Ingredient to Avoid! Animal Digest

October 1st, 2007 by Dan

Since the pet food recalls I’d like to believe we’ve all grown a little more aware of what we’re feeding our beloved pets. In this blog I’d like to call your attention to an ingredient that is so common in many lower quality foods and dog treats. Animal Digest is often included in many commercial treats and bottom of the barrel dog foods. Be prepared to be grossed out when I explain to you what this product really is! According to AAFCO (The term AAFCO stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials; they provide regulatory guidelines for the manufacturing of pet foods) standards, Animal Digest is

“Animal Digest – 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.”


Another expert has described Animal Digest as “a cooked-down broth which can be made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals.” The animals can be collected from almost any source. There is no control set in place over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: “4-D animals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying before slaughter), goats, pigs,sheep, horses, rats, euthanized at animal shelters, restaurant and supermarket waste, road kill, etc.
That is about as gross as it gets.

Please read your bags carefully and choose treats with ingredients that you can pronounce and understand.

51 Responses to “Ingredient to Avoid! Animal Digest”

  1. Ask The Dog Guide: Puppy Feeding Question | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] 16 weeks of age). Remember, the higher quality the diet (the less fillers such as corn, wheat , animal digest and other byproducts) the less waste your puppy will produce! Housebreaking will be an easier [...]

  2. Kurt Setschen Says:

    We shelter (very privately and non commercial) more than 90 cats and 4 dogs that have been thrown away, coming to us for shelter, we found, have been thrown in to us, and their babies when they arrived already pregnant or brought their babies with them before we could let the vet them sterilize. Here in the Philippines, small and pet animals have no value, if sick, kill them or throw them away.
    We have now problems with feeding, we feed rice, fish, dry and can food. With the extrem increasing prices and my not increasing pension, we have to budget very well. Our cats that stay around and in the house for some reasons, instead at the separated cat area, refuse now cans (Friskies and Whiskas, the only available) since all looks, smells and has a consistence very different to before. Tuna has been for the cats like heavenly manna and they ate like crazy. Now, it is like sandy and they just lick as long as there is still liquid. Looks like it is mainly skin, fins, tails, incl. bones which cannot hold and soak liquids. But the price increased substantially while the content decreased from one pound to 400 grams, with “liquid” of 80%, means just water. But still, one kilo (2,5 cans) cost more than ham or tenderloin for humans.
    Why then there is no rule to make sure that the ingredients of pet food match the needs of the pets, without vegetable fillers that a cat cannot digest and without chemicals that damage our pet animals? Rule that just ban ingredients which would kill immediately are totally useless. Where are the animal loving politicians and lawmakers? Do they not care about because they can afford to feed their pets with real food?

  3. How To Read Pet Food Labels - What Are You Really Feeding Your Dog? | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] standards expected from these two organizations are in no way a testament to the quality of the ingredients used within the food. Pet owners must research diets carefully before choosing what is best to feed [...]

  4. How To Budget Dog Ownership In Today’s Economy: 10 Money Saving Tips On Necessary Expenses | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] a high quality dog food or feed raw, your dog will consume less of it than a food that is full of fillers. Diet is not something to skimp on as your dogs health is directly effected by what is put into his [...]

  5. Francois Says:

    In my opinion, “high quality” pet food is highly over rated. It is not only a waste of money but is also immoral.

    -My aunt has 50 years-old experience as a pet lover and keeper. She had dozens of dogs and cats who were fed with economic pet food and they all lived a full, healthy life and died at old age.

    -My own dog has very fragile intestine and will squeeze yellow goo out of about a dozen brands of quality dog food i tried, including veterinary sold stuff. The only good food I found for him so far is Purina lamb and meal, which is economic pet food.

    -We already spend more than $40 billion per year in the U.S. to feed pets, while half the human population is starving elsewhere. Using “higher quality” pet food which is made from human grade ingredients will raise the price of international food market, creating more human starvation trough the world.

    Your pet’s digestive system doesnt care if you can pronounce and understand the ingredient list of its contents.

    Proof is there is millions of pets who live long and healthy with economic pet food.

    Dogs have a different digestive system than humans. They are evolutionary designed to eat animal carcasses, wich is the main ingredient of pet food.

  6. Saydrah Says:


    I think you’re probably just trolling with the human starvation comment, or maybe you work for Purina and are trying to guilt people into buying that product, but I’ll respond anyway, just in case you actually believe any of that nonsense.

    First, corn, not animal carcasses, is the main ingredient in most cheap pet food. Dogs are not evolutionarily designed to eat corn, particularly not the livestock feed grade corn that even humans can’t digest.

