Reduce dog allergies, arthritis in dogs, chronic gastrointestinal problems in dogs, chronic skin/ear issues, and extend your dog's life. Avoid BAD DOG FOOD INGREDIENTS such as by-products, rendered products, corn, chemical additives and more listed below.


Buyer Beware of Pet Food

BEEF AND BONE MEAL – (protein source):

A byproduct made from beef parts which are not suitable for human consumption.It can incorporate the entire cow, including the bones, but the quality cuts of meat are always removed.

This is an inexpensive, low quality ingredient used to boost the protein percentage

MEAT BY-PRODUCT – (protein source):

Pet grade meat by-products consist of organs and parts either not desired, or condemned, for human consumption.This can include bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feet, and feathers. – This can also include the dreaded 4 D’s – ( Dead, dying, diseased or dying prior to slaugther).

The animal parts used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination.

Any kind of animal can be included: goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on. It can also include pus, cancerous tissue, and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.

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Considered a protein source.

The animal parts used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination.

Any kind of animal can be included: “4-D animals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on.

It can also include pus, cancerous tissue, and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.

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– (Fat source):

Used to make lower quality dog foods palatable, instead of using quality fat sources such as nutritionally rich chicken fat, or human grade vegetable oil.

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– (Fat Source):

Animal fat is a “generic” fat source that is most often made up of rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans.

Look for a named fat source, such as poultry or chicken fat, that is naturally preserved.

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Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats

Also listed as:

  • Corn flour
  • Corn bran
  • Corn gluten meal

*NOTE: no redeemable nutritious value in any dog food listing corn as their first ingredient.

Simply avoid all dog food brands that have corn as the main ingredient. (Some companies are fighting back by claiming corn is just as good as meat for the main energy (protein) source) ???? Just remember corn is used because it is cheap, which in turn increases the big companies profits.

It is a useless filler that is a known cause of allergies and is difficult for dogs to digest.

Also known to contain mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins are deadly molds, prone to grow on many common pet food ingredients, most commonly corn.

This has caused previous dog food recalls and many deaths in the past.

Mycotoxins in pet food: a review on worldwide prevalence and preventative strategies.

bad dog food ingredientsMycotoxins contaminate cereal grains worldwide, and their presence in pet food has been a potential health threat to companion animals. Aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, and Fusarium mycotoxins have been found in both raw ingredients and final products of pet food around the globe. Aflatoxin, a hepatotoxin and carcinogen, has caused several food poisoning outbreaks in dogs, and aflatoxin content is regulated in pet food in many countries…………..

Read moreDepartment of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.

Dead Pets Dont Lie



This is the remainder of the corn after the best parts of the corn have been removed.It does absolutely nothing for the animal and actually is difficult to digest and is used as a cheap binder.

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-Fibre Source

Wheat is the leading cause of dog allergies.

Absolutely useless with no nutritional value whatsoever.This is the fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, and the offal from the “tail of the mill.”

“Tail of the mill” means the floor sweepings of leftovers in the mill after everything has been processed from the wheat.

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– (Filler/Fibre source/Carbohydrate source):

Food Pets Die For

Low cost by-products and left overs from another food manufacturing process.

Examples include WHEAT MIDDLINGS AND SHORTS, (Floor sweepings), WHEAT GERM MEAL, WHEAT BRAN and BREWER'S RICE (a waste product of the alcohol industry).Also look for and avoid fragments which are labelled POTATO PRODUCT, MIDDLINGS/MIDS or MILL RUN of any kind.Unspecified grain sources like :CEREAL FOOD FINES, CORN BRAN, OAT HULLS, RICE HULLS, PEANUT HULLS, DISTILLERS GRAIN FERMENTATION SOLUBLES, and last but not least CELLULOSE (which is wood which is dried and ground up)

*NOTE: These ingredients listed above are all  ALLOWED AS ACCEPTABLE INGREDIENTS IN THE AAFCO GUIDELINES!!!!!! 

