Are Animal By-Products safe for your Shiba Inu?

If you are a consumer (well, your dog) of dog food, you are definitely familiar with the term ‘animal by-products.’ These are in the ingredient section that’ll get you wondering what it is, what does it do to the food that your Shiba Inu is eating, what are the health benefits it offers, if it is even safe, or if it is some ‘filler’ dog food manufacturers put into making the meal more delicious. 

Some pet owners find animal by-products controversial, while some accept them and believe they are not any different from other types of nutritious meat. 

Still, they tend to have a negative impression on pet owners, and this article will clarify what animal by-products are. 

What are animal by-products?

Byproducts are parts of slaughtered animals that are not meant for human consumption. These include: 

  • Blood
  • Spleen
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Intestines 
  • Stomachs 
  • Heads 

With this, we get to see why some dog owners are against animal by-products. They think that feeding your dog these leftover organs are just plain gross. 

But in reality, this is very common practice in the pet food industry, and experts believe that byproducts are just as healthy and nutritious as traditional cuts of meats.

A few exceptions to this are giblets, such as liver, gizzards, and necks, as these are still considered edible meats since they are used in making hot dogs, bologna, and sausages. 

Are animal by-products diseased and decaying meat? 

This is a common concern for owners, and it’s whether animal by-products are actually meats from dead, decaying, or diseased animals. 

It’s not! 

According to The Association of American Feed Control Officials or AAFCO, meat and meat by-products from animals that have died in ways other than slaughter are unsuitable for animal food. 

Manufacturers cannot use decayed or diseased meat without it going through processing to be considered safe. The final product should also be free from bacteria, so the final formulation will also be tested. 

But even though decayed meat is allowed if they are ruled safe after the process, manufacturers typically don’t use this. Using quality meat like internal organs is safer and cheaper than meat that needs further processing. 

Are animal by-products low in protein? 

No, by-products are some of the richest sources of protein for pets. 

Wild animals will go for the internal organs or “by-products” first before eating the rest of the carcass. This is because the internal organs have the most protein and energy they need. 

By-product meals are cooked, dried, and grounded so water is removed, leaving a very concentrated source of protein. It’s basically a protein powder. 

Are animal by-products fillers?

No, they are not fillers. 

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) does not have an official definition of the term fillers. However, it is generally known that fillers are ingredients that do not have nutritional value, like corn and soy. 

Animal by-products and by-product meals are nutritious and have essential nutrients that’ll benefit your pets. 

Purpose of Animal By-Products in Dog Food

As mentioned, animal by-products have essential nutrients that benefit your dog. 

Organ meats like the liver, spleen, and heart are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and protein, even greater than regular muscle meat. 

Regular muscle meat sometimes lacks nutrients like calcium and vitamin A. These essentials are found in abundance in by-products like bones and livers. 

Poultry by-products are rich in protein sources, good fats, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, poultry by-product meal contains 60-70% protein. 

In the wild, animals eat the organs first because of their taste and how they have the nutrients and energy these wild animals need, and they’ve survived thousands of years doing so. 

Are animal by-products safe for my Shiba Inu?

Yes, animal by-products are safe and healthy for your Shiba Inu. 

Many experts state that by-products are used in pet food because they are good sources of nutrients that your pets need. 

Also, some agencies and facilities work with meat and poultry to ensure that only high-quality ingredients and animal by-products are used to manufacture pet food. 

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