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  1. #1
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    Default What meat is really in your dog food poll.

    First off, I have a special needs dog who has an allergy issue. Consequently, I have become somewhat of an avid label reader when it comes to purchasing dog food - both dry and canned.

    Yesterday while at a somewhat high end pet food store, I mentioned in passing to the sales clerk that I could not feed a canned dog food with rabbit as the meat source. The reason being only because I just cant see poor little rabbits getting used in dog food - I am a sucker for their cute little faces.. Anyway, I guess I had never really spent too much time thinking about if the meat source listed was the true meat source until yesterday.
    After I made my comment - the sales clerk gave me what I assumed was a "its not really Rabbit" look. Plus I guess I just cant see large farms of rabbits, venison farms etc for the sole purpose of providing non-typical meat for the consumption of dogs.

    So, I guess my question is who believes the labeling of dog food and if the meat source provided is the true meat source? The canned dog food I purchased was "Instinct".



  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by andylover View Post
    First off, I have a special needs dog who has an allergy issue. Consequently, I have become somewhat of an avid label reader when it comes to purchasing dog food - both dry and canned.

    Yesterday while at a somewhat high end pet food store, I mentioned in passing to the sales clerk that I could not feed a canned dog food with rabbit as the meat source. The reason being only because I just cant see poor little rabbits getting used in dog food - I am a sucker for their cute little faces.. Anyway, I guess I had never really spent too much time thinking about if the meat source listed was the true meat source until yesterday.
    After I made my comment - the sales clerk gave me what I assumed was a "its not really Rabbit" look. Plus I guess I just cant see large farms of rabbits, venison farms etc for the sole purpose of providing non-typical meat for the consumption of dogs.

    So, I guess my question is who believes the labeling of dog food and if the meat source provided is the true meat source? The canned dog food I purchased was "Instinct".

    Do you REALLY want to know?

    I am guessing rabbits are pretty easy to farm in larger quantities. It's really no difference if you throw them in your pot or Fido's dish.

    In Germany I do buy (shopping with mom for her cats) the catfood that has duck or rabbit in it. At least in Germany Venison is a niche for some farms, especially in areas that don't give too much in terms of quality of soil.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallow_deer

    Considering that the brands who offer the other than beef/chicken foods are working in small volume, I can see it.

    of course....I am always curious about the definition of 'meat byproducts' I think we tend to assume it is the critter in the title, but does it have to be?



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by andylover View Post
    After I made my comment - the sales clerk gave me what I assumed was a "its not really Rabbit" look.
    Yeah, it was probably a "this lady can't possibly be serious" look more than anything else.

    No offense, but how cute the animals are that go into your dog food is a really strange thing to be that concerned about.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


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  4. #4
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    There's still folks that raise rabbits for pelts/hair and meat, so I'd assume that if a fryer or roaster didn't pass inspection to be fed to people, it might end up as protein in dog or cat food. I also believe you can buy rabbit to feed if you're doing a raw diet for your dog or cat.

    While I couldn't see myself raising rabbits for meat (even though I have had it before and it is tasty) due to not being able to emotionally distinguish a farm-raised animal from the pets I had as a kid, I don't begrudge buying it and feeding it to my pets if it's something they thrive on.



  5. #5
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    Not to mention, rabbits are raised for other pet foods anyhow...although....not too many people have really big snakes...



  6. #6
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    I think most companies these days comply with truth in labeling laws - too many lawsuits if they don't! That being said, "meat by-products" can cover a multitude of things. FDA Pet Food labeling requirements. It's interesting, in a dry way.

    StG


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StGermain View Post
    I think most companies these days comply with truth in labeling laws - too many lawsuits if they don't! That being said, "meat by-products" can cover a multitude of things. FDA Pet Food labeling requirements. It's interesting, in a dry way.

    StG

    LOL, basically, if you don't test it yourself you think you are doing the right thing when they still pull the wool over your eyes...



  8. #8
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    My dogs' main protein is fish or fish meal. I assume the fish meal used in dog food is a byproduct or secondary use of the rendering. With fish oil, I assume the oil is the primary product intentionally rendered to be sold as a supplement.



  9. #9
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    "Meat" can mean anything and in many cases actually means euth'ed dogs and cats.
    www.svhanoverians.com

    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


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  10. #10
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    Plenty of bun-buns to buy here if you are worried about fakes

    https://www.hare-today.com/index.php?cPath=23_43



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donella View Post
    "Meat" can mean anything and in many cases actually means euth'ed dogs and cats.
    What?
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donella View Post
    "Meat" can mean anything and in many cases actually means euth'ed dogs and cats.
    Cite?

    StG



  13. #13
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    Euthed cats& dogs - absolutely true. The carcasses are sold by the pound to be ground up in the bottom of the barrel foods. Also roadkill, rats, 4-d meat (dead, diseased, dying etc at time of slaughter.) 100% legal. Check out www.dogfoodanalysis.com and be prepared to learn more than you want to know about just what is ad isn't in commercial pet foods. For example- beneful has no meat in it at all.
    ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
    ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
    ~Vet Tech Student
    Mom to : 1 Horse, 4 Dogs, 3 Cats, 6 (Former) Stepkids


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  14. #14
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    The scientists purchased dog food as part of two surveys, one in 1998 and the second in 2000. They found some samples contained pentobarbital...

    Because pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats at animal shelters, finding pentobarbital in rendered feed ingredients could suggest that the pets were rendered and used in pet food.

    CVM scientists, as part of their investigation, developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in the protein of the dog food. All samples from the most recent dog food survey (2000) that tested positive for pentobarbital, as well as a subset of samples that tested negative, were examined for the presence of remains derived from dogs or cats. The results demonstrated a complete absence of material that would have been derived from euthanized dogs or cats. The sensitivity of this method is 0.005% on a weight/weight basis; that is, the method can detect a minimum of 5 pounds of rendered remains in 50 tons of finished feed. Presently, it is assumed that the pentobarbital residues are entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle or even horses.
    Or you could read actual unbiased sites like petmed, gov sites FDA or CVM, vet sites, etc.