    Second, cheap dog food has declined in quality over time. Your grandmother probably fed food that DID include mostly animal parts when she was young. Over time, humans have discovered ways to squeeze even more profit from every slaughtered animal and every acre of land where corn is planted, and now instead of a few lousy cuts of meat, some vitamins, and some grain, each bag of cheap dog food now contains a lot of ground livestock grade corn and cob, a little bit of meat byproducts, and a bunch of artificial flavorings, vitamins, and preservatives. Cheaper ingredients mean more profit for the companies. Also, genetics mean a great deal to longevity– more than food, but food affects the QUALITY more than the length of life.

    Third, farm subsidies for the growing of corn, worldwide foreign policy, civil war, and corrupt governments matter a whole lot more to human hunger than whether or not you feed good quality food to your dog. Do you think a starving person who will gladly eat mud cakes to fill her belly would object to having cornmeal made of corn that would otherwise go into Purina dog food? I doubt it. The high quality ingredients like whole chicken that go into good quality pet foods, on the other hand, can’t really be shipped to Africa and distributed there in a cost-effective way.

    If you’re interested in how American farming has worsened world hunger, read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Excessive production of corn– much of it for pet food and livestock feed– is a huge factor. I avoid buying any product containing corn other than whole ears of corn for that reason.

  7. meredith Says:


    Your comment was informative and intelligent. I learned a lot from you, though I feed my dog Wellness, and am so glad that you took the time to respond to “Francois”, who I really hope never owns a pet.

  8. amazed Says:

    It is sad that so many of you put the value of human life on a lower tier than that of an animal with less intelligence. Agreed that humans are greedy and want more profits, all animals want more food. Whether what they choose or not; place a bowl of two different foods in front of a dog or cat, one all natural and one that is economic… what do you say when the dog or cat chooses the economic one. You strike me as the type of people who would actually argue that humans were not meant to eat meat.

  9. helen Says:

    What are you talking about ‘amazed’? Do you even own an animal?

  10. Marina Says:

    I am amazed to see animal digest and ground maize (corn)
    listed in my cat’s Hills Science Plan (chicken) dry cat food!!
    I thought this was meant to be in bottom of the barrel
    pet food, and definitely not in a top of the range, expensive
    product. Guess I will be saving my money and switching to
    a budget brand from now on. I urge all pet owners to read
    what goes into the packet before buying…as the cost of this
    stuff just keep going up and up.

  11. Robert Says:

    I just discovered that Purina sells a probiotic called Fortiflora to vets who then sell it to their clients. the first ingredient is ANIMAL DIGEST! GROSS!!!!!Not to mention that they sell this probiotic at room temperature. Everyone knows that REAL probiotics need to be kept in a refrigerated state for them to be viable…They are living organisms! Man, Purina is just ripping people off!
    Checkout the link!“FortiFlora”&HBX_OU=50

  12. melanie Says:

    I am a stay at home mom and doggy mom adn i would like to respond to Saydrah. I married into a farming family and they produce the majority of their feed corn for Braums Dairies. The only difference between “feed corn” and corn that you buy n the shelves of your grocers is the sugar content and when it is harvested. Feed corn is of a species lower in sugar (therefore better for animals) and is left on the stalk until it has dried. I have eaten “feed corn” when it is not ready for harvesting for that purpose and it was great. I liked it better than sweet corn for the fact that it was not as sweet. Do not think for one minute that “feed corn” is less nutritious for your pet. It is just as good for them as it is for the dairy cows whose diets it is a major part of. And also coming from a farming background I know what Pigs “slop” consists of. You really don’t want to know. And we humans eat pigs. I don’t care what the pig eats I still love pork and cook with all sorts of pork products. I even use bacon drippings to flavor green beans and bacon drippings by your definitions would be a “pork by-product” You may want to think about what you label as bad nutrition before you say something stupid. That said, all things in moderation, you can still make yourself sick by swallowing a whole bottle of multivitamins. I cook with real butter and bacon fat and still maintain the 115 lb, size 2-4 figure I had in High school. I have 2 kids, 2 dogs, and those provide me with all the exercise i require. I just turned 30 this month and only eat fast food when it can’t be avoided, once a week is usually the most frequent. Think about all the crap in that Big Mac with fries and soda you eat daily and then tell me what i should feed my dog. I wouldn’t give THAT to my dog if you paid me!

  13. Rachel Says:

    I came across this while I was looking for info on animal digest for my vet. I had found somewhere a few years ago a list of the dog foods that contained Sodium Pentobarbital, but have been unable to find it again. This is coming from the euthanized animals that rendering plants pick up from shelters and zoos. The FDA confirmed that there was indeed Sodium Pentobarbital in the food, but there was no evidence of DNA. I then came to find out that once the food is processed, the DNA would no longer be intact, which explains the FDA’s finding. THIS should be the reason not to feed your pets anything containing animal digest. On that list, Ol’ Roy PUPPY food had the highest level of Sodium Pentobarbital.

