Common Dog Treat Ingredients

Found in Commercial Dog Treats

What is THAT??

Dog treat ingredients - when you read the all important ingredient statement on the package of your dog treats, there may be some you recognize. Chances are very good, however, that there will be several items that you don't recognize. Below we have listed several common ingredients found in commercial brand dog snacks. Both name brand and the cheaper brands of these tasty muchies have many of these things in them. Some are used in people food. MOST are not. We've given you a brief description of what the treat ingredient is, how it is made, and whether you might find it in your own food. Take a look below and learn about these specific components. You can also see our web page that shows you dog treat ingredients and nutritional information for some of the top commercial brands. Our goal is to provide you information on what you may be current feeding your dog. Making healthy dog treat and food selection will start with understanding some of the basics about dog treat ingredients.

For some of the ingredients, we have provided the AAFCO (Association Of American Feed Control Officials) definition. The AAFCO is the unifying organization that helps to promote consistency in state and federal laws around manufacture and labeling of animal feeds. It is NOT a legislative or government body. Individual states have their own laws with regard to animal feed. The definitions they establish for ingredients are typically adopted by most states.

Common in Commercial Dog Treats

ANIMAL DIGEST

AAFCO: A material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto.

Basically, this is the rendered remains (or cooked down remains) of ANY type of animal including but not limited to: dead, dying, disease, and / or decomposed cows, chickens, horses, turkeys, pigs, from slaughter houses or euthanized animals, including dogs, cats, rats, etc.

ANIMAL FAT

AAFCO: Obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative".

Again, the source of the animal (type: horse, cow, pig, dog, etc.) does not have to be specified.

BEEF & BONE MEAL

AAFCO: The rendered product from beef tissues, including 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.

When the species is identified in the name (ie beef), then the source must come from that animal source only. The animals could be diseased or not high quality. The meal refers to the fact that the dried product has been ground to a certain size.

BLOOD MEAL

AAFCO: Blood Meal is produced from clean, fresh animal blood, exclusive of all extraneous material such as hair, stomach belchings and urine except as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing process. A large portion of the moisture is usually removed by a mechanical dewatering process or by condensing by cooking to a semi-solid state. The semi-solid blood mass is then transferred to a rapid drying facility where the more tightly bound water is rapidly removed. The minimum biological activity of lysine shall be 80%.

Again, the source of the animal (type: horse, cow, pig, dog, etc.) does not have to be specified.

WHEAT FLOUR / CORN FLOUR

These are ingredients that many people consume. The only difference for pet foods and treats is that the quality of the flour is much MUCH lower than that for humans. There is usually a much higher ash content in pet food / treat flours.

MEAT MEAL

AAFCO: The rendered product from mammal tissues, 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.

This refers to the actual flesh and skin of the animals that is used. However – just about any type of animal may be in this.

POULTRY MEAL

AAFCO: The clean combination of poultry flesh and skin with or without bone. Does not contain feathers, heads, feet or entrails. If from a particular source it may state so (i.e. chicken, turkey etc).

Poultry meal is much like meat meal in that it is only the flesh and skin of the poutry. The source of the flesh or skin must come from poutry – either chickens, turkeys, ducks or other fowl.

POULTRY BY-PRODUCT MEAL

AAFCO: Consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

This type of poultry meal can be any part of the carcass including the necks, feet and other items listed. Again, only chickens, turkeys, ducks or other fowl carcasses may be used.

CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL

AAFCO: Consists of the dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines -- exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

This refers to the processed carcasses of chickens only. It may contain feet, necks, entrails, etc. It is lower quality than plain chicken meal which can only be the chicken meat or skin.