101 Pet Nutrition ~ Common Myths on Ingredients in Your Pet’s Foods

By August 22, 2014 Blog

Our Mississauga Veterinarians and Team Help Explain the Common Myths on Ingredients in Your Pet’s Foods!

Ever wonder about the truth behind all of these misunderstood extra ingredients that have been put into your pet’s food?  Well, we have made a list of some of the common ingredients that everyone worries about and would like to explain the TRUTH behind why they are there!

Definition: “Secondary products produced in addition to the principle product” – according to the AAFCO Official Publication 2008.

: Pet foods containing ingredients listed as “by-products” are inferior…
Truth: By-products are very common ingredients in both human and pet food. A by-product is simply something produced in the making of something else. When processing SOYBEANS, for example, the by-product Vitamin E is produced.

Myth: By-products are low quality ingredients…
Truth: A by-product is simply “anything produced in the course of making another thing”.  Some other examples of by-products are:
~ Vegetable Oils
~ Beef Bouillon and Gelatins
~ Lamb, Chicken and Corn Meal
~ Buttermilk
When ingredients are listed on pet food labels as meat by-products they include: Organ Meats..such as the Liver, Lungs, Spleen and Kidney; which all have excellent nutritive value.


Q&A – What do Vitamin E, Jell-O Brand Gelatin, Beef Bouillon and Lamb Meal have in common?  They are all by-products!!
  #2 ~ CORN:
Most people think that corn is a filler food ingredient that supplies no nutrients and serves no nutritional purpose.  The real truth is…

Myth: Corn is a filler.
Truth: Corn has been called a filler ingredient, but that is inaccurate. Fillers are ingredients that provide no nutrients. Corn supplies many essential nutrients including protein, carbohydrate, fatty acids and antioxidants.

Corn is a well-rounded nutritional package with NO other ingredient is as versatile.  It is safely and easily digested by all animals and it’s not a common cause of food allergies in pets.

Myth: Corn is a “hot grain” (causes gastrointestinal upset)
Truth: Corn is not a hot grain for your pets; it can be safely and easily digested. Most grains are poorly digested before they are cooked, but like other grains, corn becomes highly digestible after grinding and cooking so nutrients are easily absorbed. In fact, the protein in corn is more digestible than that of rice, wheat, barley or sorghum.

Myth: Corn is a major cause of allergies.
Truth: This a misconception that corn is a major allergen for cats and dogs. Corn is NOT a common cause of adverse or allergic food reactions in pets. Corn is implicated in fewer allergy cases than other common protein sources such as beef, dairy products, wheat, chicken, egg, lamb or soy.
Pet Food Nutrients, Health Benefits and Ingredients:
See the chart below which helps explain why food companies choose these Ingredients:

Nutrients & Benefits Ingredients
Carbohydrates for energy and other nutrients for healthy skin and coat Corn • Rice • Barley • Sorghum
Fats and essential fatty acids for energy, improved taste, healthy skin and coat Animal fat • Fish oil • Vegetable oil
High-quality protein for muscle tone, development and for healthy skin Fresh meat • Chicken • Poultry by-products • Soybean meal • Egg
Fiber sources that promote intestinal tract health; some are helpful in weight management Cellulose • Soybean mill run • Beet pulp


Myth: Reading the ingredient list is the best way to assess the suitability of a pet food…
Truth: Appropriate amounts of precisely formulated nutrients are just as important as ingredients.


We hope after reading all of this we have helped you understand the importance of what is put into your pet’s food and that by-products and corn are GOOD THINGS!!!
If you have any additional questions that you would like answered please give us a call at 905-272-7210.

*All content has been provided by Hill’s Nutrition Manual 


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