Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's really in that can of pet food on your shelf?

Here's a guide to some ingredients listed on the label and what they really are, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials:

Chicken, beef or fish: clean flesh from these animals.

Meat byproducts: blood, bone and organs such as lungs, spleen, kidney, brains, liver, stomachs and intestines from slaughterhouses.

Poultry byproducts:
necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, lungs, intestines. Not feathers.

Meat or poultry byproduct meal: blood, bone and organs that are rendered, dried and ground up. Can include tissue from animals that died outside slaughterhouses.

Steamed bone meal: bones separated through cooking and ground up. It provides minerals, mainly calcium and phosphorus.

Taurine: an amino acid needed by cats.

Grains: labeled either as whole grains, such as corn or barley, or as ground milled products, which are what's left after flour and cereal are processed.

Vegetables: dried yams, beet pulp, carrots.

Additives: vitamins and minerals, flavorings and preservatives.

By Anita Manning, USA TODAY

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