The #1 Reason Why I Avoid Most Rendered Pet Food

August 11, 2016


Animals Waiting to be Rendered

Animals Waiting to be Rendered



Rendered pet food has a bad reputation and with very good reason.  As consumers become more educated about pet food ingredients, we know that rendering companies add spoiled meat and waste from supermarkets, old grease from restaurants, road kill and all manner of dead and diseased animals to those cooking vats. Why, then, would we trust them. When animals go to the rendering companies, no one removes their collars or identification tags  The garbage from the supermarkets is not removed from the plastic wrap, nor is the styrofoam packaging. All of it is shoveled up by machinery and dumped into the large vats. The simple solution is to avoid any dog or cat foods containing the terms “meat meal,” “meat and bone meal,” by-product meals (of any flavor),” “animal digest” or “animal fat.” But some of you may ask, “If the rendering vat contents are cooked at high enough temperatures to kill any bacteria, what’s wrong with it if my pet likes it?” (I have actually been asked that question.) That leads me to my number 1 reason for avoiding most commercial dog and cat foods with rendered ingredients.

Veterinarians use the drug, Pentobarbitol, to euthanize animals. It may be farm animals or it may be your beloved Fido or Fluffy who had reached the end of its life and had to be put to sleep. They could all end up in the rendering vat. The residue from that Pentobarbitol also ends up in your pet food.

This is not conjecture, not a guess.  It is confirmed by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the following quote:  “Because in addition to producing anesthesia, pentobarbitol is routinely used to euthanize animals, the most likely way it could get into dog food would be in rendered animal products…Pentobarbitol seems to be able to survive the rendering process…”

Susan Thixton of quotes the FDA, saying that when asked if the agency will continue to ignore law and allow diseased, dead animals in pet food after risks like endotoxins were discussed, the FDA said, “We’re going to allow animals that have died other that by slaughter that are further processed; we will allow those ingredients in pet food…”

Farm animals may have been sprayed with pesticides before they died to kill unwanted pests. Flea collars from euthanized pets contain pesticide residue and they are not removed prior to rendering.

So we have proof that it happens. Rendered pet food does contain animals that died from other means than slaughter. And that also means that dog and cat food containing such animals will likely contain drugs, as well as endotoxins, that may survive the rendering process.

The only way to avoid this is to avoid rendered pet food. You will find plenty of options at the Big Box stores in a mid-price range.  If your budget allows, look for foods with organic ingredients. Orijen has an excellent reputation, as does Fromm’s Family Foods. Castor & Pollux is well-thought-of. Newman’s Own is a brand I particularly like.  Just read the labels. Avoid the terms listed above and looked for named meats, named fats, green and yellow vegetables and healthy fruits. Your pet will thank you!


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