  14. Dan Martinez Says:

    Melanie, your an idiot! In addition to a lot of stupid stuff you said that was off subject, you said that what cows, who are herbivores eat, is good enough for dogs to eat – who are carnivores.

    And no one other than you mentioned eating at McDonald’s. In fact, your the only one who admitted to eating low quality junk food. This would explain why you’re so stupid :)

  15. Karen Says:

    I just came across this while trying to learn what animal digest really is. I thought it sounded discusting, now I know it is. I have 2 scnoodles, one of which just hd surgey for urinary stones (common in the schnauzer part of him). I needed to put them on a low purine diet to keep the crystals from forming again. My vet recommended Science Diet u/d…OMG have you ever read the ingredients in Science Diet dog food? I refused to feed my dogs all that crap! I finally settled on Halo:Spots Stew. There is nothing weird in it and the boys love it!!! Last urine sample I took in was normal! The food is rather expensive, but my dogs are worth it. And it would take several years of purchasing Halo to match the $1800 I paid for his surgery!! GO HALO!

  16. Karen Says:

    Click the the link above to read ingredients in Halo.

  17. Syko from New Zealand Says:

    Small world isnt it! We have Purina and their associated brands here in N.Z. They were running a promotion/competion for six months supply of “Beneful” dog biscuits. While on their website i checked out the ingredients in these so-called “top end” products and came across “animal digest”, did a search and here i am! The list of ingredients is very long and full of strange sounding chemicals. I certainly won’t be feeding any of that crap to my dog. Interestingly the biscuits I have been feeding him are made by Purina but the ingredients are much less, or as i suspect just described differently.

  18. Syko from New Zealand Says:

    Fortunately my dog (German Sheperd) will eat almost any fruit or vegetables I give him and fresh beef or lamb bones are always available in this beautiful country where the cattle and sheep eat grasses and hay as they roam around their paddocks burning off fat and conditioning their meat! Suck on that Melanie, Id rather eat Macas (made with N.Z beef here of course) than your barn-raised GE corn fed rubbish. Oh and thanks for the intelligent and enlightening post from Saydrah. Hey dont they eat dogs in the Phillipines Kurt? Or cook them up for dog food???

  19. Hachiroku Says:

    You’re dead right! The best meal to feed your dogs are still real meats, fruits and vege!

    The problem today is that most people are busy working in office, so instead of feeding their pets real food, they get food that comes in cheap packets off supermarket shelves.

    I feed my dogs real lamb meat and rice and it actually cost less than those super premiums dog food available. The only down side is that you have to find time to cook for your pets.

    I do give kibbles sometimes when i’m lazy to cook… But you only eat at fast food outlets once in a while when you’re lazy to cook.. This should apply to your pets too as they can only eat junk food once a while and not daily! You can’t eat at McDonalds everyday right?

    So, there’s no point in arguing which commercial dog food is best for your dog as natural food is still the best for your dog and you too!

    PS: They seldom eat dogs in Philipines compared to China, Vietnam and Thai. Eating dogs in Malaysia is a strictly NO-NO!

    PSS: I hate people who eat dogs or any other wild animals for the matter of fact!

  20. me ann Says:

    This is f-d up this is the very reason my dog is probably getting sick all the time I’m pissed thanks a lot tho

  21. L.S Says:

    Well, just a little comment from me. I work in a pet store and worked there for about 5 years now. I discover many, many things that might make people change their dog food consistantly. The price going up and up is one of those reasons. When I first started dog food such as Natural Balance for the 5lb bag cost about 9 dollars. Now that same exact dog food cost almost double that price. I have known that they also change ingredients. Not to mention now the size of the bag has reduce dramatically. Example is the Eukanuba Dog food. The small use to weigh 7lb, and now it weighs only 4lb.HOLLY #@%$. The cost is still the same. In my opinion I think that the companies of higher quality dog food is trying to make customers grip onto their product and slowly change the amount of lb and ingredients in their dog food. They are trying to rip the consumers off by chipping cheap routs. Don’t get me wrong their dog food might be higher quality but man try not to chip the consumers like that. I’ve been switching dog food because of this reason.

  22. nyblondie Says:

    The only solution, as Hachiroku so eloquently pointed out, is to make your own dog food. It is surprisingly EASY. There is a great book called “Barker’s Grub” by Rudy Edalati that puts much of problems associated with commercial pet food into easy to understand text to help you, at least, make an informative decision.