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– (Filler/Carbohydrate):

Another cheap allergy causing ingredient used as a filler. This is the leftover “dust” after the healthy cleaned and dehulled soybeans are processed. Sometimes sweepings from the factory floor.

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– (carbohydrate source)

A cheap substitute for whole grain rice.


– (flavour source) :

Also listed as Cane molasses , corn syrup in any form, sugar, sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, glucose, ammoniated glycyrhizin, propylene glycol.) :

Useless, unnecessary and adds empty calories. Bad ingredients used by companies to make food more palatable to the animals if the ingredients themselves aren't enough to make the dog or cat actually want to eat it.

Used to cover up rotten and rancid foods, and is known to cause hypoglycemia, obesity, nervousness, cataracts, tooth decay, arthritis and allergies.

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– (flavouring agent)

Food Pets Die For

Unspecified parts of unspecified animals, cooked down into a goopy broth (rendered) and used as a spray on or added directly to the food.

The grease that rises to the top is used as a source of fat and the rest of the mash is dried and used as “meat meal”.

No quality control is used and this can include “4-D animals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant and supermarket refuse and so on.


All these undesirable ingredients & by products are “denatured” before rendering.

Denaturing is spraying crude carbolic acid, cresylic disinfectant or citronella on these dregs. ( *NOTE: THESE DENATURING PRODUCTS ARE TOXIC.)


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(Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Titanium Dioxide):

Any colouring is completely unnecessary and should be avoided. Your dog doesn't care about the pretty coloured shapes, and artifical dyes and colouring agents are known cancer causing agent, and also causes allergies.

Used in “junk dog food”.

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Used in antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent.

May be toxic if consumed in large amounts, and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat daily for weeks, months or even years of its life.

This is not allowed for use in Europe as the findings have shown it to be dangerous.

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BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), and ETHOXYQUIN (Preservatives):

Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US.

Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments.

Ethoxyquin has also been used as a pesticide for fruit.

It has never been proven to be safe for the lifespan of a companion animal.

It has been linked to thyroid, kidney, reproductive and immune related illnesses as well as cancer.


Used in Kibbles n Bits

I really can’t find out why they use it but it is a caustic chemical agent used in the production of chlorides, fertilizers, and dyes.

Hydrochloric acid can cause immediate pain and burns of the mouth, throat, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract.

Simple common sense would indicate not to use this as a pet food ingredient!

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This synthetic version of vitamin K has not been specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food. It has been linked to many serious health issues. If you are not aware of this, it sounds like one of the healthy vitamins, but beware.

  • The MSDS guide states :
  • “Potential Chronic Health Effects:
  • CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for humans) by IARC.
  • MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
  • The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes.
  • Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”


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Bad Dog Food Ingredients fed on a regular, daily basis for the life of your dog will cause more harm than we previously knew. It is basically like us eating hotdogs daily, with a side of a multi vitamin for the rest of our lives. We all know that is unhealthy.

DOGS ARE CARNIVORES, following the long ancestral history as canids. They need meat, not corn as the main protein in their diets. Dogs are Carnivores

Dogs are facultative carnivores, not omnivores, don't be fooled into thinking they are omnivores because they can eat more than just meat:

The definition of carnivore is:

“ an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging. Animals that depend solely on animal flesh for their nutrient requirements are considered obligate carnivores while those that also consume non-animal food are considered facultative carnivores.”

Dogs ARE very adaptable, but just because they can survive on an omnivorous diet does not mean it is the best diet for them. The assumption that dogs are natural omnivores remains to be proven, whereas the truth about dogs being natural carnivores is very well-supported by the evidence available to us.

Here are a few quick references about dogs and their genetics and the ongoing debate of omnivore vs. carnivore. If we assume our domesticated dogs are descendants of the wolf (which I do) then the biology is in line with carnivorous behavior. Over many years though of domestication they have adapted to a more facultative carnivorous diet.:

Variety and addition of a mixture of healthy food will extend your pet's life.


