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The Truth About Kibble

Many pet food companies use the cheapest ingredients they can find. Whether it comes from dead diseased animals, road kill, or euthanized pets from shelters.  Yes, you read that right!! These ingredients are not suitable for human consumption. If you won't eat it, why should your dog! Most pet foods contain 4-D ingredients. Any chemicals that existed within that animal, would still be in it when dead. 

What is 4-Ds meats? 


4-D is meat and by-products that have been derived from animals that were rejected by food inspectors who classified the animals as not fit for human consumption because they were “Dead, Dying, Disabled or Diseased” at the time of inspection. This includes but not limited to Roadkill, slaughterhouse rejects, animals that die on their way to meat packing plants - all are acceptable ingredients for pet food under the "4D" rule. Steroids, growth hormones and chemicals used to treat cattle including insecticide patches end up mixed into the final product. Meat from grocery stores past its due date is also added to the mix, as are the Styrofoam trays and plastic wrap they were packed in.


What are Meat by-products?


They are nothing more than slaughterhouse waste; waste that's been banned for use in human food and then sold to the pet food industry. It’s what’s left over after the slaughter and classified as inedible waste, unfit for human consumption.

The problems we have with altered proteins may contribute to food in tolerances, food allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease. This is less common in canned or homemade foods. 


Kibble is cooks twice with a high-heat process witch can create potent carcinogens like acrylamide and heterocyclic amine. These by-products created are known to be cancer causing.  Studies have shown a connection between these carcinogens and the rising rates of cancer in pets.  This process also damages and/or destroy proteins, good fats, antioxidants, enzymes minerals, vitamins and beneficial bacteria. This is also the reason pet food manufactures are using vitamin supplements in the food today.  This can cause another unlined problem.  If done in wrong amounts these supplements can kill your pet over night.  Like when this happened to HIlls in the recall of May 2019.  Hills had toxic levels of vitamin D that killed and made hundreds of dogs sick.

Grains and legumes  can contain mold if not stored or processed correctly. Extrusion does not remove or kill the mold.  Certain molds can cause cancer and/or organ failure, just like in humans. 

Learn to read ingredients.

Feeding improper food can shorten the life span of your dog.  The first fight for a long and healthy life is with food. Certain ingredients can cause many horrible diseases like allergies, autoimmune disease, cancer, seizures, diabetes, arthritis/joint issues, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, kidney & liver failure, obesity, skin and coat disorders, and/or urinary tract disorders.  Remember you should feed your furbaby a breed and energy level appropriate food.  If you don't, the few dollars you save at the store you will be spending on trying to save your furbabies life. 

​Another area to be concern with is many pet owners assume feeding things like organic brown rice, organic barley and organic millet is the way to go.  However, dogs do not need grains in their diet and many have allergies to them so therefore organic or not it does not matter.  The best rule of thumb is to try to stay way from grains or high grain fillers. This is help to avoid allergies and digestive tract issues. Not to mention, that few people are aware that glyphosate is being routinely sprayed on wheat, barley and oat crops as a powerful desiccant, right before harvest.

​Below is a listing of some dangerous ingredients you should look out for. This is not a complete list.

Potato (carcinogenic)
Potato starch
Pea fiber 
Corn (GMO/BT(Bacillus thuringiensis),
Fish meal
​Animal digest 
White and brown rice
Meat By-Products
Rice (any kind)
Meat Meal (any kind)
Animal Fat
Caramel Color
Menadione Sodium Bisulfite
Citric Acid (contains corn)
Hydrochloric Acid

What are the different types of meals and what to avoid?

There are may have different types of meals and each pet food might contain one or more types...for example: chicken meal and fish meal. Most manufacures added  meals into pet foods. Meal can contain many non-nutritional parts of the animal. While chicken necks, livers etc are acceptable food, it is the waste such as skin, fur, feathers that is not a part of the diet. Some may argue this but it is NOT human grade waste  and is non-nutritional. All MEAT meal and salmon/fish meal should be avoided at all costs. 

