Dog food protein is essential to your dog. Dogs require more protein than humans. Interestingly enough, protein hasn’t always been the focus of dog food. Wikipedia has several examples from the 1800s that show a dog food focus on cheese, milk, buttermilk, oats, barley-meal, potatoes and animal fat. Dog food has come a significantly long way. Now, dog food companies are concerned with dog food protein and the many different ingredients are needed to come up with a pet food product that matches the amino acids that a dog requires. These can all be synergised by using various different food combinations. Some feel that because dogs are direct descendants of wolves, that their protein requirement are one hundred percent meat based. Another argument is that dogs are naturally scavengers and will eat basically anything, whether it is a protein or not. Still others feel that with the domestication of dogs, and the fact that they have been living with humans for thousands of years, that they have evolved into incomplete carnivores. And there are more opinions beyond those as well. Even though dogs are built to take in more than just meat, the meats that go into regular commercial dog food are something that should be thoroughly comprehended. This subject is extremely broad, and I am going to do my best to touch on the major points. There is an incredible wealth of information on this topic and some of it is rather frightening.
Commercial avoderm dog food tend to be comprised of one meat product and several other items that are generally carbs or meat by-products. The first five ingredients listed on the side of a bag of dog food tends to be a basic summary of 95% of its contents. This is fine, but the issue is when pet food companies embellish on the value of the product within the bag. It is a no-brainer that any dog owner should pay close attention to these items, and the way the items are placed and worded on the package.
When dealing with meat in general, the first 50% of a slaughtered animal that can be used is considered to be “human grade.” Some people have felt that serving their dogs “human grade” food is a proper solution to all of their dog food needs. A lot of pet food companies use the words “human grade” as a catch-all phrase to make some of their food sound better than it really is. While the idea of a “human grade” food is a great one, but it isn’t an absolute. To say that a food is human-grade is relatively misleading. What the term means is that the food is good enough to be consumed by humans. This has little to do with the processing of the product. The term “made with human-grade ingredients” doesn’t mean that the end product is human grade. In short, the processing of human-grade meat could in fact be something that wouldn’t be healthy for human consumption at all. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) doesn’t even have a definition of “human grade” ingredients.
Some of the key items that are found in commercial pet food are animal leftovers that can’t be sold at the local grocery store. These items of the animal are usually the brains, bones, eyeballs, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, ligaments, membranes, and fat trimmings. These leftovers are called “by-products” and tend to get used in pet foods. A good thing to know about animal by-products is that hair, horns, hooves, beaks and feathers aren’t a part of the equation. As a general rule of thumb, higher-end pet foods don’t even use meat by-products. If one registers at the AAFCO website and looks into animal by-products, the results could be considered encouraging. An example of this would be 4D meat (dead, diseased, dying or disabled) is considered “adulterated” and shouldn’t be included in pet food unless it has been treated to a point where all dangerous microorganisms have been destroyed. Obviously, a dog food with meat by-products as the main ingredient is inferior to one that has a specific meat and then a by-product listed afterward.