Worst Dog Food: 14 Unhealthy & Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
Pet Nutrition: 5 Dog Food Ingredients to Avoid
Digest is a general term for parts of animal tissue. Although regulations specify that no feathers, teeth, horns or hair should be present in the food, digest contains almost every other part of an animal. These parts are cooked into a broth that is then added to food as a flavor enhancer.
While some digests are identified as specific types of meat, others generally are labeled "digest." This labeling gives dog food manufacturers flexibility to include more animals in the food, such as roadkill, euthanized shelter animals and animals that were ill or died from an illness before they were slaughtered.
Chicken Byproduct Meal
Chicken byproduct meal contains chicken parts unfit for regular consumption. This includes necks, feet and organs. These chicken byproducts may add flavor and protein, but they are more difficult to digest than chicken meat. Look for chicken meat instead of chicken meal or chicken byproducts when picking food.
Too much salt intake is as unhealthy for animals as it is for humans. Salt, often listed as sodium chloride on food labels, is a flavor enhancer that should be minimized in your pet's diet. While pet foods generally contain sufficient amounts of salt, it often is overused in poor quality foods to add flavor and make the food more interesting.
Corn syrup also is used as a flavor enhancer. However, there is no need for such additives, especially if the food is made with quality ingredients. Like humans, dogs that consume too many sweets can be at greater risk for hypoglycemia, tooth decay and obesity. Dogs also can become addicted to sugar, making it difficult to switch to a healthier food.
Peanut hulls are included in inexpensive dog foods to add bulk. These hulls offer no nutritional value - not even usable fiber. Additionally, pesticide residue may be on the hulls.
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