    The biggest problem with commercial pet food lies more in the OTHER ingredients…animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, SOY FLOUR,PROPYLENE GLYCOL, scorbic acid, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, DL-Methionine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, sodium selenite…the list goes on and on. I am sure that almost all will agree that dogs, and people for that matter, should NOT eat that! Take the time to google some of these compounds…especially Propylene glycol, a MAJOR ingredient in antifreeze, which we learn in Dogs 101 is poisonous to them, and you will soon discover that there are major health concerns associated with many of these chemicals. When you combine the other disgusting ingredients already discussed above, you start to wonder how your pets actually survive eating this stuff! Many health problems could be avoided entirely by feeding your pet food that is freshly made and devoid of chemicals. As Rudy Edalati points out, because dogs are omnivours and pack animals who look to you as the pack leader, sharing food is a basic characteristic of canines…think wolf pack behavior…so that by cooking for them you strengthen that pack bond.

    A word about corn: Unfortunately, due to patents owned by several familiar chemical companies, corn, for the most part, has become a genetically modified food crop that is treated systemically, meaning that the pesticides are actually in the genetic make-up of the entire plant, including the ears. Systemic pesticides are suspected to be a major part of beehive collapse, as the bees collect the systemic pollen. And as has been pointed out above, corn meal, high fructose corn syrup, and all other corn products are in almost everything! When you start to combine all of these chemicals together, you get a soup of chemicals, that, I will wager, have not been studied in combinations as regards to their effects on our pets OR us.

  23. Ellee Henry Says:

    What I don’t understand, and what I’d like to discuss with others, is why do well-trained, highly-competent, compassionate veterinarians keep advising we human owners-caregivers to feed our dogs these specific “veterinary” diets which, based on a layman’s reading of the ingredients, seem greatly inferior to either other commercial dog food or properly-supplemented and well-balanced home-made diets?

    Like some others, I found this blog post from a Google search on “animal digest” — an ingredient unknown to me that I saw while browsing “veterinary diets” on the PetFoodsDirect site. I went to that web site to look at Purina HA dog food, which has been STRONGLY recommended by my dog’s primary vets, who include the U.S. expert on protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) in canines. My 11.5 year-old wheaten terrier was diagnosed with PLE, a devastating, hereditary auto-immune disease, just two weeks ago.

    For the past nine years, since the discovery of his numerous food allergies & sensitivities, I fed my dog high-quality commercial dog food formulas of fish, venison and bison and completely avoided eating beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, wheat, corn, and soy. Since the PLE diagnosis two weeks ago, I have cooked fish — mostly wild-caught as I would choose for myself — and organic starches and vegetables (sweet potato, kale, peas, squash) for him to eat.

    I’ve learned that I may supplement calcium by adding ground-up eggshells (from eggs I buy directly from the farmer at the local greenmarket) but I’m not sure how to provide the other vitamins and minerals that my home-made meals lack. I’ve asked for help from the vets taking care of my dog’s PLE and their response is that “commercial dog food is much better” than anything home-made could ever be! I recognize that I cannot duplicate at home a special manufacturing process like “hydrolization” which is Purina HA’s claim to fame. Yet, I read the Purina HA label and it looks like complete crap to me. And the canine acupuncturist I’m also consulting says “home-made is better.” So, I’m deeply conflicted.

  24. Veterinary Diets, or the Hard Choice between Medical Advice and Heartfelt Belief « Ellee Henry's Blog Says:

    [...] I just submitted this comment on the “Dog Reflections” blog. The 2007 post on the funky ingredient “animal [...]

  25. Veterinary Diets, or the Hard Choice between Science and Conscience « Ellee Henry's Blog Says:

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  26. passerby Says:

    @Ellee Henry

    Look for Raw dog food. There are lots of sites that provide good recipes for raw foods, I think most of the recipes use beef but they will provide you with information on where to buy vitamins that you can add to your raw food diets which is what you are looking for.

    If you are looking for better information from a vet, seek out one that has a background in nutrition. Not all vets have vast knowledge about animal nutrition, they are required to take a few basic classes but these classes are usually payed or provided for by pet food companies, so a vets opinion will be skewed.

    Another interesting point that I did not see here is discussions that animal digest is used to attract pets to pet food. Most pets find the taste and smell to be irresistible so it is added to pet food to make it more palatable.

    Just to the NZ people and their grass feed sheep, US sheep are grass feed too, sheep prices are in the gutter, so much so that it is way cheaper to buy lots of land and raise sheep on grass then it is to stick them in a barn and or feed lot and raise them on grain. So if your buying lamb at the supermarket (not a former show lamb) there is a extremely high chance that it was grass feed. Only an idiot would pay $.5 a day to raise a 120lb lamb on grain for 9 months only to sell it at market for $1.5 a lb.

  27. robin Says:

    my dog was switched from royal canin hp to purina ha for her allergies. she quickly lost weight and because weak. she died suddendly from intestinal blockage. has anyone heard of this happening? i’m devastated shes gone.

