It’s normal to be confused about the ingredients found in the food you feed your dog and about dog nutrition in general. Things even get more confusing when the term by-products in thrown around. Now what exactly are by-products?

When it comes to your dog’s food, by-products mean animal parts as well as other unpopular food sources used as ingredients. These may include processed animal organs such as liver, heart, spleen, kidneys, lungs, tallow, and corn gluten. If you think about it, any wild dogs would devour these food sources without any hesitation.

Yes, these products don’t sound appetizing to us humans. It is important to understand, however, that these by-products are usually packed with nutrients and are quite delicious to animals, your dogs specifically. These food sources can easily deliver your pet’s daily requirements of protein, vitamins, fats, and minerals.

As a rule of thumb, by-products are not harmful to your pets. In fact, they are quite beneficial, especially if they are part of a balanced and healthy diet. What you need to look out for is how these by-products are processed.

This is where lies the difference between by-products-infused dog food. While some can be reliable in terms of their nutrient content, others fail the quality quotient due in large part to substandard processing and manufacturing. Poor food processing results to contamination and considerable reduction of nutrients in any food source.

Here it pays to know your chosen dog food brand’s manufacturer. They must adhere to all rules and standards set by the AAFCO and the FDA. Manufacturers with long-standing issues with the aforementioned organizations are best approached with caution.

By doing minor research you’ll be able to know more about a specific dog food manufacturer’s background. You can start reading through these manufacturer’s website. Usually these platforms are transplant enough when it comes to standard company practices.

Manufacturers working with legit food scientists, animal nutritionist, and veterinary professionals through the course of product development are your best options. Also, look for whether a manufacturer’s maintained food processing facilities are certified or approved by the USDA.

These are just some of the ways you can ensure you are feeding your dog safe and nutritious food.

Your priorities should include researching how a company makes your dog’s daily meal. Here’s to round up our expert recommendations:

  • Don’t stop with just reading the list of ingredients on your dog food’s package. You must also acquaint yourself with the quality standards imposed by the manufacturer responsible for your pet’s food source.
  • Visit the website of your chosen manufacturer. Know where they make their products and if their followed processing standards align with the guidelines of the AAFCO and the FDA.
  • If there’s not enough information on your manufacturer’s website, give their customer hotline a call. Ask about their safety and quality standards.
  • Work closely with your veterinarian. They know the ins and outs of canine nutrition more than you do and they can give you valuable pieces of advice. Remember that your dog’s intake directly affects their quality of life.


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