Is Dog Meat Used to Make Dog Food?

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How much do you know about the ingredients your dog food contains? Would you still feed it to your dog if you knew some of the ingredients consisted of expired meat, diseased meat and even dead dogs and cats from animal shelters? That's exactly what's going into some commercial pet foods, according to a recent article on Slate.com.

SHOCKING INGREDIENTS THAT MAY BE FOUND IN SOME PET FOOD:


We already know that pet food contains a lot of animal products that we probably wouldn't eat ourselves, including meat that the FDA won't even allow in food sold to humans - stuff deemed too nasty even to go into hot dogs. That's the trade-off for pet food that, on a dollar-per-pound basis, is very inexpensive.

According to Slate, all the cast-off animals parts that we won't eat - brains, intestines, udders, beaks, etc. - are sent to rendering plants that combine that meat from various animals in grinders that pulverize it all together. But what's more disturbing is what else is thrown into the grinders, including expired meat from supermarkets (Styrofoam and plastic included), road kill, diseased meat, and yes, dead dogs and cat from shelters, and even dead zoo animals.

When all those ingredients are ground together, the resulting product is cooked for hours at high temperatures. The fat is skimmed off and included as an ingredient in pet food. Of course, you won't find it listed on the label as "dog meat" - it's called "meat meal" or "meat and bone meal."

The official Association of American Feed Control Officials description of meat and bone meal is "The rendered product from mammal tissues, with or without bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices." But even that unpleasant description doesn't include the specifics of what animals, diseased tissue, and drugs/medicine used to treat sick pets may wind up in the mix.

While the AAFCO regulates the ingredients that go into pet food, it doesn't do any testing and doesn't have the authority to enforce anything. When we talked to pet expert Dan Barton last month, he told us that it is up to the FDA to regulate processes and sanitation for pet food production, and inspect facilities, but there are tons of loopholes available to food producers, and FDA enforcement isn't particularly thorough.

Ultimately, you can probably feed dog food to your pets safely, as millions of pet owners do every day without incident. Even the Slate article concludes that, although disgusting, using all that thrown-away meat represents "in a sense, a laudable form of recycling." But most pet owners probably don't have a clear picture of what goes into their pets' food, and they may have second thoughts about buying commercial food if they did.

CAUTION - MOST DANGEROUS PEOPLE FOODS FOR PETS:

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Barbara Line-Ward

most dog and cat foods are very expensive. So, many dogs get cancer now WHY?

April 26 2013 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Barbara Line-Ward's comment
SilverRoses013

Genetics is a major cause. Dogs were created through breeding by humans and as we became more particular about looks and function we made many mistakes along the way. As a result many modern breeds suffer from cancer, hip dysplasia, and deafness. There are probably other factors to this, and we may discover that certain preservatives or chemicals, found in dog food, had a hand in it down the road.

May 16 2013 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SilverRoses013

This makes me SOOOOOOOOOO mad. I have bachelor's of science in animal science. Besides a few organs that can transfer certain disease to humans (that are non-transferable to cats and dogs) every part of animals that goes into pet food (that's sold in the united states) IS edible by humans. Are they necessarily something we'd like to eat? No. The reason why dog food is so cheap is because it's made from cast off pieces or poor quality (as in poor tasting) meats. Grocery store brands are extra cheap because it's all bone meal and cheap, useless grains and fillers. It's highly regulated, is there always one or two getting away with stuff? Always, just like doctors and chefs. I can guarantee you that there is NO dogs or cats. That's a bold faced lie that continues to circulate without any ACTUAL evidence. In fact, there are no proper supporting articles cited here, most of them are other opinion articles, or ones that don't go into details. Almost none source to anything tangible.
Read smartly. This is wild rumor and a little knowledge being applied to a grand scale.
I'm not even saying dog food is made from great stuff, I actually have serious problems with some of the processes and ingredients that are common. Articles like this make these issues take steps back because we all just look like crazies thanks to stuff like this.

April 25 2013 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to SilverRoses013's comment
Patti

So, what's your response to those who say the toxic (bute, etc.) horse meat was put in dog food? I suppose you'll shrug that one off, too?

April 25 2013 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Patti's comment
SilverRoses013

Horse meat has the potential to be toxic to dogs for the same reasons as humans (Phenylbutazon, as you mentioned is a major concern). Because of this it has been been banned since the 1970s in pet food sold in the US. Certain european countries raise horses for meat, under strict guidelines, and therefor it's possible it could be found in pet food there, but it is unlikely as it is expensive (Germany, for example).

May 16 2013 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
johammond

The statement about there not being manure in the mix is a bold faced lie unless the practices I was aware of years ago have changed. Entire carcases of dead animals go into the mix, including some carcases that are nothing but mushy sacs of maggots. Horses, pigs, sheep, cattle, and any kind of road kill can potentially go into this giant vat where the mixture is cooked. I was told that the Purina pet food company does not use rotten meat, FYI.

April 25 2013 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jws1141

Wow hard to understand the American Public, worried about what's in Pet Foods. People should check out what goes into foods for animals in the Human chain !! you certainly would be surprised as materials/Chemicals used. But just because they are "Chemicals" doesn't mean they are bad for you.
Did you note what goes into a loaf of Bread, Heptane and or Hexane, both components of Gasoline burnt in your car .... Not a poison or a danger to your health .. Next time when eating a slice of Bread, think about it.

April 25 2013 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jws1141

Wow hard to understand the American Public, worried about what's in Pet Foods. People should check out what goes into foods for animals in the Human chain !! you certainly would be surprised as materials/Chemicals used But just because they are "Chemicals" doesn't mean they are bad for you.
Did you ever note/read what goes into a loaf of Bread, Heptane and or Hexane, both components of Gasoline same as burned in your car .... Not a poison or a danger to your health .. Next time when eating a slice of Bread, think about it.

April 25 2013 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tiremandan

stay away from any pet food from china they have shipped lots of tainted dog food within the last few years

April 25 2013 at 9:27 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Many people just grab a bag of food at the grocery store. Any food that is sold in the grocery store most likely is TERRIBLE for your pet. Be proactive and find one at a pet specialty store,such as Petco or PetSmart,for a human grade food. Check the ingredients carefully. You can Google the internet to find out what should or shouldn't be in your dog's food. I don't even trust recommendations from the veterinarians,because most of the time they are getting free or greatly reduced products from the brand they recommend. I myself use Solid Gold or Wellness,two premium foods.

April 25 2013 at 9:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Karen's comment
SilverRoses013

I 100% agree. Not all vets make bad recommendations but I've noticed a lot of them lack the nutritional knowledge they once learned in school, and almost all of them are paid to sell Science Diet, which has it's uses but isn't necessarily for the average dog.

May 16 2013 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danno62

The root cause is that too many airheaded people have taken animals which are by their very nature carnivores and attempted to convert them to vegetarians. And it isn't working. As a result the pet food and pet med industry I'm sure is grateful. As are vets. [As for the ingredient in some dog food. It is a dog eat dog world.] [chuckle]

April 25 2013 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jellybaby513

how sad that beautiful animals in shelters whose only crime was to remain homeless, are cannibalized by other members of their species...I hope there comes a day when the shelters are empty because we are devoid of strays and unwanted pets and spaying and neutering becomes the law of the land...

April 25 2013 at 8:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Get real.

That's nothing. Guess what's in Girl Scout cookies.

April 25 2013 at 7:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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