united corporations of America” in my post, which was in response to Shari, a 13 year old young lady who is aspiring for good in the world. Maybe it’s you who is mistaken in your analysis of my post.

    In the immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

    Good luck to you.

  • Wonman

    You should have picked someone else as your white washing shining star. Elanor’s husband witheld advanced knowledge of Japan’s planned attack on Pearl Harbor with complete. Disregard of life. So the Americans would rally behind him for war. The next time you feel the need to sugar coat this fallen dark world, stayaway from politicians as role models. And blindly pledge allegiance to the united corporations of America.

  • cathysorbo

    This disgusting practice should be stopped immediately – which companies use this? What are the animal welfare organisations doing about this? Petitions, letter writing etc – we can all make a stand against this shameful practice!

  • Anonymous

    god knows what they put in that stuff…

  • Becky

    Yeah, they lock cows in cages with their heads sticking out and hold a rod to their heads and press a button and the rod shoots a bullet into them and then a rope is tied to a leg and are carried away to make room for the next cow. This is not dog food, this is human food.

  • Becky

    I once saw Walmart hot dogs that had pork by product meal in it. My grandparents once bought a similar brand and I didn’t know and got sick from eating them. And for dogs that’s every day!?!?!?! FEED YOUR DOGS AND CATS REAL FOOD!!!!!!!!!

  • Becky

    What brand is that? It would be perfect for a corgi I know. Right now she is eating a REALLY cheap brand. I know the owner well and could recommend it to her.

  • Becky

    Yes, it does. And so do flea collars, cow tags, and plastic bags. Better switch to a better dog food brand!

  • Becky

    Imagin you were a dog, and you ate dog food that contained DEAD DOGS! And your owner didn’t even know what’s really in the dog food, if they did they did they wouldn’t feed it to their dogs.

  • katbat

    This is sad, but true! Here are a few links i’ve read before:

    *I work at a vet clinic and the DVM I work for never knew this until recently. They dont get any nutrition training except what Hill’s(Science Diet) teaches them(DVM’s exact words)

    Here’s another website that alerts us petparents to these kinds of things too!

  • City and Country Ltd

    i am planning to start a small business that will ‘mop up’ Beef waste from slaughter houses, mince package, freeze and sell to Dog owners. i posted the idea on an online platform and the demand is encouraging. i am a Dog owner myself and my Dog has been feeding on the same stuff.
    Can someone help me with more ideas on how i can make this idea work better? The waste will include parts of Tripes, Liver, Heart. I am based in Kenya. I am a Christian and hence ethical, indeed i can not process just anything for money

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  • imtheone

    Absolutely gross! I cant event take a look at that photo. Link Serve Waste

  • Shawn L Hubbard

    Is it true that the Styrofoam packaging gets thrown in to the grinder?

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  • LabsRawesome

    You are correct. Dogs don’t know the difference, But I do. My dogs would probably eat anything that I put in their bowl. I owe it to them to feed the most nutritious food that I can afford. I don’t want my dogs to just survive. I want them to thrive. That’s why I add eggs, sardines, “on sale” grocery meats, probiotics, and fish oil to their 4 and 5 star dog foods.

  • Marc Tanner

    With your yuppy food you might milk another 6 months out of your dog at the end of their life, probably filled with cancer and pain, so that you wont be lonely a little bit longer.

  • Marc Tanner

    Case in point. Do you think your dog really knows the difference? They think a rock tastes good.

  • LabsRawesome

    My dogs are family. Not “pets”. And they deserve to eat real food, just like I do. I don’t think that there’s anything silly about that.

  • Marc Tanner

    I was really upset when I read this and then I remembered that a dog is a PET and they seem to like it. Too many idiots out there and Im tired of hearing the commercials, “I looked at the label and the first ingredient wasn’t…” We have starving people in the world and this crap is silly!

  • Omer

    This is no less than shocking. when I found out about it I start to find a real natural dog food to replace this “premium dog food”. the solution is to cook yout own.

    in my site I give an uncensored review about the product and how to switch the commercial dog food with healthy one.

    tnx for the help, read my site:

    Homemade dog food

  • John

    I work at a rendering plant it does get nasty. But we don’t process whole animals or house pets. We mostly process meat that has gone past its expiration date from super markets.