  28. Cyberkick Says:

    I’d just like to say I can’t stand how some of these countries support animal cruelty in the worst form of animal cruelty I had to ever witness in my life! SHAME ON YOU CHINA< AND THE GODAMN PHILLIPINES!(and I'm mad at the U.S. for rolling around live cows, that's suppose to be for human consumption! WTF?!

  29. Cyberkick Says:

    Dear Robin, you might have to “baby proof” your house. my dog likes ripping up clean toilet paper and eats if I’m not careful!

  30. BJ Says:

    This is a reply to Robin. I just went to the Purina web site and read the stuff that is in the HA formula. YUCK! First on list is “STARCH”, then soy,etc. No meat at all in that formula. It does say that dogs will lose weight. Well ya, due to doesnt have any real calories in it. Did you dog have parasites? The blockage probly was caused by the starch. I truely am sorry for your loss. Another item in high price dog food is apples. Apples have the most pesticides of all fruit, unless organic. There is a family owned, pet food company in Jacksonville, Fl by the name of Pet Guard. It is organic pet food. They also believe in giving back to the community.

  31. Judie Patrin Says:

    Thanks for the information on Ingredient to Avoid! Animal Digest | Dog Reflections, it’ll be truly helpful.

  32. Maegan Earickson Says:

    I just discovered what “animal digest” is this evening, and am absolutely horrified by it! I do my best to feed my pets nutrional, nourishing, whole foods. To discover that my cat and dog treats are using ” animal digest”‘ which by definition can include any animal, including road kill, turned my stomach and broke my heart. Animals that have illnesses that they died from are being used. Pets that ere euthanized are being fed to our pets as well! Didn’t we learn anything from “mad cow disease”? Please, I urge you to protect the health of your family members and not feed your pets any form of “animal digest”. Sure, baon renderings could be classified as “pork digest” but do you want to take that risk? DEMAND that your pet food companies have truth in labeling, and don’t accept that that lie. It is NOT bacon grease or butter. It IS road kill, diseased animals, and cats and dogs….
    Shame one you commercial pet food companies!

  33. Tre Says:

    In response to “nyblondie”, et al:

    Many of the “other ingredients” you’ve listed are actually beneficial minerals that should be present in any diet, human or animal. For example, L-Lysine monohydrochloride is simply one of 11 amino acids that cannot be naturally produced by the organism. In this chemical form, it is 100% bio-available. This element (in it’s natural state) is naturally occurring in high-quality meats, and is usually not listed as an additional ingredient in higher quality dry dog foods. The same can be said for many of the other elements you’ve listed.

    Even the highest quality foods have some minerals added, and the ones to look for are those that have been “chelated” – which simply put, are minerals bonded to amino acid strings to be processed as one compound in the digestive system.

    In your opinion, vitamins and minerals are chemicals in the same way food in general is akin to gasoline.
    Very incorrect.

    To recommend a high-quality, organic, human-grade, freshly-shipped dry dog food – try Acana.
    By the way, it still lists minerals in the ingredients.

  34. jared Says:

    For the record, animal digest is completely harmless and does not contain road kill. Also, though diseased animals can be used, through the method of hydrolisis any bacteria and or virus in the meat is neutralized and cannot hurt your pet and certainly cannot transfer diseases to them. I have fed my animals cheap pet food and treats and they all have lived happy, healthy, long lives. None of my pets had serious health concerns. Animal digest is no worse than the things humans eat. It may sound gross but its harmless.

  35. Gloria P Says:

    Francois, you are, without a doubt, the most uneducated and highly misinformed person I’ve ever encountereed! I don’t know who it was who told you those horrendous lies about pet food,and pet health, but that person is as big a predudiced fool as you obviously are! You own words, very loudly and very clearly demonstrate your lack of concern for animal welfare, and just as clearly show that your only concern is for human health and survival! Let me tell you this, as far as I personally am concerned, humans rank the lowest on the evolutionary scale! Only humans will kill to possess a scrap of land, another person’s belongings,or that other person’s spouse. We hate others because they just happened to be born with a different skin pigmentation. That is the same as a brown dog hating the black and white dog living next door because it LOOKS different! Indeed, right now, in the US, there are thousands of people who hate our fairly and properly elected President, simply because he has brown skin, a trait he genetically inherited from his parents. These same people consider him to be somehow less intelligent and greatly inferior to people born with fair skin. That mentality is completely and uneqivilently ludicrous! Human skin is merely an organ, the largest organ on the body, and it’s job is to contain and protect the other more vulnerable soft organs. Before anyone mentions it, yes, I DID study medicine, and worked for some time as a Registered Nurse, and have a BS – Bachelor of Science Degree. Additionally, as someone who breeds and sells champion, Purebred Dogs (Chihuahuas). My dogs are recognized as Champions because of their remarkably beautiful color patterns, excellent health, longevity, and intelligence, NOT because I force them to endure the stressful conditions of the Dog Show circuit. ONLY humans benefit from dog shows. The dogs gain nothing whatsoever!

