Worst Pet Food Ingredients

Here is an extremely useful list of the worst pet food ingredients. We should read the labels! If we do we can cross-check with this list and make sure that the food we buy our cats and dogs does not contain these unwelcome ingredients. Important: they are not alphabetical. To search for a particular ingredient, press Ctrl+F at the same time. A search box comes up at the edge of the page either bottom left (Firefox browser) or top right (Safari and Chrome). Enter your search word(s) and the word is highlighted on the page. Click the down or up arrow to the right of the search box to find more if there are more.

Cat food ingredients
Cat food ingredients
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

There are 167 ingredients listed here as the worst. They come from a total list of 448 ingredients analyzed by Dr. Lisa Newman, N.D., Ph.D., Mike Adams and the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center. Many thanks. There are links to your websites at the base of the page.

  1. salt – found in 69% of pet food products analyzed. Used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension — used to encourage cats to drink, source of sodium chloride.
  2. sucrose – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Sugar –leads to hyperactivity, addiction to food (sugar rush), weight gain.
  3. partially hydrogenated soybean oil – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Causes digestive upset, premature aging.
  4. tetra sodium pyrophosphate – found in 7% of pet food products analyzed. Is a rust stain remover used in cleaning products (TSP)!!!! Why is it in food? Emulsification of rendered animal fats! Very toxic, causes nausea and diarrhea.
  5. corn syrup – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. A “sugar” that causes diabetes, weight gain, hyperactivity, fearful behavior, ill health.
  6. corn – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Inexpensive feed-grade can include moldy grain or fungus which has cause death.
  7. yellow 5 – found in 7% of pet food products analyzed. Artificial color, a salicylate which can be become deadly to cats with extended use.
  8. blue 2 – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Carcinogenic, artificial color.
  9. blue 2 and other color – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Carcinogenic.
  10. eucalyptus oil – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Not an essential oil meant for ingesting!
  11. sodium bisulfate – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Used as disinfectant!
  12. smoke flavor – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Indicates flavor which can potentially become carcinogenic, retards bacteria on rancid meat.
  13. dried meat by-product – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can include tumors and diseased tissues, rancid trim pieces and innards of various animals.
  14. dried plain beet pulp – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Pure sugar filler — leads to weight gain, hyperactivity and feeds arthritis.
  15. sea salt – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension — used to encourage cats to drink, source of sodium chloride.
  16. salmon meal – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Concentrated source of protein and a few fatty acids (oil has been pressed out) but can add mercury to the diet.
  17. salmon – found in 6% of pet food products analyzed. A source of protein and fatty acids which can add mercury to the diet.
  18. dried whey – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Can encourage allergies, cheap protein source from cow’s milk.
  19. dicalcium phosphate – found in 26% of pet food products analyzed. Can become toxic to body — texturizer in can food.
  20. ethoxyquin (a preservative) – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. The most carcinogenic preservative, most in industry have stopped using it except very cheap, poor quality foods.
  21. sodium chloride – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Table salt — used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension — used to encourage cats to drink.
  22. fish – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive, probably rancid and of poor quality. Can have high levels of mercury.
  23. rice hulls – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap filler, can be harsh on intestines.
  24. rice gluten – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Can encourage diabetes, a poor protein source/filler.
  25. rice flour – found in 11% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap filler, causes bowel distress and can lead to diabetes in dogs.
  26. rice bran – found in 12% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap filler, can lead to digestive upset.
  27. rice – found in 7% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap filler, can cause diabetes in dogs, often indicates poorest quality possible.
  28. red 40 and other color – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Is a carcinogen.
  29. red 40 – found in 6% of pet food products analyzed. Artificial color, carcinogenic.
  30. red 3 – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Carcinogenic color.
  31. rabbit by products – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Includes tumors, ears, carcass, etc.
  32. egg product – found in 6% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap source of protein, waste product of egg industry, free of shell.
  33. soybean hulls – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap filler, harsh on intestines.
