When purchasing food for your pets, you no doubt worry about the ingredients that are found within them. While byproducts in pet food are something you need to be aware of, in fact, you may be surprised to learn they are full of beneficial nutrients for your pet. It would actually be recommended not to avoid these byproducts, as they could be assisting with your cat or dog’s overall health.
What is a Byproduct
Byproducts in pet food are what is left over when a product is produced. For example, in the United States, most consumers only eat the skeletal muscles of the animal. Therefore, organs including the liver, stomach, kidneys, bones, and blood are considered to be byproducts. These body parts are packed with taurine, which is critical for cats. This is why byproducts in pet food are so important, as the skeletal muscle actually contains minimal taurine levels. Amino acids are constituents of proteins, which act as the building blocks within the body of an animal. When a cat is deprived of taurine, they are more likely to experience heart failure as a result of cardiomyopathy or blindness due to retinal degeneration.
The organ meats are also packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, which we don’t receive from skeletal muscle. While they might not be consumed frequently in the United States, in other countries, these byproducts are consumed regularly. A great example of this is within Scotland, where haggis, the country’s national dish, is created from a sheep’s stomach. This is then filled with a sheep’s lungs, liver, and heart and then is topped up with spices, onions, and oatmeal.
Byproducts in Pet Food Examples
A common ingredient that’s found in pet food is brewer’s yeast, which is a result of the beer production process. It is packed with B vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. Another example is vitamin E, which comes as a byproduct of soybean production. Also, other useful byproducts include molasses, wheat germ, whey, and tomato pomace. Human meals do also contain byproducts, which you might already eat. These include gelatine, which is part of the meat production process.
Byproducts in pet food offer many great benefits for cats, dogs, and their owners. While you should always keep an eye on what your pet is eating and drinking, never take away anything which offers them a rich source of nutrients each day.