Commercial Pet Food Poisons

Ever wonder why commercial pet food prices vary so much? The majority of this is due to the quality of ingredients. Often, the cheaper the pet food, the higher the likelihood that the ingredients it contains are more harmful than nourishing. Nonetheless, expensive feeds do not guarantee high value all the time. A wise pet owner reads the label. Grab the bag of pet food you purchased and read the ingredients listed to know exactly what your furbaby is eating.

Your loved one’s health is priceless. If the pet food you bought was from a bulk storage tin and didn’t even come with a label, think again—hard and wisely. It’s time to know the truth about pet food and the harmful toxins in it that could make you even stressed out and spend more in the long run.

Most commercial pet food is the equivalent of fast food for pets found in grocery and pet stores.Commercial pet food is heavy on the calories and chemicals, but with inadequate amounts of nutrition, your pet can be obese and malnourished at the same time. Much like fast food, consequences of commercial pet food have been linked to pets dying of obesity, heart attack, organ failure, cancer, and even food poisoning.

Below, you will find how some common dog or cat food ingredients are sourced from and what ingredients to avoid in pet food.

3 Ingredients You Need to Stop Feeding Your Pet

1. Grains

“Grain” refers to a mixture of corn and “bulk” fillers that are meant as a cheap way to make your pet feel full faster, but providing them with little nutrition, and often give them allergies.

 Dog food grain free vs grain

Many debates continue to tackle the grain controversy of commercial pet food. Are grains really bad for your pet? The answer is YES, but not all grains are bad. Although grains contain protein, an essential to every pet’s diet, it should not be the main source. Instead, choose meats.

Dogs and cats have shorter digestive tracks, making it more difficult for pets to digest grains. Difficult-to-digest grains remain undigested and cause fermentation in your pet’s digestive track, leading to damage in the digestive system. This may lead to other pet health issues, such as bowel inflammation disorders, food sensitivities, food allergies, leaky gut, and obesity.

When reading pet food labels, meat meals (chicken or lamb) should come before grains or quality meat as the primary source of protein. Pet parents must also consider grain sources. Low quality kibble contains a high amount of grains (even those “unfit for human consumption) and grain by-products, while high quality kibble contains whole, unprocessed grains in the main ingredients. Common grains to look out for are barley, wheat, and corn.

Corn is one of the cheap fillers pet food companies use in manufacturing pet food. Corn and even corn meal dust are bad for pets! These contain high fructose corn syrup and corn oil, which are fattening. So, if your furbabies are obese and diabetic, now you know! Other effects of grain-based pet food include shedding, loose stool and gas.

Going grain-free is encouraged, particularly for pets who suffer from diabetes, kidney problems, obesity and inactivity. However, don’t do it abruptly.

Your pet’s digestive system will need to ease from grain-based dog food to grain-free. It’s done best if you slowly introduce grain-free and higher protein dog or cat food and observe the positive and negative effects on your pet. Benefits include reduced flatulence, more energy and shinier coat among others. Contact your vet if your pets experience any hair loss, itching, lack of interest in eating or drinking water.

2. Meat Meal

“Meat meal” refers to a ground up mixture of meat that is unfit for human consumption such as spoiled and unsold supermarket meat.

 What happens when a dog eats grease

Most commercial pet food manufacturers advertise a variety of meat and vegetable flavored food for pets. Although partly true, these meats are those “unfit for human consumption”. The meat that goes into groceries for humans are lean meats, but the leftovers or the unwanted carcasses (bones, organs, blood, hair, feathers, etc.) of the slaughtered animals are the by-products used by pet food manufacturing companies.  What’s worse is that even the “4D animals” (spoiled, dead, dying, diseased, disabled) are sometimes mixed in pet food, too.

Is it safe? Yes, it may be safe but it’s not healthy for your pet. Commercial pet food undergoes a process called rendering, an industrial process that mixes, grinds livestock carcasses and separates the fat, remove water and kills bacteria and other infectious organisms at 220-270 degrees Fahrenheit. After 20 minutes to 1 hour of rendering, the separated fat is placed into pet food (chicken fat, beef fat, etc.), while the dried protein is added as “meal” or meat “by-product meal”.

There are two kinds of meat meals: low and high. Low are those low-grade meals that come from unidentified sources with ingredients are not listed (i.e. specific animal source) that include the words “by-products”. High quality meat meals are come from clearly identified sources.  Although safe for your pets, it’s best to avoid feeding pet food with low quality meat meal.

3. Fat or Tallow

“Fat” or “Tallow” is often rancid restaurant grease that can no longer be re-used.

meat meal for pets

In the rendering process, the fat or tallow falls off from the bones of meat meals to produce slurry, which rises at the top where it can be skimmed off from the mixture. The slurry is then separated from the meat and bone meal, but often left outside and exposed to extreme temperatures for weeks. To avoid spoilage, the slurry is mixed in fat blenders with animal and vegetable fats and add powerful antioxidants to protect the fats and nutrients. Unfortunately, slurry is sold to pet food manufacturers to spray kibble to make it smell palatable for pets.

Like grains, rancid fat is a difficult-to-digest ingredient, which can to pet health problems: digestive upsets, diarrhea, gas, bad breath and arthritis. Other studies show that frequent consumption of fats may cause cancer in pets and contribute to many chronic health problems. 


As pet parents, it is important to know what your pet’s nutritional needs are. Reading pet food labels will pay off. Although these ingredients in commercial pet food are not immediately life-threatening, they could still contribute to the decrease in the health and quality of life of your furbabies. 

Because of harmful commercial pet food, other pet parents have begun to seek conscientious manufacturers who only produce quality products. If you’re in doubt of commercial pet food, you now have the option to switch to either all-natural, organic, or human grade. These will most certainly enhance your pet’s quality of life. But remember, you still need to read the label!

man and dog relationship

source: @coleengarcia

After determining what pet food is good for your furbaby, varying his diet regularly is highly recommended. If your pet is more prone to intestinal upsets, take it as a sign to provide a variety of pet food but only once your dog’s digestive system has been restored.

If you didn’t know a lot of what was mentioned about commercial pet food, it’s okay! Don’t fret because you and many other pet owners are just as stunned. Luckily, it’s not too late to start making healthier and more nutritious choices for your pet food to help improve and lengthen your pet’s quality of life. After all, our pets deserve only the best!