  34. DL-alpha tocopherol acetate – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Synthetic source, non-nutritive.
  35. sugar – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Sugar?!! Leads to diabetes, hyperactivity and obesity. Can feed arthritis. BAD.
  36. DL-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E] – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Synthetic source, non-nutritive. Used generally as a “natural” preservative.
  37. dried animal digest – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Flavor enhancer. Is non-descriptive, digest is rendered animal tissue, including rancid or diseased parts.
  38. starch – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Cheapest form of carbohydrates causes weight gain and poor digestion, filler.
  39. dried beet pulp – found in 10% of pet food products analyzed. Waste product. Cheap filler/fiber-causes sugar rush/addiction to food, hyperactivity and allergies.
  40. dried beet pulp (sugar removed) – found in 25% of pet food products analyzed. Waste product. Cheapest, most common filler used, still contains enough sugar residue to cause problems such as hyperactivity and blood sugar imbalances.
  41. dried brewers yeast – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can become toxic to liver, waste product of beer and ale industry.
  42. dried capsicum – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Cayenne powder, can burn stomach.
  43. sodium carbonate – found in 11% of pet food products analyzed. Neutralizer for rancid fats, similar to lye.
  44. dried cellulose – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Very harsh on digestive tract, suspected to include cardboard or peanut hulls.
  45. dried grape pomace – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Grapes can be deadly to dogs.
  46. soy hulls – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can cause bowel irritation, cheap filler.
  47. soy flour – found in 8% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap source of grain protein, filler, can cause bloat/death in dogs.
  48. sorbitol – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Sweetener and binder.
  49. sodium tripolyphosphate – found in 9% of pet food products analyzed. Used as rancid meat preservative.
  50. menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite (source of vitamin K activity) – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Least beneficial source of Vitamin K activity needed for proper blood clotting.
  51. sodium phosphate – found in 9% of pet food products analyzed. Non-digestible source of phosphorous (vital to maintaining acid/alkalinity pH).
  52. sodium nitrite (for color retention) – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Potentially highly carcinogenic.
  53. sodium hexametaphosphate – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap source of phosphorus can become deadly to dogs — emulsifier, texturizer.
  54. propylene glycol – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Adds sweetness to food, used in antifreeze! Some preservative action, possible carcinogen.
  55. soybean mill run – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. This is the sweepings off the floor-cheap filler, poor source of protein.
  56. manganous oxide calcium iodate – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Often used in bleaching tallow.
  57. fish oil – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive type of fish can include rancid source of “throw away” catches.
  58. iodized salt – found in 7% of pet food products analyzed. Used to cover rancid meats and fats, get cats to drink more – causes kidney dysfunction, hypertension.
  59. iron oxide – found in 12% of pet food products analyzed. Can be cultivated from rust!
  60. L-alanine – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Non-essential amino acid used as supplement in heavy grain-based foods but causes cancer in lab mice.
  61. lamb by-product – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Contains everything internal but the muscle meat including diseased tissue, tumors, etc.
  62. onion powder – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Can be deadly to dogs, non-nutritive.
  63. onion extract – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Onions can be deadly to dogs.
  64. liver – found in 8% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive source can include any mammal tissue, too much liver can become toxic to the body when used in dry foods, used as flavor, minimal source of iron.
  65. L-lysine monohydrochloride – found in 8% of pet food products analyzed. Poor source of Lysine (essential amino acid found in meat), cheaper to use for food enrichment for grain-based foods.
  66. pasta (wheat flour) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap, gimmicky filler that can cause allergies, feeds arthritis.
  67. magnesium oxide – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Has caused tumors in lab rats, antacid.
  68. peanut hulls 10.8% (source of fiber) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can harm the digestive tract, cheap fiber.
  69. maple syrup – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Sugar, causes weight gain, hyperactivity, feeds cancer and arthritis, should not be used in food or supplements, only treats.
  70. meat and bone meal (natural source of calcium) – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive indicates 4-D meat, cheapest source, can include diseased tissues plus bone meal can not be digested and assimilated as calcium!
