Natural Health Pet Products

Degenerative disease incidence in dogs and cats is no mystery. What causes disease in people causes disease in animals, too. Below is an excellent discussion on this topic. (taken from originally provided by but this site is no longer valid). Natural Health Pet Products

Also read the article Rendering Plants and Animal Health

AVOID: Alpo, Beneful, Bil-Jac, Cycle, Dads, Diamond, Eukanuba, Excel, Gravy Train, Iams, Kibbles’ n Bits, Nutro Max, Natural Choice, Nature’s Recipe, Nutro, Nutra, Pedigree, Purina, Purina One, Science Diet, Natural, Ol’ Roy… anything at Walmart and Pet Smart, and Kroger, Pro Plan, Purina, Purina One..



Many contain low cost ingredients, rendered animals including dogs and cats, soybeans, corn, wheat by-products, brewers rice/yeast, digest, by-products, animal fat, sugar, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Vet Disclaimer

Many of you may say that your vet recommended a certain food. Most veterinarians acquire their only knowledge on pet nutrition in elective classes in veterinary school. These classes may only last a few weeks and are often taught by representatives from pet food companies. Hill’s, lams, and Purina are the largest contributors for these courses. In addition, pet food companies even donate food to the vet students for their own companion animals.
Rendering… how low grade protein dog foods are made. Note: not for the weak stomach.

At the rendering plant, a machine slowly grinds animal parts, skin, road kill, dogs & cats in huge vats. Then this product is cooked at temperatures between 220 degrees Fahrenheit and 270 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes to one hour. The mixture is centrifuged (spun at a high speed) and the grease (or tallow) rises to the top and it is removed from the mixture. The grease becomes the source of animal fat in most commercial pet foods (foods found at grocery stores, Petsmart, Wal-mart, Petco, gas stations, feed stores, and some of American’s most trusted brands). After the grease is removed in the rendering process, the remaining material is dried and meat and bone meal are the end of this process.

The chemicals used to euthanize animals, dogs and cats can survive the cooking process, which means these chemicals end up in pet food. For example, The city of Los Angeles alone, sends some two hundred tons of euthanized cats and dogs to a rendering plant every month. Added to the blend are the euthanized catch of animal control agencies, and road kill. When this mix is ground and steam-cooked, the lighter, fatty material floating to the top gets refined for use in such products as cosmetics, lubricants, soaps, candles, and waxes. The heavier protein material is dried and pulverized into a brown powder—about a quarter of which consists of fecal material. The powder is used as an additive to almost all low cost pet food as well as to livestock feed.


Artificial colors- Many of the artificial colorings used in dog foods have been associated with potential problems. FD&C red No. 40 is a possible carcinogen but is widely used to keep meat looking fresh Blue No. 2 is thought to increase dogs’ sensitivity to viruses. Food color used in today’s manufacture of foods is not for the dogs. It is to satisfy the dog’s owner.

Sugar- Sugar adds palatability and moisture, and aids in bacterial contamination prevention. Dogs do not need this amount of sugar, which can stress the pancreas and adrenal glands, causing diabetes…not to mention hyperactivity, aggression and anxiety.

Salt – Added to many foods as a meat preservative. Too much salt can irritate the digestive system and can cause a mineral imbalance because the salt itself can upset the calcium / potassium balance in your dog’s system. Too much salt can be life threatening for a dog. Salt can also lead to urination problems by causing excess thirst.

Corn- gluten meal- The by-product after the manufacturer of corn syrup or starch which is the dried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch. SUGAR & BINDER

Ground Corn- (also called Corn Meal) -the entire corn kernel ground or chopped. It can contain up to 4% foreign material.

Brewer’s Rice – The small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from larger kernels of milled rice. A processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice. Contrary to what many pet food companies want to make you believe, this is not a high quality ingredient, just much cheaper than whole grain rice. SUGAR AND FILLER.

Soybean Meal

Beet Pulp – This is a controversial filler made from by-products of the sugar beet industry. The fact that it is a by-product is enough for us. It is hard on the digestive system, can lead to hyperactivity allergies and diabetes. Just say no.

Meat Meal – Rendered meal made from animal tissue. It cannot contain hair, hoof, blood, horn, hide trimmings, stomach or rumen (the first stomach) contents, or manure except for amounts that may not be avoided during processing. Meat meal can be from road kill, euthanized dogs and cats, and diseased animal.