    But then people funded and/or selling natural foods or sites based on duping the casual reading animal lover can be a lot ore fun to get caught up in.

    The actual truth, as opposed to urban legend, can be found on about 7 different proven and unbiased sites.

    As for natural foods...they can contain rabbit and venison. I buy my hay from a person who also farms feeder rabbits and he sells to 2 venison/elk farms and a buffalo farm.

    Are they regulated and tested sources of meat? Well now.....I wouldn't say that with a straight face. But people prefer to believe the inflated prices for the fancy "fresh" and "wild" foods they're buying is worth it. And if the dog/cat likes it and stays healthy on it and the owner prefers to buy that, it's not hurting anyone/anything.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  15. #15
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    I happen to know that my county pound, as well as the roads dept., has a contract with the guy who runs the animal crematorium to cremate the remains of roadkill and animals euthed at the pound. He goes to the roads as directed to scrape off road kill.

    I just don't buy it.

    StG


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    Yeah, it was probably a "this lady can't possibly be serious" look more than anything else.

    No offense, but how cute the animals are that go into your dog food is a really strange thing to be that concerned about.
    Yeah, my dogs are really fond of lamb. Lamb are super cute. But, I'm most concerned with my dogs eating actual, identifiable, meat, more than the cuteness of their dinner. I read the ingredients on everything (people food and dog/cat food)...I want so see the actual meats listed...no cheating "meat by products" or anything like that. Specifics: chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, venison, bison, duck, salmon, trout, etc...I believe if they actually name the animal in the food, that's what has to be in there. It it just says "meat" or "meat by products" or "fish products" it could be anything.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    Yeah, my dogs are really fond of lamb. Lamb are super cute. But, I'm most concerned with my dogs eating actual, identifiable, meat, more than the cuteness of their dinner. I read the ingredients on everything (people food and dog/cat food)...I want so see the actual meats listed...no cheating "meat by products" or anything like that. Specifics: chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, venison, bison, duck, salmon, trout, etc...I believe if they actually name the animal in the food, that's what has to be in there. It it just says "meat" or "meat by products" or "fish products" it could be anything.
    Exactly. This is why you buy high quality food, but regardless what's on the label is in the can. If it says "rabbit" or "rabbit meal", there's your rabbit meat. If it says "rabbit by-product" (not sure I've ever seen that FWIW), there's your...every other part of the rabbit not able to be used as something else. Pretty sure your dog could care less whether he's eating rabbit or lamb or venison, as long as it's meat.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  18. #18
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    Meat by product is essentially everything that's not being used for something else.

    My hubby works at a beef plant so I'm well verse.

    Skins are taken to Canada to be tanned.

    Blood is dried and used for blood pudding among other things.

    Rendering is where butts, bones, eyes, and basically all parts of the cow not use for human consumption go. Also for a cow to be adequate for human consumption it must be able to walk off tjhe trailer and up through the chutes. If it arrives, dead, sick, or injured it is killed and shipped to rendering.
    All that junk is then cooked to an exceptionally high temperature with the idea of killing off bacteria etc (but killing any nutrition as well) and manufactured in a powder form for dog food.

    Edited to say that even if it "names the meat that's in it," by product anything whether it be chicken, beef or whatever is still a product of rendering.

    This is why I consequently feeds dogs an all raw diet. Even the very best dog food still are not your mamas home cooking. I wouldn't feed my animals anything I wouldn't eat.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donella View Post
    "Meat" can mean anything and in many cases actually means euth'ed dogs and cats.
    I always thought that because of the high doses of anesthetic that euthanized animals received to kill them, they were considered unfit for consumption of any kind. The vet I used to work for while still in high school had all their euthanized animals sent for cremation/disposal. Has something changed over the years?


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  20. #20
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    "unfit for human consumption" doesn't mean "unfit for dogs". Anything labelled as "by-products", or with a vague name like "fish meal" or "meat" is something you should really try hard to avoid- it's probably garbage, literally. If it's a named food, though, it's exactly what it says it is- if it says "beef liver", it's beef liver. If it says "salmon meal", it's salmon meal. If it says "rabbit meal", it's rabbit meal, which has a specific definition under the law, enforced by FDA.
    This is a good site to look at for information about how to interpret a dog food label:
    http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index....badingredients

    You might want to find out where the food is manufacturered- many people object to foods from China, and I believe most of the rabbits used in dog food are raised in China- the OP mentions Instinct, and I believe Nature's Variety uses rabbits from China, which they freely tell you (it's a very reputable company, and like all reputable companies, doesn't hide information). Most of the venison in dry dog food is raised on farms in New Zealand. Fish sources vary wildly, and many fish meals, especially the generic unnamed "fish meals" have ethoxyquin in them, which doesn't have to be listed separately on the label- you have to actually contact the company and ask if their fish is contaminated with ethoxyquin or not, and sometimes they really don't know for sure (all the better companies do know).

    Choosing your dog food by first selecting a company you trust is a good idea. Companies that use low-quality ingredients should never be trusted. Some companies make both a low-end kind of food, and higher-end kinds of food, and I think one should not trust these companies- if they are willing to manufacture and sell something that is basically garbage, that tells you something about their values. Even if the high-end food looks good on paper, it probably isn't.


    Plus I guess I just cant see large farms of rabbits, venison farms etc for the sole purpose of providing non-typical meat for the consumption of dogs.
    I buy fresh rabbit for my dogs from a farm that does just that- it raises rabbits for dogs.



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