  71. meat and liver meal – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can include tumors and diseased tissues, rancid trim pieces and liver of various animals, concentrated.
  72. natural and artificial flavors – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Poor quality of flavor additive, artificial flavors can be carcinogenic.
  73. natural and artificial chicken flavor – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Artificial flavors can cause severe illness, become carcinogenic.
  74. monosodium phosphate – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Used as emulsifying agent.
  75. meat by-products – found in 18% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive indicates 4-D meat, cheapest source, can include diseased tissues (tumors) and organs.
  76. molasses – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Added to foods or high on the list of supplements creates blood sugar imbalance, causes diabetes, hyperactivity, best used in treats, not foods or supplements.
  77. modified starch – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap source of carbohydrates, filler, causes digestive upset.
  78. modified food starch – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descript source can be from any grain, causes allergies, weight gain and poor digestion, filler.
  79. lysine – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Indicates heavy soy-based food which dogs can die from unless they have lysine to help digest it, best to avoid this diet unless soy is missing.
  80. fresh chicken by-products (organ meat only) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Indicates poor quality hidden behind “organ meat only” and “fresh” still by-products which can include diseased organ tissue.
  81. sorbic acid (a preservative) – found in 6% of pet food products analyzed. A mold and yeast inhibitor.
  82. propyl gallate and citric acid – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Chemical preservative, can cause digestive upset, stomach irritation, deceptive adding with natural Vitamin C.
  83. propionic acid (a preservative) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Potentially harmful mold inhibitor.
  84. powdered cellulose (11.1% source of fiber) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Suspected to include recycled cardboard.
  85. powdered cellulose – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap filler/source of fiber, suspected to include cardboard, causes irritable bowel problems.
  86. poultry liver – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap source of liver flavoring, non-descriptive, often includes diseased tissues. Can become toxic to body.
  87. poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) – found in 9% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive, can be any foul, often rancid prior to preserving with Vitamin E (gimmicky, to cover poor quality fat used).
  88. poultry fat (preserved with BHA) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descript fat, possible carcinogenic preservative.
  89. poultry by-products – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Ground up carcasses, can include dead, diseased foul, all internal parts void of healthy meat, includes feet and beaks.
  90. poultry by-product meal – found in 9% of pet food products analyzed. Ground up carcasses, can include dead, diseased foul, all internal parts void of healthy meat, includes feet and beaks, concentrated.
  91. hydrochloric acid – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Corrosive ingredient used as modifier for food starch, gelatin, as a pH adjuster and conversion of corn starch to syrup.
  92. food starch – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descript source can be from any grain, causes allergies, weight gain and poor digestion, cheap filler.
  93. fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols) – found in 10% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive, cheap “fish” source, often rancid prior to preserving with Vitamin E (gimmicky to cover poor quality oil).
  94. glycerin – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Sweetens food, used as humectant (keeps food moist), interferes with nutrient assimilation.
  95. glycerine – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Sweetens food, used as humectant (keeps food moist), interferes with nutrient assimilation.
  96. >glyceryl monostearate – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. An emulsifier (breaks down fats), lethal to lab rats, still under investigation by FDA.
  97. glycine – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Non-essential amino acid used as antacid, indicates very poor quality food.
  98. ground corn – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed.Is not “whole ground,” this is misleading, often indicates poor quality, can cause allergies.
  99. pork liver – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Cheapest source of flavoring, some iron, hard to digest. Liver can become toxic to the body.
  100. pork by-products – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Can contain non-human-edible parts, diseased organs and tissues, pork’s not the best meat for pets.
  101. phosphoric acid – found in 12% of pet food products analyzed. A sequestering agent for rendered animal fats — implies poor quality fats are used, source of phosphorous.