  • dollface

    love it me too just learning

  • dawndalyce

    I buy SAFE, human grade, delicious, healthy, no GMO , no grain, NEVER a recall, American ingredients and made, pet foods and treats …..and I save THOUSANDS in vet bills, and I never have to face the guilt of poisoning my pet with contaminated food again ! WHY DON”T YOU?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Pat Howarth


  • Sherie Brodigan

    Thank you Creator for our love and your patience.

  • Kelly Howard

    Dear lord, I just heard yesterday about using rendered euthanized pets for pet food. I was skeptical of the source of the info, as I’ve heard some extremely odd things from the person… but as soon as he said it, it sounded likely. I am more than ever thinking of disregarding the UC Davis study that said home made dog food was nutritionally deficient & giving supplemental vitamins.
    Do dogs have prions? Sounds like an excellent way to get “mad dog disease.” Heaven help us!

  • crosswind

    yes sausages contain cheap body parts, but not euthanizing chemicals

  • kate

    hahaha how has no one else liked this comment?

  • scott

    People post this article everywhere you can, including all forms of social media and even the facebook sites of the dog food companies!

    Here are a few links. Tell them you will not spend another dime on their disgusting food.

  • scott

    Good job reading the article dumbass. Harmful chemicals, plastics, cardboard, and diseased carcasses are not part of a healthy diet for any living creature.

  • Pat Howarth

    I don’t take much notice of Shari. I feel she’s more than 13 yrs old and she’s here to stir everyone up. I’ve seen her on other sites and she’s been blocked from some….she is not what she says she is!!!!!!! Take no notice of her…..her agenda isn’t all that clear when you read everything she writes….except that she’s a stirrer and a wind up merchant :-(((((

  • sonja

    Wow, you are really stupid…do you really think euthanized animals should be fed BACK to the same species? (not to mention the chemicals or diseases in those animals) Carnivores eat omnivores, THAT’s the circle of life!

  • WaitYourTurn

    (Gasp) What? Omnivores eating roadkill and grains? OMG, something must be done to stop this, immediately! We can’t actually turn waste protein and fiber into (gasp) animal food! City people need to get out more and see how the cycle of life works beyond the pavement.

  • Melody Lemon Heintzelman

    FYI – It’s in you’re make up too!!

  • theresa

    this needs to be stopped !! feeding this to cattle, pigs,chickens ,dogs, cats etc ! shame on all these companies that deal with this ! my dogs almost died from dog food and i was buying it a pet shops for as much as 65.00 a bag ! my dogs were throwing up and lethargic ! i cook for them now and they are very healthy ! no more dog food !!!

  • Jane Croft

    Check out cheap sausages – its the same thing!

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  • Action Jackson

    I feed my dogs Acana. Made in Canada using regional food sources fit for human consumption…none of this toxic crap. Costs more but I consider it my dogs’ “pet health insurance policy.” My 3 big dogs are in excellent health and don’t have to feed them as much as the toxic crap-based food. Check out their website:

  • Uta Lemcke

    Meat by-products is the worst you can feed your dog or cat. I only feed organic pet food of in Germany certified brands. It is a little more expensive but therefore you need less as it is of high quality. People are far to trustful and believe brand names more than what is the contents.

  • I’m curious as to why you keep saying that if it’s fine for bulldogs, it’s fine for any other breed. Is there something about a bulldog that makes it’s nutritional needs superior to all other breeds?

  • Melissaandcrew

    Interesting. And yet my bulldog eats Natures variety instinct, Fromm canned, raw etc and his skin is gorgeous..

  • InkedMarie

    I’m having trouble understanding you but if you have questions about THK, give them a call. As far as being new, I can tell you that many dog foods are new. When my now 7yr old dog was 5mos old & I was searching for a dog food to stop his ear infections, most of todays choices were not even around.

  • InkedMarie

    I think you got it, Patty! Most people know I love THK but if i was new to dehydrated, I’d buy that over any other simply because it’s human grade.