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What is Chicken By-Product Meal in Dog & Cat Food?
Pet Blog

What is Chicken By-Product Meal in Dog & Cat Food?

Nutrition labels on animal food can be intimidating, but this guide can help you understand what they mean. On any food label, you’ll find a long list of items; food ingredients, vitamins/minerals, and probiotics. Something you may see within the food ingredients are animal by-products, which are one of the most controversial ingredients in pet food. By-products are what’s leftover after the parts intended for human consumption have been removed. Chicken by-products are a common ingredient in pet food and can include chicken feet, livers, lungs, brains, etc.

What are by-products and what is by-product meal?

By-product and by-product meal are essentially the same thing, only the meal is in dried form.

What is chicken by-product meal in dog food?

Unlike chicken meal, which is dried and rendered clean meat, skin, and bone, chicken by-products contain the “less desirable” parts of a chicken that remain after the meat is removed. This can include the lungs, spleen, liver, and kidneys. The higher quality ingredient is chicken meal, which you can find in all of our chicken pet foods, like our Baked + Saucy Chicken and Sweet Potato dog food.

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What is chicken by-product meal in cat food?

The same by-products that are used in dog food can also be used in cat food. As is true with dog food, chicken meal is the superior ingredient, which you can also find in Naked Essentials Chicken + Duck cat food.

Are by-products dangerous to pets?

The raw ingredients used in rendering by-product meals are generally just leftovers of the meat, poultry, and fishing industries. High temperatures used in the rendering may alter or destroy natural enzymes and proteins found in these raw ingredients. Because of this, the nutritional quality of by-products often varies dramatically from batch to batch.

These protein sources are often unappealing to pets, and many times artificial flavors or fats are sprayed on the food in order for it to be appealing to your dog or cat. While the by-products aren’t necessarily dangerous to your pet, the quality is questionable. I and Love and You never uses by-products in our pet food. When in doubt about nutrition standards for your pet, this handy guide can help!