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Hi everyone. This has been bothering me for a while: I did extensive research to make sure the kibble I feed my 1 year old dog is free of animal by-products and has all the nutritional content he needs. For chews, we give him things such as antlers, bully sticks, and other digestible cow parts. My question is this: aren't all these chews made from these "horrible" by-products? Aren't trachea, gullets, etc. by-products? What makes it ok to give as a chew but not ok to put in the food? Am I missing something?
 

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I'm assuming you're talking about things like "chicken by-product meal"

By products by themselves are not horrible. The problem is inconsistent quality from batch to batch. It's not that it's not ok to have in food, chicken by-products are just lower quality overall. It's things like underdeveloped eggs, intestines, necks, feet etc. So overall, it's less meat and since it could be so many different things, that results in the inconsistent quality and is undesirable as the primary source of animal protein.

Think of it this way, ideas like prey model raw essentially revolve around feeding the whole animal. That's everything, including "by-products". However you certainly won't want to take a whole chicken, trim off all the meat you can use and then only feed whatever's left.
 

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Hi everyone. This has been bothering me for a while: I did extensive research to make sure the kibble I feed my 1 year old dog is free of animal by-products and has all the nutritional content he needs.
First of all, you've got to understand what "by-products" are. Any animal or part of an animal that is not used for human consumption is considered a "by-product". In terms of parts, these are parts of the slaughtered animals that are generally considered not for suitable for human consumption within the culture. Obviously, this is dependent on the culture that is making the determination. One of the reasons why EU standards are higher than ours is that they make use of animal parts that we don't, and have to be more careful about the animals.

There nothing wrong with those "by-products" as such . For thousands of years some of those parts were consumed or used as ingredients along with the rest of the animal, and in some places, they still are.

However, by-products also means animals that were rejected as not being fit for human consumption (dead, dying, diseased). Even the parts from acceptable animals are often not given the same handling (before and after) as the parts specifically meant for human consumption. It's economics.


For chews, we give him things such as antlers, bully sticks, and other digestible cow parts. My question is this: aren't all these chews made from these "horrible" by-products? Aren't trachea, gullets, etc. by-products?
These are all considered by-products in the US.

What makes it ok to give as a chew but not ok to put in the food? Am I missing something?
Marketing. if you look at the packaging, it will say not meant for human consumption. That should give you a hint what's going on.
 

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Also keep in mind that there's a difference between a dog chewing on something to keep himself occupied and his only source of nutrition. Even if those items were nutritionally void, you're not giving them to him to meet his nutritional needs.
 

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^That. You don't want byproducts in the main food because byproducts have little if any meat. They are a great source of nutrition- heads have eyes, tongues, and brains; other organs like liver and kidney and spleen etc are all packed full of nutrition. But when "byproduct" is on the label it usually means there is no meat, and dogs are carnivores designed to thrive on meat. The byproducts are an important part of a wild diet but the main part is meat.
 

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^That. You don't want byproducts in the main food because byproducts have little if any meat. They are a great source of nutrition- heads have eyes, tongues, and brains; other organs like liver and kidney and spleen etc are all packed full of nutrition. But when "byproduct" is on the label it usually means there is no meat, and dogs are carnivores designed to thrive on meat. The byproducts are an important part of a wild diet but the main part is meat.
Not quite. If by "meat", you mean "muscle meat" that is true. That's the common meaning of "meat" as most people would understand it. Whatever isn't marketable as a meat product for human consumption is considered a by-product.

But dogs and their relatives in the wild eat all parts of the animal. In fact, the preferred parts aren't muscle, but things like innards, brains, bone marrow, blood, etc. - parts that we would not classify as "meat". Only after those parts are gone do they start on the muscles.

WIld canids like wolves, coyotes, etc also consume a significant amount of vegetable material.
 

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....

Meat By-Products - the non rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hooves.
^AAFCO definition. It's slightly more specific for specific animals but the general idea is the same.

It's still animal products obviously. It still contains protein obviously. Lower digestibility and amino acid profile and less overall protein than muscle meat but it's still animal protein. In pet foods, it's undesirable as the primary source of animal protein when compared to muscle meat.

btw 4D animals (dead, diseased, dead, dying) aren't just restricted to by product meals. They're allowed in any meat meals in general due to the rendering process. Hence why no meat meal is considered "human grade"

As for plant matter in the wild diet, I'm not sure why it was even brought up. I guess if "some" = "significant"..........
 

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Not quite. If by "meat", you mean "muscle meat" that is true. That's the common meaning of "meat" as most people would understand it. Whatever isn't marketable as a meat product for human consumption is considered a by-product.

But dogs and their relatives in the wild eat all parts of the animal. In fact, the preferred parts aren't muscle, but things like innards, brains, bone marrow, blood, etc. - parts that we would not classify as "meat". Only after those parts are gone do they start on the muscles.

WIld canids like wolves, coyotes, etc also consume a significant amount of vegetable material.
That is very, very false. They eat little if any plant material.
Food habits of wolves in Latvia
Food Habits of Feral Carnivores: A Review of Stomach Content Analysis

And by meat I mean meat- muscle meat. Organs usually are the first eaten, yes.
 