Meat By-Product- Clean parts of slaughtered animals, not including meat. These parts include lungs, kidneys, brain, spleen, liver, bone, blood, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, stomach, and intestines. Again, Meat is non-specific and can be from road kill, euthanized dogs and cats, and diseased animals. Rendered.

Beef Tallow – This is the Very Hard white fatty substance which is rock hard and looks like a bone. Most dogs have great difficulty in digesting this substance.

Wheat Gluten- An inexpensive by-product of human food processing with almost no nutritional value left, serves mostly as a binder.

Animal Fat- Animal source is not specified and is not required to originate from “slaughtered” animals. The rendered animals can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter, goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. road kill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant oil and supermarket refuse. This is made from rendered animals.

Poultry Fat- This product the source is not defined as “slaughtered poultry”. The rendered fowl can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter, turkey, chicken, geese, buzzard, seagulls, misc. road kill, and birds euthanized at shelters.

Cellulose- Dried wood is the most common source for cellulose. It is cleaned, processed into a fine powder and used to add bulk and consistency to cheap pet foods.

Animal Digest- A cooked-down broth made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. The animals used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter, goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. road kill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant oil and supermarket refuse. Rendered.

Butylated Hydroxysanisole/Hydroxytoulen – a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant used to preserve fats and oils. Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.

Ethoxyquin- A preservative and insecticide that has been linked to liver cancer as well as to problems of the
thyroid, kidney, reproductive and immune related illnesses. Found in most fish meal but not labeled. The average dog can consume as much as 26 pounds of preservatives every year from eating commercial dog foods

Beef & Bone Meal- A by-product made from beef parts which are not suitable for human consumption. It can incorporate the entire cow, including the bones, but the quality cuts of meat are always removed. This is an inexpensive, low quality ingredient used to boost the protein percentage. Rendered.

Chicken by-product meal-
Chicken by-products are much less expensive and less digestible than the chicken muscle meat. The ingredients of each batch can vary drastically in ingredients (heads, feet, bones etc.) as well as quality, thus the nutritional value is also not consistent. Don’t forget that by-products consist of any parts of the animal OTHER than meat. Rendered.

Fish Meal- (Limited Quantities are recommended) Like with all other animal sources, if a type isn’t specified, you never know what type or quality of fish is used.According to US Coast Guard regulations, all fish meal not destined for human consumption must be conserved with Ethoxyquin. This preservative is banned from use in foods for human consumption except for the use of very small quantities as a color preservative for spices. So unless the manufacturer either presents a permit or states “human grade” fish or fish meal is used, you can be pretty sure Ethoxyquin is present in the food even if it is not listed.

Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate- Synthetic vitamin E, also listed as Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate. Only about half as effective as natural vitamin E and not as readily available to the body.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfate- Unnecessary ingredient in dog food. This synthetic version of vitamin K has not been specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food. It has been linked to many serious health issues.

Dog Food Comparison

SCIENCE DIET- Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Dried Chicken Cartilage, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.


Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Wheat,Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Beef, Peas, Carrots, Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Iron Oxide, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Vitamin E Supplement, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, L-Tryptophan, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

IAMS- Chicken, Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed), fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Flax Meal, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Rosemary Extract.

KIBBLES-N-BITS- Corn, soybean meal, ground wheat flour, beef & bone meal, animal fat (BHA used as preservatives), corn syrup, wheat middling, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), calcium sulfate, titanium dioxide, yellow 5, red 40, yellow 6, BHA (used as a preservative), dl-methionin

BENEFUL- Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, sorbitol, tricalcium phosphate, water, animal digest, salt, hosphoric acid, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried peas, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, zinc sulfate, glyceryl monostearate,ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite.

PROPLAN SELECT- Lamb, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, chicken meal (natural source of glucosamine), pearled barley, oat meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), dried egg product, fish oil, pea fiber, dried beet pulp, atural flavor, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, salt, dried sweet potatoes, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, blueberry pomace, dried tomatoes, calcium carbonate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), niacin, copper proteinate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.

NUTRO MAX- Chicken Meal, Wheat Flour Ground Whole Wheat, Rice Bran, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Rice, Lamb Meal, Natural Flavors, Yeast Culture, Calcium Carbonate, Monosodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dried Buttermilk, Dried Kelp, Dried Egg Product, Lecithin, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Oxide, Garlic, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement.

Lamb Meal, Ground Rice, Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Natural Flavors, Rice Gluten, Dried Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine, Dried Kelp (source of Iodine), Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Biotin, Copper Proteinate, Niacin, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin
Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3
Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid.