Lets face it, chicken meal is an ingredient used by many pet food manufacturers because it is cheaper, easier to produce and can be stored for a longer period of time. Chicken meal is made by taking the “leftovers” of chicken after meat has been removed for human use. This is cooked in a process called rendering: grinding the chicken down and cooking it at very high temperatures for several hours to make a powder or meal.  Most important to know, chicken meal legally can contain 4D animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled), this makes it unfit for human consumption. The same principle goes with all other types of meal. 


Fish Meals  most contain Ethoxyquin, it is used to preserve the fat .  Many pet foods currently use it even today.  The label  doesn't list the exact ingredients, like exact meat source.  This means you have no idea what is truly in the food.  Ethoxyquin is added before the raw ingredients are shipped so it doesn't legally have to be listed or disclosed on the product label.  Now there are some pet food companies that refuse to add ethoxyquin to their product but that doesn't mean it isn't in the fish meal they use. There is no way of knowing.  

Don's make the mistake of assuming label doesn't list ethoxyquin, it doesn't contain it.  As a sided note, fish meal is one of the main pet food ingredients that also contains mycotoxins. 


What is Ethoxyquin and Mycotoxins?


For those who are unaware Ethoxyquin (EMQ) is a quinoline-based antioxidant used as a food preservative in certain countries and originally to control scald on pears after harvest (under commercial names such as "Stop-Scald"). It is used as a preservative in some pet foods to slow the development of rancidity of fats.


Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of moulds (fungi). Moulds that can produce mycotoxins grow on numerous foodstuffs such as  cereals, dried fruits, nuts and spices. If that's not scary enough, mycotoxin is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by organisms of the fungus kingdom and is capable of causing disease and death in both humans and other animals. The term 'mycotoxin' is usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonize crops.

​Also included are the synthetic vitamins you need to avoid as most are sourced from China. Use a whole food supplement like Organic Greens Powder. Rosemary extract (and Sage) has been known to cause seizures even in minuscule amounts. Some dogs are also allergic to it. 

Can you read the label?

All ingredients on a label is list in larges quantity to lowest quantity.  Remember, there are hidden ingredients if it was added before the manufacturing plants get it. Pet Food industry must report everything they add to the mix.  This is why you see chicken meal not a list of each chicken part that was added to make up the meal. 

What are the packaging Tricks?

You see all these pet food products showing lots of fruits and vegetables on their labels, when in fact most of them contain less than 1%.  The easy test is the Salt Test.  FDA said that pet food can not contain more than 1% salt. This is because pets can not process salt like humans.  It can cause liver and kidney disease. 

Remember everything after the word SALT on the label is 1% or less of that ingredient.  

Lets look at this packaging from Beneful and  its ingredients.

As you see the packaging has all these vegetables falling along with the chicken.  This gives the impression that there are lots of vegetables along with the chicken.  Not So.  Remember the SALT TEST.  Everything after salt is less than 1% .  So Beneful contains less than 1% of spinach, peas, and carrots.  Do you see less than 1% represented on the packaging? 


Ingredients:  Beef, whole grain corn, barley, rice, whole grain wheat, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, oat meal, poultry by-product meal, glycerin, egg and chicken flavor, mono and dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, natural flavor, potassium chloride, dried spinach, dried peas, dried carrots, iron oxide color, MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), biotin (Vitamin B-7)], choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride.


The damage some fillers or grains can have on your furbaby?

Remember that corn has no neutral value and used as filler and while remembering that don't forget meal products are just the left over junk and discarded pieces that isn't even good enough for us to eat.  ​ Most all of these worst dog food brands have corn (which is full of GMOs) as the main ingredient. Use these examples as a comparative guide to what you should not be feeding your dog.