  102. ground rice – found in 17% of pet food products analyzed. Filler — has been linked to diabetes, always indicates white rice, not whole grain but usually floor sweepings from rice industry.
  103. petrolatum – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Vaseline! Mild laxative effect when ingested. Petroleum is a carcinogen.
  104. poultry – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Can include any foul, non-descriptive, often includes diseased meat, non-human grade.
  105. caramel – found in 9% of pet food products analyzed. Sugar-based adds to hyperactivity, or can be prepared by ammonia process associated with blood toxicity in lab rats.
  106. cellulose powder – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Harsh on bowels, suspected to include recycled cardboard.
  107. beef tallow (preserved with BHA) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. One of the worse kinds of fat, chemically preserved with potential carcinogen. Often produces allergies.
  108. beef tallow – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Tallow, includes old restaurant grease, is very hard to digest, leads to diarrhea, premature aging.
  109. beef by-products – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Can include any internal part of the cow other than the meat, often from 4-D, rancid sources.
  110. calcium chloride – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Used as a source of calcium but can cause digestive upset, heart issues.
  111. calcium propionate (a preservative) – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Chemical. Potentially carcinogenic, antifungal.
  112. calcium sulfate – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Plaster of Paris! Firming agent.
  113. beef tallow preserved with BHA and mixed-tocopherols (source of vitamin E) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed Terrible source of fat, chemically preserved with potential carcinogen but uses “Vitamin E” to mislead consumer. Indicates very poor quality product.
  114. whole rice – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed
    Indicates poor quality white rice which can cause diabetes in dogs.
  115. water – found in 6% of pet food products analyzed
    Used as non-nutritive filler in food. UGH!
  116. caramel color – found in 11% of pet food products analyzed. Sugar-based or can be prepared by ammonia process associated with blood toxicity in lab rats.
  117. venison by-products – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Contains all meat not fit for human consumption, diseased organs, tumors, promotes premature aging.
  118. vegetable oil – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive source of fat, contains saturated fat which is hard on the body, causes premature aging.
  119. beet pulp (sugar removed) – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Fiber/filler, stills contains enough sugar for rush/addiction to food and hyperactivity.
  120. turmeric – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Gimmicky spice to aid digestion.
  121. brewers yeast extract (saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation solubles) – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Liquid left over from brewery process, condensed. Can become toxic to the liver.
  122. cellulose – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Harsh on bowels, suspected to include recycled cardboard. Can also be crushed peanut hulls.
  123. turkey by-product meal – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can include carcass, feet, beaks and diseased turkey organs, tumors.
  124. cane molasses – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. SUGAR!!! Leads to weight gain, hyperactivity and feeds arthritis, best used in treats, not supplements or foods.
  125. wheat middlings – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed .Sweepings off the floor causes allergies and digestive upset.
  126. beet pulp – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Sugar-filled fiber/filler, can lead to hyperactivity and diabetes. Can be addicting to some pets.
  127. beets – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Implies whole beet is more nutritious than beet pulp alone but still contains sugar which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, hyperactivity.
  128. BHA (a preservative) – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Chemical. Highly carcinogenic preservative.
  129. Chicken by-product – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Ground up carcasses, diseased internal organs, beaks and feet.
  130. wheat starch – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Poor carbohydrate source causes allergies.
  131. dextrose – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Sugar, feeds cancer, causes hyperactivity, weight gain.
  132. beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of vitamin E) – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Beef tallow can be used restaurant fat! Misleading with “natural” Vitamin E preservative added. Indicates very poor quality product.
  133. bacon flavors – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Does not say “natural” so it’s possibly artificial, can be a carcinogen.
  134. wheat gluten – found in 28% of pet food products analyzed. Poor protein source, used as a cheap, non-nutritive filler — causes allergies.
  135. bone meal – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Non-digestible source of calcium can lead to digestive upset. Can be from 4-D sources.
  136. wheat flour – found in 18% of pet food products analyzed. Poorly digested filler, can cause allergies and bowel problems.
