Most people don't realize that most popular pet foods – from manufacturers like Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba, Purina – contain chemical preservatives and by-products that are unfit for human consumption. These by-products can include decayed meat, animal digest, feet, beaks, hair and all internal organs. There is no governmental agency watching over what goes in pet foods. It is totally up to you, the pet owner, to watch out for the nutritional well-being of your pet.
The ingredients on pet food labels are listed in descending order by weight, so the ingredients listed higher tend to make up the majority of the pet food composition. The ingredients listing for pet foods can be useful, but it unfortunately tells the buyer absolutely nothing about either the quality of the ingredients or their nutritional value. The listing can also be misleading because although meat may be listed first, it may be the heaviest ingredient only because of its high moisture content.
In a balanced, healthy pet food, the first ingredient listed (the predominant ingredient in the pet food) should always be a meat or meat meal, followed by another meat or a whole grain or vegetable product. The term meal simply means that the meat has been ground or reduced in particle size with no compromise in quality. If your pet food label has meat byproducts listed as ingredients, here is what the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines say meat by-products can consist of: "The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat derived from slaughtered mammals, including, but not limited to: lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines, freed from their contents."
Another popular byproduct source, poultry by-products, consists of: "ground, rendered clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices," according to the AAFCO.
Based on the chemicals and by-products contained in the most popular pet foods, is it any wonder that there has been such an explosive increase in cancer, skin problems and allergies in pets? For more information about pet food ingredients, read this excerpt from Ann Martin's Food Pets Die For.
Corn or corn meal is a low-cost filler that many dog food manufacturers use to save money. Corn passes right through your dog with little to no nutritional value. If your dog food lists corn as the first or second ingredient on its label, you are paying for up to 25% filler in that food. Not only are you paying for a filler, you are also having more dog stools in your yard. The presence of fillers tells you what the manufacturer thinks of their food.
Note: Corn is an acceptable ingredient in cat food. The differences in the nutritional needs and digestive systems between dogs and cats results in corn being a healthy and useful ingredient for cats.
Flint River Ranch uses only all-natural, human-grade ingredients in all of its pet foods and pet treats — there are no chemicals, no fillers, and no animal by-products contained in any FRR foods. FRR uses only human-grade, high quality ingredients. For example, Flint River Ranch could use a cheaper quality wheat as some manufacturers do, but FRR buys wheat only from reputable mills such as General Mills. The wheat is tested for quality before it leaves the mill, and then tested again when Flint River Ranch receives the wheat.
It is more expensive wheat, but it is also a very high quality, human-grade ingredient. Other pet food manufacturers buy their wheat directly from a grain elevator that contains insects, chaff, weeds, stalks, etc. It is a less expensive and inferior quality wheat, but it is still listed as wheat on the pet food label. This commitment to quality is FRR's standard with every single ingredient in every FRR pet food. Flint River Ranch does not cut corners on quality!
Quite simply, you will not find a higher quality pet food than Flint River Ranch anywhere. In the end, it is up to you to safeguard the nutrition and resulting health of your pet. Thank you for caring about your pet.