Recent reports claim that some dry dog foods contain chicken or rabbit powder as an ingredient. What are these additives and why would your pooch need them?
These powders are typically made of dried meat or bone scraps left over from slaughterhouses. The most common source is chicken, but rabbits can be used instead.
Some dogs may eat this leftover food because it contains certain minerals such as zinc or phosphorus. However, many dogs do not ingest enough nutrition when eating raw diets, so the dogs who use these special ingredients in their diet probably fail to meet their nutritional needs. This could potentially cause health problems for your pooch.
This article will discuss the differences between natural and processed meats, what nutrients meat supplies, and how different types of dried meat contribute to our pets’ overall health. If you ever find mention of chicken or rabbit powder in a pet store, check to see if it is certified vegetarian or vegan first!
Disclaimer: As with any form of dietary change, there are several theories about the possible benefits of cooked meat protein for dogs. While we recommend feeding only authentic, non-manufactured dry dog foods, this article does not promote using meat products as a nutritional supplement for your canine companion.
Meat and vegetables
The next step in dog food manufacturing is adding the meat and/or vegetable source to the processed dry dog foods. These are typically sourced from commercial feed companies that use large amounts of heat and pressure to make sure all of the nutrients in the ingredient are broken down into a form that dogs can ingest easily.
The most common type of meat used in manufactured diets is chicken, but other sources include fish, turkey, hamburger or raw beef scraps. Many brands also mix special additives into the meats to increase the nutritional value of the kibble.
Vegetables are often times dried and ground up before they’re added to the diet to help balance the nutrition level. The most popular veggies used are carrots, green peas and sweet potatoes. Some even add rice to give some additional texture and weight to the kibble so your dog does not lose weight while feeding it!
These process tips vary slightly between different manufacturers and regions depending on what chemicals they feel like using to ensure quality and consistency of their finished product, but every company uses lots of heat and pressures to break down the protein sources.
Most dog food companies use hydrogenated oils as an ingredient in their products. These are very complicated fat molecules that contain small amounts of other things such as trace minerals or vitamins.
The reason they are called “hydrogenated” is because you add hydrogen to these unsaturated fats, which make them more stable and easier to handle during processing. This means they can be mixed into the product with much less risk of rancidity (the growth of harmful free radicals).
Hydrogenation is also used to increase the stability and shelf life of the oil, so it does not go bad or decompose quickly. It solidifies when cooled, making it a good carrier for some nutrients like zinc and beta carotene.
However, this process removes most of the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids from the oil, replacing them with mostly saturated fats. This changes the balance of omega-3 and -6 fats in your dog’s diet, which are both important, but different types of fat.
There is some controversy about whether too many saturated fats are actually harmful to dogs. However, we do know that some types of saturated fat can contribute to heart disease in people, and overweight or obese dogs are at higher risk of getting sick due to atherosclerosis (hardened arteries) than normal weight dogs.
Hello, I'm Cindy, the founder of PetsForLife. I am a true animal lover with 3 cats and 1 dog of my own. My passion for all things pets has led me to create a unique collection of personalized pet gifts. Check out our personalized pet gifts on our website.
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