  137. wheat bran – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Indicates poor quality food, can cause allergies, best to have whole wheat.
  138. brewer’s rice – found in 31% of pet food products analyzed. Waste product from breweries, cheap, non-nutritive filler can be harsh on intestines and lead to diabetes.
  139. brewers dried yeast – found in 34% of pet food products analyzed. Waste product (used for flavoring, protein, B-vitamins) which can become very toxic to the liver causes allergies and arthritis.
  140. water sufficient for processing – found in 10% of pet food products analyzed. Robs protein from can food since it is used as non-nutritive filler instead.
  141. brewers yeast – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Waste product (used for flavoring, protein, B-vitamins) which can become very toxic to the liver causes allergies and arthritis.
  142. wheat mill run – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Sweepings off the floor, causes allergies, digestive upset and feeds arthritis, leads to premature aging.
  143. corn oil (preserved with TBHQ) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. TBHQ contains petroleum-derived butane, can be carcinogenic.
  144. corn gluten – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Highly allergenic, adds sugar, is a poor protein source, interferes with digestion.
  145. yellow 6 – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Artificial color, potentially carcinogenic food colorant.
  146. corn gluten meal – found in 31% of pet food products analyzed. Waste product, cheap, non-nutritive filler but used as protein source — can cause allergies and sugar imbalance.
  147. titanium dioxide color – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed . Potentially carcinogenic artificial color used as white pigment.
  148. titanium dioxide – found in 7% of pet food products analyzed. Potentially carcinogenic artificial color used as white pigment.
  149. animal fat (preserved with vitamin E) – found in 2% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive source indicates 4-D fat, regardless of “natural” preservative it is rancid, often from diseased tissue. Misleading to be preserved with vitamin E.
  150. animal fat (preserved with vitamin E mixed tocopherols) – found in 10% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive, cheap animal source, often rancid prior to preserving with Vitamin E (gimmicky to cover poor quality fat).
  151. animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descript source, often rancid to begin with, regardless of natural preservative use afterwards, misleading.
  152. animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid) – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive fat! Can be anything rancid or 4-D (dead, dying, disabled, diseased) regardless of natural Vitamin E and C preservatives. Misleading.
  153. yellow 5 and other color – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Possible carcinogens.
  154. thiamine hydrochloride – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Cheapest, poorly assimilated source of Thiamine, Vitamin B-1, needed for nervous system and mental attitude.
  155. corn starch – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Terrible filler, causes several health issues including allergies.
  156. corn starch-modified – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Poor source of nutrients, protein, filler, binder.
  157. animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT) – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive fat source, indicates 4-D source chemically preserved with carcinogens.
  158. tallow – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Causes poor health, disrupts digestion, can include rancid restaurant grease. Very bad fat source!
  159. animal fat – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Non-descriptive source indicates 4-D fat chemically preserved, difficult to digest, potentially carcinogenic.
  160. animal digest – found in 13% of pet food products analyzed. Rendered, by chemical and/or enzymatic process, non-descriptive animal tissues used for flavor.
  161. corn grits – found in 5% of pet food products analyzed. Poor source of protein and carbohydrates, filler.
  162. chicken by-products (organ meat only), fresh – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can be poor quality hidden behind “organ meat only” and “fresh” still by-products which can include diseased organ tissue, tumors.
  163. yeast culture – found in 3% of pet food products analyzed. Flavoring, source of protein, potentially toxic to the liver.
  164. trace minerals (potassium chloride) – found in 4% of pet food products analyzed. Source of potassium to balance pH, small intestinal ulcers may occur, indicates lack of well-rounded supplementation.
  165. chicken flavors – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Indicates artificial flavor which can be a carcinogen.
  166. trace minerals (sodium tripolyphoshate) – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Cheap, potentially harmful source of phosphorous indicates lack of well-rounded supplements.
  167. artificial flavor – found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Can become carcinogenic. Produces allergies.
  168. chicken by-product meal – found in 23% of pet food products analyzed Ground up carcasses, internal organs, beaks, feet. Concentrated.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/Report_pet_food_ingredients_8.html#ixzz3SD3ALjt3