  1. Heya Kylie, I’ve had no luck with anything you can buy in the big pet stores in Sydney. Corn and Wheat dominate the ingredients. (based in Camperdown) though is great, they have Taste Of The Wild and Canidae grain free at cheaper bulk prices than the poorer food at Petbarn.

  2. Two probs with this.
    I don’t doubt what you say here. However my 14 yr. lab lives his whole life on Ol’ Roy. I only recently put him on Dinovite. To help recent itching. It worked too.
    #2) I worked in the human food manufacturing ind. nearly twenty years. Including Petagrie daddy, Mars candies, Holsum Bakeries. 7-Up, and a couple other national outfits. What was said earlier about Purina, I saw happen in the people food ind. dough picked up off the floor and scraped off. Spagetti noodles, pop bottles not even rinsed after hundreds hit the floor.
    I know this is about dog food but do you know people food is tested and there is an allowance for amount when it comes to animal(rodent) hair, roach parts, germ growth, and a host of other things. Monsanto was mentioned.
    What a chemical mess they added.
    The ingredients in all food, animal, human, it matters not. We are feeding and being fed poison. Live with it or move to Japan where they don’t allow this crap.

  3. This website is designed to scare people and it’s information is simply not correct. The foods listed here have undergone aafco accreditation and meet the nutritional standards for dogs of different life stages. Please consult your veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist before feeding your dog a homemade diet, as many of these are lacking key nutrients that animals need to thrive. Furthermore, I want to say that the big name brand pet food companies actually have a great deal of quality control and do not use euthanized shelter pets, etc in their food. Please inform yourself by visiting one of these companies before spreading such lies on the internet. Unless you work as a veterinary nutritionist or veterinarian you should not be prescribing nutritional advice to pet owners. Feeding the wrong food can have severe consequences on your pets health and it is best to be informed from your veterinarian than someone on the internet.

  4. @ FerrariRN

    Thank you and thank your father for me.

    What a sad commentary on today’s greedy corporations. First hand knowledge of what I have been writing about for years, from someone with your father’s learned knowledge and education, about the ultimate decline of said corporations ethics and honesty is really tragic, yet not surprising.

    I lost me beloved beagle Susie, to cancer which I am sure would have been prevented had I been more informed. That is why I started this website in 2008, and continue today to try and give everyone fact based information and alternate choices to the inferior products produced by some of these big companies.

    Thank you again for visiting and also for your endorsement of my website. @ A concerned CVT is only one of many nasty, personally hate fueled comments that I have received. My reply here speaks for itself.

    It is people like you, and your dad who help me stay focused on what is important. (Our precious companion animals who are paying the ultimate price by being fed “garbage” {my word also})


  5. My “sadly misinformed”, apparently not “real-world educated” father, with a Master’s in Animal Husbandry, emphasis on nutrition research, who worked for Ralston Purina for 18 years, as quality control supervisor as well as research and formulation staff, is reading this as I type. (He says, “I’m old. I’m scared of the internet.”) When he worked for Purina in the ’70s, sterility and quality control standards in the prep areas were so stringent, that if ANY food product, in ANY stage of prep or packaging were contaminated or suspected of contamination, the whole batch had to be discarded. Nothing was allowed to touch the floor, nothing uninspected entered the prep area. Grains were used, but not in the copious amounts they are, currently. None of them were trademarked by Monsanto. Sugar was not added. Feeding instructions actually suggested adding gravy, or the juices derived from freshly cooked meat. (“As a ‘special treat'”.) Prior to Purina Mills, the livestock feed company, splitting and being purchased by British Petroleum, quality in all of the products was closely monitored and held to stringent standards. He ended up being offered a position as a commodities broker at one of the firms that sold feed product directly from the farmer to Purina. He can pinpoint the winter of 1986 as the time when standards became very, dangerously, ludicrously lax. They stopped buying products from farmers. Despite the FDA, pet food safety standards were all but done away with. According to my “inexperienced, uneducated” father, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these ingredients are in the low-end, mass-produced pet foods. Some species and breeds can eat these things with minimal problems, but MOST will present with issues, eventually, when this “garbage” (his word!) builds up in their systems. If my father tells me to avoid a product, believe me, I’m going to avoid it, based on his knowledge.
    When someone with research and education, not to mention more years of experience with this very thing than you most likely have existing on the planet, supports the claims in this article, as does the data I can find, myself, I tend to believe that, rather than the, “You’re-just-trying-to-scare-me-because-I-buy-cheap-food-and-now-you’re-picking-on-me” rant from a tech, who seems to think the whole article was written for the sole purpose of hurting their feel-bads.