    During my years as a breeder, and also the time, energy, effort, and money I’ve spent to find loving “Forever Homes” for abused, abandoned, and unwanted animals (I am not only concerned with the health and welfare of dogs, but help ANY animal (or human being) in need! I’ve put my time to good use by applying myself to researching animal health, diet, mental well-being (Yes, animals have emotions, too, and they can lapse into very deep episodes of Depression. Many animals have felt so lonely and unwanted that they have actually committed suicide by refusing food and water. (They starve themselves to death!)Indeed, research has proven that animals are driven by very strong emotions. Also, despite what we’re led to believe, animals DO think. Some are capable, not only of reasoning, but also problem solving. Have you ever seen been eating a sandwich or a snack, and looked down to see your dogs, sitting at your feet, hoping that you’ll share a nibble or two with them? And, then, all of a sudden, one of the dogs, jumps up, acts as though he or she has heard something, then begins barking excitedly as he or she sprrints for the nearest door? Responding to the other dog’s call of alarm, your second pet, jumps up and also runs to the door. Finally, as the second dog arrives at the door, the first one, the one who sounded the alarm in the first place, turns and races back to you. He or she is now able to use all of his/her wiles, which includes gazing up at you with those cute and appealing “Bambi Eyes”, very plainly asking; “Please, Mommy…Can I have a little bite?”

    If you’ve seen this behavior, then you’ve just witnessed some very complicated problem solving on the part of your dog. One has very successfully, outwitted the other,and gained an extra bite your sandwhich as a reward! The next time you’re about to scold your dog, and call him/her stupid, just remember that little scenario. Your dog is FAR from being stupid. He or she is just UNEDUCATED. I believe we’re ALL aware of what a well-schooled dog can do. Just ask the search and rescue teams after 911. As a memeber of the Ski Patrol, who has gone out with his dog to locate someone who has been burried beneath the snow. As the police officer, who’s canine partner has just located a deadly explosive, and saved the lives of hundreds or perhaps, thousands of people. As the soldier, who’s canine partner, just jumped into the path of a bullet, becoming wounded him/herself to protect the human who that canine soldier loves more than anything else on this planet!

    No! Don’t talk to ne about how much more important a human life is than that of a dog! Don’t whine about how many humans are going hungry every day, and then make an asinine statement about how one ingredient in dog food is just as good as any other, even if that ingredient just happens to be a boiled down slurry of dead, diseased, dsabled, or dying ROAD KILL, filthy scraps off of the slaughterhouse floor, guts, eyeballs, tails, earns, noses and dirty hooves and feet of animals and poultry, and worst of all the bodies of murdered (Oh, wait, you call it Euthanasia, don’t you? Hah! Killing is killing, and death is death! giving it a fancy name changes NOTHING!)pets, whose flesh is now PERMANENTLY saturated with the chemicals used to kill them. You’re probably not aware of this, and probably couldn’t care less, but every time you feed your pet, food that is contaminated with those chemicals from murdered companion animals, you are slowly, but surely, euthanizing your own family pets! A dog once enjoyed many more years of life than current animals do. Sure, in the “Old Days” they used use a large portion of HORSE MEAT in canned and dry dog foods. They also used a lo of by products, what the British people call “OFFAL” (pronounced; awful), liver, kidneys, tongue, intestine, lungs, etc. But NONE of those by products were scraped off of a filthy highway, or came from sick, diseased, or dying animals, or euthanized pets contaminated with chemicals. Those folks had never even heard of “Animal Digest”. Dogs in those days often lived as long as long as 27 years! The toy breeds lived even longer.

    I’m sorry, Francois, but there is no excuse whatsoever to poison or feed vile garbage to sentient, reasoning, loving creatures who would not even for a moment hesitate to take a bullet intended for the human he/or she loves whole-heartedly. You CANNOT justify feeding diseased flesh to animals who don’t hesitate for a second to walk right into the dangerous debris and wreckage of collapsed buildings to search for humans trapped underneath. Tell me what human is worth more than the canine police officer (Yes, Police Dogs, now wear badges attached to their collars and are recognised as fully fledged Police Officers!)who walks fearlessly into a building to locate a bomb?

    Don’t talk to me about the poor who go hungry every day. If those people had been taught to PLAN the size of their families, and were given CONDOMS instead of BIBLES…If the Missionaries who went into those dirt poor countries and built CLINICS AND SCHOOLS instead of CHURCHES, there would be far fewer, unwanted babies born to starving families who couldn’t afford to feed, clothe and educate them If evey idiot who went around preaching their Pro-life nonsense, was forced to take in and feed, clothe, care for and educate (all the way through college!) at least TWO of these hungry, and often special-needs children, their voices would quickly go silent.

