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Pet Food, By-Products and Red Jello

redjello_lgThe other day I was in line at the feed store waiting to pick up feed for my horse Shiloh. I am a hardened reader, rarely go anywhere without my Kindle. I am ever hopeful there will be a lull where I can pull out the Kindle and read.

Unfortunately my Kindle stayed home that day, so I was perusing the area looking for something to read while I waited.

I ran across a brochure entitled “The Simple Truth About Pet Nutrition”, published by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. in 2009.

As synchronicity would have it, I immediately opened to the section “Common Myths” and the piece about “By-Products as Ingredients”, and here’s what I read:

MYTH: Pet foods that contain ingredients listed as “by-products” are inferior.

FACT: Many by-products are excellent sources of nutrients for pets. With extremely rare exceptions, all pet foods contain by-products.

And for whatever reason, in a brochure about pet nutrition, there was a picture of red jello on the facing page. You can see a copy of the “By-Products as Ingredients” page here. Click here to find out what can be included in by-products.

What I found fascinating was not what was said in the brochure, but what was left unsaid……such as by-products are basically the remains of meat processing that are not suitable for human consumption. How by-products can use non-specific labeling such as “meat and bone meal”. You can see a picture of by-products and read more about by-products used in pet food here.

Bottom line: When it comes to selecting a food for your animal pal, be smart. Read the label, read between the lines, read what’s *not* said in the marketing material. As Talk2theAnimalsRadio holistic pet wellness expert Shannon Benecke says:

“Bottom line is that like humans, dogs and cats need a balanced diet to live long, healthy lives. it makes more sense to know exactly what I am feeding my pets. Relying on a pet food company to tell me that their brand will make my dogs and cat have a healthy immune system is not acceptable to me. A healthy animal is one with a strong immune system. A strong immune system is supported with a species specific diet”.

I think it was perhaps a stroke of luck my Kindle didn’t go with me to the feed store that day.


Janet Roper

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  1. Novroz March 21, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    this is a very informative post…I love your blog too.
    Fortunately, my pets only eat vegetables and little fish, the only food I bought from factory is pellets (too bad it didn’t mention the ingredient :( )


    • Janet March 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment, also for your kind words. Glad to hear your animal pals eat vegetables and a little fish. Wonder if you googled the brand of the pellets if you would find anything there? Hope to see you back here again!


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