  6. Earthborn, Wellness, Taste of the Wild, Nature’s Domain (Costco), Kirkland (Diamond sold at Costco), Arcana, Blue Buffalo, Evolve – heck, even Gentle Giants is better than most commercial putrescence out there. It’s all about reading the labels and being able to decipher them. This website has provided that knowledge.

  7. If you have a Costco card there sure are alternatives for you. Taste of the Wild (which is a $63 bag of dog food) is being sold under the name Nature’s Domain in Turkey or Salmon recipes and it will run you around $32 a bag. Even the Kirkland brand dog food (which is Diamond brand food) is better than Eukanuba.

  8. You know how we KNOW by-products are bad? Because when animals are euthanized, they are rendered to be food for other pets. Those Euthanization chemicals are still in the dead animals therefore they’re passed onto your pets. ALSO… animals with tumors and diseases (who are also rendered and fed to your pets) also pass those things along to your pets. THAT’S WHY by-products are bad for pets and the fact that we have no governing entities to safeguard against this practice concerns me greatly.

    Are you aware of the Aflatoxins in imported corn? Nestle/Purina denies that the HUNDREDS of dogs that were harmed or DIED as a result of eating their Beneful putrescence. YET secretly, they contact the pet parents (whose dogs died) and offer to pay for their vet bills and funeral costs ONLY IF they agree to sign a confidentiality agreement. Not only that, but why do you think the big dog food corporations have BLOCKED three dog food documentaries from being distributed? Remember what happened to Tucker and his car prototype? How could you POSSIBLY defend big pet food?

  9. Thank-you for these very informative & educational articles regarding dog food. The bad ingredient list vs good ingredient list side by side is very helpful, as well as the lists of good dog food brands, and, your top 10 list. You’ve obviously done your homework on the subject, and, it’s just wonderful that you summarized what you know to share with fellow dog owners. I don’t feel that you are pushing, advertising, or, promoting any certain brand over another. The only thing I get the feeling you’re trying to promote is a better quality of food products for our four legged family members. I loved how you handled the troll, by the way! Lol! Good job all around , and, thanks again!

  10. @ A concerned CVT

    First of all thank you for visiting.

    A point by point answer is my best way on replying to this, with links as I have already answered these question through out my site. The side bars on the right and left of the post contain links to all my different articles, references, recommendations, recipes etc. I am more than this one post.

    YOU: This site is constructed and run by a special interest group that has no formal education or training
    in veterinary nutrition, or any other kind, for that matter. You are trying to scare people into buying only the pet foods that your advertisers sell.

    MY REPLY: I am not a special interest group, but an individual who cares about the lies of the pet food industry and am just simplyvtrying to spread some factual information to those who wish to know more.

    I am the sole admin of this site and if you had read any other page than this one you find why, when and how I started my own personal investigations. SEE HERE, HERE, AND HERE.

