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.