I have been reading a lot lately about some unusual ingredients that are trending in the pet food manufacturing world. I don’t think these are ingredients that are best for our pets, but rather ingredients that are helping make a profit for manufacturers.
The first one is crazy! Hydrolyzed foods. On the surface, it seems fine. Hydrolyzed means they break down the proteins into smaller easier digestible pieces. Many hypoallergenic pet foods are made with hydrolyzed soy protein or other hydrolyzed proteins. Most of these hydrolyzed diets use very little meat or organs and the main source of protein is plants. I guess they need to hydrolyze the soy because it’s not something a dog would normally eat! And, if they just say hydrolyzed meat, who knows where that comes from. Stay away from hydrolyzed poultry by-products aggregate, because that’s just ground up chicken feathers!! How much protein is your pet getting from chicken feathers, even if they do hydrolyze it?!
Another interesting source of food is insects. Coming soon to America, but not yet, are pet foods made from insects. This is legal in many countries, but not the USA-yet! I’m not sure how I feel about this. I know my dog Zoie is a great fly hunter, but as a 75 lb dog, I wonder how many flies that would take to make a meal? I also wonder how much digestible protein insects contain for dogs and cats? I know environmentalists love the idea of insects as food because they are more earth-friendly than cows; I feel like it’s not what nature intended as the main source of protein for our furry friends. But, if Simba can grow up on grubs and insects, maybe our pets can too?
The last ingredient I wanted to mention is a new source of fiber called miscanthus grass. This is to replace or accompany the already terrible ingredient of cellulose powder (which is sawdust--not kidding!) and beet pulp. Dogs and cats do need fiber, but in the real world, they would get it from parts of an animal mostly, like fur, feathers, tendons, and minimally from plants. They say miscanthus grass better for dogs and cats than cellulose, but there aren’t any long term studies on it yet. This one we will have to wait and see…..
Of course, if you want to avoid these ingredients, make your own pet food or at least read the pet food labels carefully. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, research it. Don’t just trust that if it’s in the pet food that it is actually good for your pet.
And always remember that if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out!
Feed Healthy. Feed Fresh. Feed Raw.