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Best Diet for Companion Animals?

When choosing food for my Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Ajax and Asha, I stay away from anything containing animal byproducts, including rendered or recycled meats, and instead look for meat protein that is properly prepared before it's packaged for consumption. I suggest you always check pet food labels to verify that the product does not contain added growth hormones, antibiotic-fed protein sources, or rendered meats, fats and poultry.

I recommend pet foods that contain quality protein sources such as real chicken, beef or fish. Animal byproducts or ground-meat "meal" should not be part of a pet's food. When I see "beef or poultry byproducts" on the label, this tells me it may include anything from chicken heads to blood and feet. If "meat meal" or "chicken meal" is listed, these are rendered ingredients. While they provide protein, they can contain a wide variety of "secondary" items including the tissue of low-grade animals that were diseased or died of health conditions before reaching the slaughterhouse. Even many "natural" and "scientific" pet foods contain these rendered ingredients, so it is important to examine food labels closely. Remember that quality protein sources come from quality producers. I recommend using brands that source their meat and poultry exclusively from U.S. natural producers, who humanely raise beef, chicken, and turkey on vegetarian diets, and without added growth hormones and antibiotics.

Check out the Pets & Pet Care section of my site for more information on keeping your pets in a state of optimum health, just like you!

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Reader Comments (3)

How can a pet owner know whether or not byproducts or meal could contain diseased animal parts? Are there any standards or inspection of facilities that provide this product? I know it would be safest to just avoid anything with these components but our dog really tends not to like the "purest" foods. We've tried introducing the brand you feed your ridgebacks twice before and by the time we get to full concentration, she goes on a hunger strike. I don't mean a meal or two either.

Short question: does anybody, private or public, rate dog food brands for the quality of the ingredients they use, whether it contains meal or not?

September 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

We often feed our pets raw meaty bones and vegetables trying to make their diets as close to their natural form as possible, although when things get busy they do get kibble. I really like Wellness brand pet food, they're supposed to use human grade ingredients and our pets thrive on it compared to other brands I've tried. I've heard Newman's Organics is a good brand as well but I have never used it personally. Darwin's has great raw food products if you're interested in going that route.

September 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChiot's Run

IMO kibble is not a natural food for our pets, no matter what good quality it is. Kibble is always highly processed/heated. My dog has been fed raw all her life and is doing great on it.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersusan
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