This list of pet food ingredients and ratings was created pet food formulator Dr. Lisa Newman, N.D., Ph.D. (www.Azmira.com), Mike Adams (www.HealthRanger.org) and the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (www.ConsumerWellness.org). Mike Adams and the CWC analyzed the ingredients of 448 popular pet food products sold in the United States and organized them by frequency. Dr. Newman then provided a nutritional analysis and comment for each ingredient.

My thanks to Sandy Murphey for guiding me on this.

13 thoughts on “Worst Pet Food Ingredients”

  1. The best way to read ingredients is online, before going to the store. Knowing ahead makes all the difference! Who wouldn’t be frustrated trying to read the tiny print on labels in the store.

    If you’re feeding something you’re not sure is safe, check the ingredients online, then against the “worst ingredient list”. If you want to try a new food, check out 3 or 4 that seem high quality, and do the same proceedure. Yes, it takes time, maybe even a half hour, but again this may mean having more time with your precious cat, rather than killing them unconsciously with harmful ingredients.

    I recently tried a new cat food called Pure Balance with “limited ingredients”. It looked pretty good, but there was no indication of where it was made or who made it.
    I got a couple of containers (plastic tubs). My cat didn’t seem to want it, but I put some dry food on top, and she ate some of it. I put the rest out for the ferals, and although it had been moved around, it was left uneaten! I called Walmart and found out it’s made by Simmons in Arkansas. After researching that company I realized they
    might not be trustworthy. I should have known that Walmart wouldn’t really offer a quality pet food. They still sell Ol Roy, after many recalls.

    Reply
  2. Michael,

    Thank you for posting this list. I really hope that pet guardians really take a look, and discover the “difficult truth” of the crap we’re feeding our precious pets.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sandra. I hope cat owners learn to read ingredients. Like many others I tend to be lazy about reading ingredients on the package but it is worth it. Once you get used to it, it is easier.

      Reply
  3. Goodness this is horrific on two counts. Firstly the fact that all these ghastly ingredients are actually used and secondly the amount, not ten or twenty but 167!!!!!! Possibly even more we don’t even know about.
    Unfortunately and understandably it’s very difficult for most people to afford the purer and less easily available ‘higher-end’ cat or dog foods. (Which generally contain very few of these nasties)
    Thank you for compiling this list as it’s something I’m particularly interested in. I’m a great advocate of raw meat and bone diets for animals so this compounds it further for me. I just cannot get my furry friend to entertain eating anything relatively healthy. She’s into junk through and through due to her previous owners feeding her ‘supermarket’ stocked brands and at 10 and a half years old it’s terribly difficult to adjust her to anything else. Humph

    Reply
    • Suzy,
      I don’t know if you’ve tried the trick of putting a little “junk” food on top of the good stuff. It seems to work most of the time with my cat. Dry food is addictive, so if that’s what your animal is used to, some can be put on top of the wet food.

      It takes some time and patience to transition from addictive junk food, but it can be done. I’d take it in steps before getting to raw. You may never get there, but at least you can begin the transition to healthier foods with this little trick.

      Reply
        • The “preference” for bad food is because it’s “ADDICTIVE” from unhealthy additions/sprays of “animal digest” (rendered non-descriptive animal tissues) which are very appealing.

          I’ve been transitioning my cat from dried foods to wet and raw, but I had a little
          dry kibble that I had used to “top” the good foods. As soon as she heard the container open, she ran to it.

          Reply
    • I’m a great advocate of raw meat and bone diets for animals so this compounds it further for me.

      I am too but at the moment don’t prepare it. However, I do read packaging. I have learned to. It is very easy to become a lazy and accepting of pet food.

      At least when a cat guardian makes the food they know what has gone into it.

      Reply
      • I don’t think I could forgive myself if I continued to feed unhealthy foods once I had the information on how to read labels. I could be shortening my cat’s life, or otherwise putting her in a good position for illness and disease.

        We really only need to find a few high quality foods that we can trust. And, usually the higher the quality, the less fillers, and the less our cats need to eat.

        Reply
  4. It seems they use everything except good nutritious food. I don`t see any justification for certain high price brands to be thought of a high quality, and superior to cheap brands. They all have the same serious problems of high carbohydrate, high plant protein, and low or non-existent high quality meat or fowl content. I know of only one exception.

    Reply

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