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Pet Food Ingredients To Be Aware Of

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Are you thinking of making some personal improvements and may be also switching your cat or dog to a healthier diet?

Nutritional values on packaging aren't as important and here's why

If you don’t know the actual source of those grams of protein, grams of carbs, vitamins and minerals then these numbers mean absolutely nothing.

The numbers and percentages listed in nutritional tables are only relevant if the ingredients in that product are from whole foods, not if they are coming from highly processed food sources that are devoid of their own nutrients.

Manipulating proteins and carbohydrates is easy

It’s easy to make any food high in protein or low in carbohydrates by manipulating the ingredients in it.

EXAMPLE: A lot of protein in the nutritional table could come from e.g. cheaper plant based ingredients such as peas, white potatoes etc. that are not as bioavailable to your pet as protein from meats. Bioavailable means the body is able to absorb and use the nutrients to its fullest potential.

The same way as it’s easy to increase the vitamin and mineral content of a food by adding fortified versions (not from a natural source), but this doesn’t mean it’s healthier as most cannot be absorbed by the body the way intended.

Grain free doesn’t mean free of too much indigestible starches

Many pet foods have replaced grains, such as rice, cereal or other grains for example, with starch heavy ingredients to keep costs low.

So if you see a lot of beans, pea or legumes, white potatoes, corn or maize/meal ingredients (just to name a few), be careful as that’s all starch heavy fillers that make the foods more dense but have little to no value to your dog or cat.


…derived from either dead animals, dying animals, diseased, disabled and drugged animals. These ingredients can be found in meat meal and feed grade bone meal. Those come from leftovers from the meat processing industry that are recycled into your pet’s food. Check watch the film ‘Pet Fooled’, to learn more. This film is today as relevant as ever!

Refined seed oils, another culprit ingredient

The so called ‘hateful eight industrial seed oils’ in the human food industry are Canola, Corn, Cottonseed Soy, Sunflower, Safflower, Grape seed, and Rice bran.

  • These oils are very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which promote inflammation and the accumulation of toxins in body fat.

  • They are highly industrial! - Hexane and Bleach.

The oil is removed by a combination of high temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction. Traces of the solvent (usually hexane) remain in the oil, even after considerable refining. Most modern vegetable oils, go through the process of caustic refining, bleaching and degumming, all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety.

Fish meal

Another questionable ingredient, which is widely used in commercial pet foods. It may contain ethoxyquin(E), a toxin used as a preservative across the globe. It was recently (2019) banned from human food in Europe and the US. It’s been found in 90% of fish meal used in animal feed. ‘E’ has been proven to lead to early liver and kidney failure.

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