Other ingredients besides corn that are full of GMOs are:

  • Alfalfa

  • Canola

  • Soy

  • Sugar Beets

  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash

  • Rice (White and Brown-also arsenic)

Crops that are suspect to have genetically modified relatives in production – known as “Monitored Crops” are…

  • Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)

  • Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)

  • Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)

  • Cucurbita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)

  • Flax

  • Wheat

Another scary truth is that regulations do not require raw materials to be transported or warehoused under refrigeration or frozen. In other words – pet food ingredients such as meat or fish – could be spoiling/rotting for days before it becomes a pet food. Remember our discussion on Mycotoxins above?  Here is where they come into play.  When grains are improperly stored, mycotoxins can develop. Two common forms, both of which have been found in pet food (more commonly in dog food) are aflatoxin and vomitoxin. Although mycotoxins are found worldwide they only become toxic in temperatures above 82 degrees and over 80 percent humidity at which point they interfere with cellular function, and are extremely carcinogenic and immunosuppressive. 

Aflatoxin B1 is the most toxic of the aflatoxins and is the most potent liver carcinogen known. Evidence exists to indicate that low-level exposure to aflatoxin may cause suppression of the immune system and increase susceptibility to disease. Young and pregnant animals of all species are extremely sensitive to aflatoxins. Aflatoxin is also excreted in milk of bitches and may contribute to reproductive failure. Exposure during pregnancy has resulted in transplacental transfer of aflatoxin to and immune dysfunction in offspring. 

The elimination of mycotoxins in food is extremely expensive. Pet food manufacturers are not known for using the highest quality grains available; they would not be able to keep up their high profit margins if they did. The grains most pet food manufacturers use are those that are not fit for human consumption or are by-products from other processes.

Synthetic vitamins are they good for my furbaby?

Synthetic Vitamins are normally found in premixes purchased for pet foods. Synthetic Vitamins are man made with unnatural ingredients and chemicals. ​​ Many of them are not completely regulated.  Therefore, supplement fraud can occur. This means that supplements can contain more or less nutrients than stated on the label.

When it comes to nutrition, natural and whole foods should always 1st choice ... But, pet food manufacturers use synthetic vitamins because it is a cheaper way to replenish vitamins lost during processing. However, an important is the fact is that synthetic vitamins are prepared from chemicals instead of nature. Many studies show that are frequently less active biologically than their natural counterparts, thereby reducing any beneficial effect they may have. 

What have we learned?

All this information can be scary.  What can a pet parent do? Lets get real, not all dry kibble is the same.  There are some that are better than others.  Ideal, home prepared food is the best, just like for us, but in the big scheme of things, it might not be in the cards for you.  Take this information a try to make the best choice of you and your furbaby with the guidance of your veterinarian. 


Remember to feed your furbaby according to life style, activity level, breed and health restrictions.  

Top 20 Worst Dog Foods On The Market

1. BENEFUL BY PURINA (Reports of dogs dying from eating this food)CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

2. Purina Dog Chow Healthy Morsels Dry Dog Food

3. ALPO BY PURINA (Reports of Dogs Dying from eating this food)


5. OL ROY (All types) From WALMART (Reports of dogs dying from eating this food)

6. Purina Dog Chow (Reports of dogs dying from eating this food)

7. Purina Be Happy Beef Flavor Dog Food

8. PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition Beef Flavor Dry Dog Food (Reports of dogs dying from eating this food)

9. Purina Senior 7+ Healthy Morsels Soft & Crunchy Bites Dog Food Dry

10. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Dry Dog Food

​11. Muenster Natural Adult Dog Food

12. Luvsome™ Original Recipe Dog Food Ingredients-Kroger Brand & Natural Dog Food Ingredients-Kroger Bran

13. ​Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula

14. Wild Earth

15. Tuffy's Pet Food Gold Adult Dry Dog Food

​16. Blue Buffalo ​​(Reports of dogs dying from this food)DEATH FROM BB BLUE BUFFALO FB GROUP

17. Purina One True Instinct Smartblend

18. Purina Bella Natural Bites with Real Chicken & Beef & Accents of Sweet Potatoes & Spinach Small Breed Dry Dog Food​

19. Abound Natural Dog Food

​20. ANF Dog Food


Sugars (dextrose)

Brewers yeast

Rosemary extract

Beet pulp


Xanthan gum

Propylene glycol 

Sodium bisulfate

Food dye colorings 


​Onion Powder

High Fructose

Corn Syrup

Rosemary Extract

Vegetable Oil

Animal Digest

Garlic (daily)

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