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Also keep in mind that there's a difference between a dog chewing on something to keep himself occupied and his only source of nutrition. Even if those items were nutritionally void, you're not giving them to him to meet his nutritional needs.
This I think is the most simple way to look at it, as the by-products of an animal can really be anything of any animal, and correct me if I'm wrong, can include hooves, liver, ears, eyes... anything. And that I believe, is why by-products would be considered bad in the animals main source of nutrition. Sure, some by-products of an animal *can* be good. That's the only way I can explain it.
Generally, we feed a high-quality food (Nature's Instinct) mixed in with raw beef and every once in a while we add gizzards (mmmm.... gizzards. Yum yum yum.) for extra flavor and nutrition. Would you want to eat dry stuff all the time? Or the same stuff all the time? Exactly. :)
 

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I have an issue with chicken by product in kibble because it doesn't say what it is is it chicken gizzards, liver, heads, feet, beaks, feathers, cartilage or whatever..

With bully sticks, gullet, trachea, tendon chews I can do more research and make sure the chew I get is from a good source or not.

I feed full raw to Saya and sometimes whole prey like quail, rabbit, and fish..

Saya gets things like chicken feet, turkey feet, liver, kidneys, tongue, heart, gizzards, thymus, and even testes gross I know. D:

Thing is I know she is getting those things and of what animal it is from and pretty much all her organs are from grass fed or free range farms.

Sometimes she gets lamb ribs from grass fed farmer and ground or stew meat.

There are some kibble that does have ingredients like chicken liver which is fine by me since it's listed why kind of liver..
 

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I have an issue with chicken by product in kibble because it doesn't say what it is is it chicken gizzards, liver, heads, feet, beaks, feathers, cartilage or whatever..
I was surprised when a brand specified.. My foster dog came with a bag of Bil-Jac which isn't very good, but it did specify "Chicken By-Products (organs only, source of arginine)" [ link ]
 

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On the contrary. you are incorrect. Actual observatuion of wolf ecology, for example, shows that they will eat vegetable matter as a supplement to their diet - not just out of necessity. For example, Hepner and Naumav, Mammals of the Soviet Union, noted observations of wolves supplementing their diet with various wild berries and fruits. They also were observed visiting cultivated melon fields during the summer months to feed on the ripe melons.

There are plenty of other observations of wolves and wild dogs eating vegetable matter, especially fruits and berries., by choice and not necessity.

Stomach contents and scat analyses - including the ones you refer to - also show measurable amounts of fruits and other vegetable items even when their preferred prey species are plentiful. That would support the view that these items are eaten by choice, not because other food is unavailable.

The BARF folks would have you believe that wolves and other wild canids - and by extension, dogs - will eat meat exclusively by choice, and that any other diet items are insignificant or only eaten out of necessity. That is simply not true.

There is also the physiological fact that dogs and their relatives are NOT obligate carnivores - which must eat meat. What's an obligate carnivore? Well, cats and their relatives, for example.

The opposite of an obligate carnivore is an omnivorous carnivore - can eat meat, but can also eat other foods. What's an omniverous carnivore? Well primates and their relatives - like humans - for one example.

Dogs and their wild relatives are somewhere in between.
 

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Poly did you look at the links? The first one was to a paper about Latvian wolves. Plant material was found in the guts, up to about 5%. Then plant material by age of the wolf, adults had zero, young adults had the most. Then females eat more than males and wolves in one part of the study area eat more than wolves in another part. Doesn't sound like plants are a vital part of the diet to me. The study didn't go into the exact berries and plants eaten. Perhaps sweeter berries were tasty to younger wolves and perhaps those plants are more common in the one area of the study area.

12.5 year old Max adores wheat. He has started a very annoying habit of barking at the likeliest person in the family to cave when crackers are on the menu. I think he knows he is technically the oldest person in the house so he should get what he wants! It is not good for him, he gets eye boogers when he eats it. It tastes good and he wants it!

That said, know your dog. Many dogs need some plant material to be their best and many dogs do just fine eating plant material and enjoy it. My guy seems better without any and misses the rice and bread that bother him.

By product meal could be fine if the batch was processed fast. Since it is dirty stuff it has to contain a lot of bacteria. Do your really think those gizzards and intestines and stomachs are opened up and emptied? I have fed Max whole gizzards and they do not come cleaned out! Cooking kills the bacteria but the toxins they produce cannot always be destroyed. When I look at nutritiondata.com I see that tripe and chitlings are much lower in protein than muscle meat.

I do like feeding Max raw by products and a lot of his food is such stuff but it isn't as good as muscle meat particularly when you don't know how much of the protein is coming from animal products in the first place in a commercial dog food. I want to feed Max as many parts of a whole beast as possible, not just innards.
 

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The opposite of an obligate carnivore is an omnivorous carnivore - can eat meat, but can also eat other foods. What's an omniverous carnivore? Well primates and their relatives - like humans - for one example.

Dogs and their wild relatives are somewhere in between.
lol "omnivorous carnivore" I guess you can call it that.

Obligate carnivores means they need to consume nutrients that are only primarily found in meat. Think cats and taurine.

If you want to use an "opposite" of obligate carnivores, you can use the term facultative carnivore with facultative literally meaning "not obligate"
It's a pretty wide generalization and there is really no clear distinction between faultative carnivores and omnivores or omnivores and facultative herbivores. It doesn't really tell you anything about the proper ratios in the diet.

I like using bears as an example. Scientifically, bears are part of the mammalian order of carnivora so they are classified as carnivores in that definition. Among species of bears, most are omnivores. However, a grizzly bear has something like less than 10% of their diet consisting of meat. A panda bear is essentially a herbivore. A polar bear is very much a carnivore.

Really, you'd have to look at studies like the ones Sibe linked to get more specific estimates for wild canids.
 
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