    I’m sorry, Francois, but it is HUMAN hate, greed, violence, destruction, over-population and disease that is distroying this planet. Not a single thing that animals have done. Whn he created this world, God put into place a network of checks and balances to keep population under control. This planet was designed to support all of the species he created till the end of time. But, humans have driven species to extinction for the shere pleasure of doing so! If they see something that they want, they take it. It doesn’t matter if that something belonged to someone else. Humans are the ONLY creatures that are capable of hating others just because they look a little bit different, and don’t worship the same way. We spread filth and disease everywhere we go, then blame on the animals.

    If humans are going hungry somewhere, it isn’t my Dogs’ fault. You aren’t going to feed my little ones filth, road kill, and murdered pets so all the good, healthy food goes to the humans that who caused the problems in the first place! If you’re upset about all the hungry people, living in poverty, send them YOUR food and give them YOUR money, and while you’re at it, send them a bunch of condoms so they’ll stop making more babies that they can’t afford to feed.

    In the mean time, I’m going to go on cooking good meals for my husband and my little dogs. They are what matters to me.

  36. Becca Says:

    Hi there, I was just reading up on animal digest and came across your article. From what I’ve been reading, it’s not much different from the boullion that many humans :) use in food. Made from about the same ingredients. Although it IS made from 4-D animals, the second part about rats and euthanized animals is a misquote. Those animals are all prohibited. Just thought you may want that clarified a bit. Thanks for the information! :)

  37. Sue Huss Says:

    Great information. I’ve been aware of how bad animal digest is for quite a while but I didn’t know about the probiotics that I purchased from my vet, which proves always read the label.

  38. James Says:

    Thanks for sharing this, I’ve seen this as an ingredient in a lot of dog food items and always wondered what the heck is Animal Digest, sounds like a magazine for dogs. LOL

    Every pet owner should make it a point to know about the ingredients that are in the foods and treats they’re giving to their pets. I make a lot of homemade treats for my dogs and did a lot of research to make sure I don’t use anything that may make them sick.

  39. Do You Know What You’re Feeding Your Pet? | Melodic Havoc Says:

    […] way that they’d need to get protein out of it.  Animal digest, that’s feces, vomit, undigested food, and urine ladies and gentlemen.  Indeed a quality […]

  40. ginny b Says:

    agree with Gloria p. I work for a high quality dog food company but still cook 75% of the time for my dog. with all the chemicals and animal parts in the food I believe that is why are pets are getting sick and dying.

  41. Carly Says:

    Are people dense?

    Animal digest isn’t harmless. It isn’t the same ting as broth for people. The FDA CONFIRMED that it contains sodium phenobarbital. That is the drug used to euthanize animals. Animal digest is, in essence, flavoring for dog foods made out of euthanized zoo animals and pets.

  42. Marie Says:

    I read all comments and had a few laughs and chuckles, but all this aside, the information concerning ingredients in dog food was not very informative. Yes, there was ingredients mentioned, but that was all. I read more on personal issues than anything and how the world is doing. How ever I would like to mention it is hard to pick out a good dog food. The questions I ask my self when doing so is, what does this mean? and how it affects my dog? I ask a vet, I do research on the net. Now here is some ingredients that I had looked up:
    According to the net: Propylene Glycol-Propylene glycol is a controversial additive used to help preserve the moisture content in some commercial dog foods. as the key component in newer automotive antifreeze.

    However, propylene glycol is considerably safer (less toxic) than its far more dangerous cousin — ethylene glycol.

    Yet because of its proven ability to cause a serious type of blood disease in some animals — Heinz body anemia — propylene glycol has been banned by the FDA for use in cat food.


    and: Proplylene Glycol is especially toxic in cats than it is in dogs causing a severe blood disease called Heinz Body anemia that essentially destroys the bodies” red blood cells. It may not have the detrimental effects that it’s cousin ethylene glycol has but it is still toxic and feeding it in small amounts for a long period of time can eventually lead to health problems in your pet.
    Symptoms include: Los of appetite, fever, sudden weakness, skin discoloration,pale mucus membranes and dark colored urine.
    If your pet shows any of these symptoms take the to the vet immediately.


    -BHA: Butylated hydroxyanisole — better known as BHA — is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” (a cancer-causing agent).
    a fat preservative that extends the life of dog food or cat food.


    -BHT is the popular abbreviation for a common dog food additive known as butylated hydroxytoluene.
    The chemical is used in certain dog foods to prevent fats and oils from prematurely spoiling.
    BHT can also be found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber, jet fuels, petroleum products, the oil in electrical transformers — and even embalming fluid.
    It seems the same chemical qualities which make BHT an effective preservative can also make it a suspect for causing cancerous tumors.

