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What are Pet Food Fillers?

This A+ FRR Pet Nutrition FAQ discusses unhealthy fillers in commercial pet food brands that have little or no nutritional value. Products like feathers, soy, cottonseed hulls, corncobs, peanut hulls, straw, and cereal by-products are often included as inexpensive fillers or low-grade fiber content.
Many commercial pet foods contain fillers that have little or no nutritional value. Products like corn and corncobs, cereal by-products, feathers, soy, cottonseed hulls, peanut hulls, citrus pulp, screening, weeds, and straw are often included as inexpensive fillers or low-grade fiber content.

These fillers are often added as pet food ingredients to help decrease the overall cost of the food, especially when pet food manufacturers attempt to keep their pet foods at a certain price point despite rising manufacturing, marketing, shipping, and related costs.

A rather ironic result has resulted in rare cases, though, where toxins in unnecessary fillers have led to massive recalls at huge expense to the pet food companies. Two recent examples are aflatoxin on corn in the 2006 Diamond Pet Food Recall and melamine on wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, or rice gluten, fillers in the 2007 Menu Foods Pet Food Recall that included Hill's, Royal Canin, Natural Balance, Iams, Eukanuba, Purina, and Nutro brands (among others).

Proper fiber in pet foods (and foods in general) acts as a calming base for forming the stool in the colon, and it should help develop good fecal consistency rather than potentially aggravate the intestinal walls as low-grade fiber fillers tend to do.

Flint River pet foods use beet pulp as their fiber source, the best available source for gently massaging intestinal walls, removing mucous and slime, and aiding in your pet's bowel movements. Only the beet pulp fiber left after all the sugar has been extracted is used in the Flint River pet food formulas.

Flint River Ranch premium dog foods are also guaranteed free of corn and soybean sources, which are much more difficult for dogs to digest than wheat grains. Flint River foods use a combination of high-quality ground wheat, wheat flour, wheat germ meal, and ground rice for their grain sources.

The grains are purchased directly from the highest-quality mills; even though it costs more, it guarantees the finest quality grain without the risk of mold or other harmful toxins.

Since some pets are allergic to wheat-based food, Flint River Ranch also offers several non-wheat-based formulas, including a Lamb, Millet, and Rice formula and a Trout and Sweet Potato ("Fish and Chips") formula.

FAQs: Pet Nutrition and Pet Food Ingredients

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