NUTRO ULTRA- Chicken meal, Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Lamb Meal, Rice Bran, Sunflower Oil, Poultry Fat, Salmon Meal, Flax seed, Natural Flavors, Oatmeal, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Tomato Pomace, Cranberry Powder, Fish Oil, Dried Egg Product, L-Lysine, Dried Kelp Meal, and vitamins. This food is ok but their protein sources are of lower quality than the foods below. Beet pulp can lead to agitation and hyperactivity.


CANIDAE- Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Lamb Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Herring Meal, Flax Seed, Sun Cured Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil, Chicken, Lecithin, Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Linoleic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract,
Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus, Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Inulin (from Chicory root), Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Solubles, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Mixed Tocopherols .

AZMIRA- Beef Meal, Whole Ground Barley, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Grain Sorghum, Flax Seed, Canola Oil,
Alfalfa Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Natural Flavors, Dehydrated Carrots, Apple Pomace, Potassium Chloride, Garlic Powder, Dried Kelp, Choline Chloride, DI-methionine, Mixed Tocopherols (natural antioxidant), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin Supplements (E,A,B2,B12,D3), Niacin, Calcium Ascorbate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Inositol, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid, Biotin, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Cobalt Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite

FROMM- Duck, Duck Meal, Pearled Barley, Sweet Potato, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, White Rice, Whole Dried Egg, Millet, Dried Tomato Pomace, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Cheese, Flaxseed, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apples, Green Beans, Lecithin, Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries, Salt, Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Folic Acid, Parsley, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Longum, Enterococcous Faecium, Vitamin A, D3, E, B12 Supplements, Choline Bitartrate, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganous Sulfate, Copper.

SOLID GOLD-HUND-N-FLOCKEN- Lamb, Lamb Meal, Millet, Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Rice Bran, Menhaden Fish Meal, Canola Oil, Flax Meal, Amaranth, Blueberries, Dried Chicory Root, Carotene, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin.

NATURAL BALANCE- Potatoes, Duck Meal, Duck, Canola Oil (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), Potato Fiber, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Lecithin, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Inulin, Taurine, Lysine, L-Carnitine, Yucca, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B).

A Note: Treats

If you feed your dog good food don’t feed them yucky treats. Check the ingredients! Rawhides-only American Made.

Where Can I Find natural pet food?

Natural Health Pet Products

You can also do a search for the above named foods, or for “natural pet food.” There are many natural companies out there these days!

International authority on commercial pet food and author, ANN MARTIN provides the latest in “pet news”; what cat foods are under current recall; how commercial pet food suppliers are buying up the good, natural pet food manufacturers and why; is rendering of deceased pets still taking place; and solutions anyone can take to insure your beloved pets will live longer, healthier lives.

The commercial pet food industry has a secret to hide — and Ann Martin wants to make sure you know it.

From the book, “Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food.” By Ann N. Martin: Pet food labels can be deceiving. They only provide half the story. The other half of the story is hidden behind obscure ingredients listed on the labels. Over seven years, Ann has been able to unearth information about what is contained in most commercial pet food.

If a pet food lists “meat by-products” on the label, remember that this is the material that usually comes from the slaughterhouse industry or dead stock removal operations, classified as condemned or contaminated, unfit for human consumption. Meat meal, meat and bone meal, digests, and tankage (specifically animal tissue including bones and exclusive of hair, hoofs, horns, and contents of digestive tract) are composed of rendered material. The label need not state what the composition of this material is, as each batch rendered would consist of a different material. These are the sources of protein that we are feeding our companion animals.

One commercial food that most cats and dogs seem to love are the semi-moist foods. These kibble and burger-shaped concoctions are made to resemble real hamburger. However, according to Wendell O. Belfield and Martin Zucker in their book, How to Have a Healthier Dog, these are one of the most dangerous of all commercial pet foods. They are high in sugar, laced with dyes, additives, and preservatives, and have a shelf life that spans eternity.

**In this book Ann Martin arms consumers with crucial information on how to read labels on pet food, and discern for themselves whether or not they want to feed their pets commercial food. Martin offers healthy alternatives for feeding animal companions with nutritious and easy-to-prepare recipes. For people who don’t have the time to cook, Martin provides information on several pet food companies that produce healthy, human-grade pet food. Martin builds a strong case for why our pets will live longer, healthier lives without commercial pet food.

Recommended BOOKS:

2008 Expanded Edition of ” Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food ” and “Protect Your Pet.”

Both available at 1-877-817-9829 or – (Just do a search for “pet food” on the right side of the page and you will get these books.