    -Ethoxyquin is a fat preservative sometimes used in dog food that has garnered a controversial reputation.

    It appears much of the fear of ethoxyquin in pet food may be related to its use as a pesticide and in making rubber.
    safety experts agree that when used properly, the synthetic additive is not toxic.

    For this reason, and after repeated investigation, the United States Food and Drug Administration has ruled the additive “may be safely used in animal feeds” when used according to regulations.

    Significance of Liver Issues
    Remains ‘Unknown’

    In one study conducted by the manufacturer of ethoxyquin and reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the effects of the chemical appear to be dose-dependent and include1:
    ?Accumulation of hemoglobin pigment in the liver
    ?Elevated liver enzymes in the blood
    Although ethoxyquin can be directly added to a dog food at the time of manufacture, this is only rarely the case.

    That’s because it can also be added indirectly to any recipe as a consequence of using certain poultry or fish meals3 that already contain the chemical at the time they are procured.

    And so even though it may not be listed on the label it can still be present in virtually any dog food.

    The Bottom Line

    For healthy pets, a trace amount of ethoxyquin is probably safe.

    However, unlike most humans who tend to vary their diets with nearly every meal, dogs typically eat the same food repeatedly.

    So, any potentially toxic substance present in a food — even if only in trace amounts — and fed every meal, every day, year after year — is a different matter.

    It’s that cumulative exposure that tends to keep us up at night.

    The effect of consuming any synthetic preservative like ethoxyquin relentlessly can be worrisome — even if it’s only remotely suspected of causing health issues.


    (An alternative to these chemicals is to look for Vitamin E or C used as a preservative.
    Natural preservatives are typically made from vitamins C or E. You’ll usually find them on a dog food ingredients list using some form of the words “tocopherol” or “ascorbate”).

    -Many dog foods still have the dangerous chemicals noted earlier, be it a high quality or low it does not matter. I have found these chemicals in many dog and cat foods.
    I see people buying a good quality dog food and do not even pay attention to the ingredients. I seen a lady picking out a dog food and asked her what is in this dog food I may want to consider it. The dog food package looked great, said it was healthy and looked good. Than I read the ingredients out loud and I came to the words BHA and stopped dead. The lady asked what is wrong I let her know what this ingredient meant. And said it is not for me. I do this ever once in awhile and when I do I get two responses. OH! My dog loves it or I am changing brands I had no idea.
    So I feel people are going to buy what they want no matter what is in the dog food and that is their choice. At least I know that some are watching out for their beloved pet as I do.
    I looked high and low and watched for ingredients and finally after a couple of years of trying out healthy dog foods on my beloved pet, I finally found one he likes. My pet is a miniature poodle and very picky eater. But his health issues stem from birth. So we have a good vet and dog food so he will live out the rest of his life in comfort. He is now 11 years old, but he will live it healthy as he can. He is also stubborn. My little Skeeter.
    It does not help picking on one another, but it does help when some of the advice is given toward animals and I do thank you for some of that advice each of you has given and some come to light. I say each of you are looking out for your pets in their own way and are rewarded with a happy wagging of the tail.

  43. michael Says:

    Do half of you even own a dog? Do half of you take the time or even have the intelligence to research what animal digest really is? My dogs are loved, happy, healthy and they eat treats and food with animal digest. They also eat t-bone steaks and prime rib. My dogs are my family. I have researched it and am satisfied with the results. If people are going to take the time to comment at least take the time to inform yourself of the facts. Moronic humans will not save dogs lives.

  44. Howard Says:

    I have been feeding my Rottweiler/lab mix, 3 cups a day of the brand Pedigree for the last 12+ years. I started her on science diet which she stopped eating. She will be 13 in July. My vet who I have been bringing her to regularly says all her vitals, blood work, coat, teeth still samples and everything else is great. I always buy Pedigree on sale. Perfectly healthy dog.

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  46. Sherri Says:

    I agree, Michael (comment 43). This whole topic got stirred up because some random idiot googled animal digest and made the stupid comment “Oooo, GROSS”. Pigs eat their own feces, other dead animals and God knows what else. But we Americans love our bacon and ham……. “Oooo, GROSS”. So chew on that! These animal remains go through a process, just like anything else. It’s not like they throw a bunch of dead, diseased animals in a grinder and call it a day. If it was that unsafe, it wouldn’t be the number one, vet recommended, Probiotic on the market. Get a clue people! Don’t listen to the guy who started this with the “GROSS!” comment. Totally clueless.

  47. Angela Says:

    I thought it was what was left in the stomach of slaughtered animals until I looked it up. I just wish all people who have pets would care for them, and not abuse or neglect them. Some can’t afford much. Stop with the guilt trips

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