    I am not “trying to scare people into buying anything.” Once again my main
    reason is to inform, help and teach those who are interested and show the alternate choices to bad dog food. I really don’t have any advertisers. Amazon sells dog food. I use Amazon as my example, but they are not “mine”. Any of the foods that I recommend are available at any local pet food stores, and dozens on online pet stores, which I haven’t named or used. Every one is encouraged to find and use the store of their choice.

    YOU: The terms you use, such as “human grade” and “holistic” have no legal definition.
    They are meant to deceive pet owners into thinking they’re getting higher quality food.

    MY REPLY: I agree and I have stated this exact same thing on my home page HERE : “NATURAL DOG FOOD – CAUTION – “NATURAL DOES NOT ALWAYS = GOOD” Remember to read and check the labels of any food labelled “all natural” as this term is used in a lot of dog food products that still contain chemicals, preservatives and other artificial ingredients.”

    My main focus of my site is feeding a properly prepared, highly nutritious homemade dog food diet, which I also
    have stated on the main page HERE, and I have a list of Good Dog Food Ingredient to Look for on your label here.

    I provide many vet apporved homemade dog food recipes (free) from Dr. Jones, DVM and Canadian vet, along with Dr. Pitcairn, DVM. and Dr. Grant Nixon, DVM. (Better Food for Dogs)

    These vets all have extensive guides and book about pet health and nutrition and are also available at book stores, online and the library. I have all these books, plus about a dozen more books written by veterinarians and non-veterinarians, (and Ann N. Martin – Food Pets Die For), and recommend reading them for
    correct and up to date information. – I won’t post a link here to the books for fear of being accused of scaring somenone into buying something the do not really want.

    YOU: The so-called “dangerous” and “bad” ingredients you preach against are things that are healthy and fine to eat.



    WHAT’S REALLY IN PET FOOD FROM THE Animal Protection Institue (API)
    The Pet Food Ingredient Game, BY Dr. R Wysong.
    Selecting a Commercial Pet Foor from Born Free USA.
    THIS IS AN EXCELLENT PAPER – How Current Regulations Result in Confused Owners and Diseased Pets
    – Canid Genetics
    – Dog Food Advisor – Opinion Are Dogs Carnivors?
    – Dogs are Carnivores, by Jeannie Thomason.
    – Nature Works – Carnivores
    – What is a Carnivore?
    – Vet Balance – Carnivores vs. Ominvores
    – Op Ed News, Are Dogs Carnivores?
    – definition – Carnivore
    – When and where your dog evolved from the wolf

    YOU: The number one allergen of dogs is beef, followed by dairy and fish.
    Only 1% of dogs are allergic to corn or grains, and this can only be confirmed by special tests
    performed by a veterinarian or an exclusive feeding trial.

    MY REPLY: Read the AAFCO feeding trial requirements here.

    A succinct and fact based article worth reading @ The Dog Food Advisor – The Truth About Corn in Dog Food and Canine Diseases Linked to Grains in Dog Food (Part 2)

    My article about dogs and allergies.

    YOU: Corn is full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which play an important role in maintaining healthy skin and coat.

    MY REPLY: YES, Corn, in its fresh state is a wonderful, nutrient packed vegetable. I use fresh wholesome corn in my dog’s homemade food.

    The “corn” used in pet food is the leftovers, (crushed cobs, etc.), after the goodness is removed for human consumption.

    YOU: A by-product is simply something that is produced during the making of something else.
    For instance, vitamin E is a by-products of soybean processing.
    So how can you state that all by-products are “bad” and “dangerous”?

    MY REPLY: See my reply above about corn. That is a by-product, which in effect is a left over. The left over used in pet foods are undesirable in use for human consumption. I do not state all by-products are bad or dangerous. Meat by-products are rendered, undesirable, bad and dangerous.

    My top 7 worst dog food list which are mostly corn, grain fillers, by products and chemicals

    More about bad dog food ingredients here.

    More about what should be in good dog food, with a side by side comparison of a good dog food and a bad dog food

    As for the rest, I am not a troll. 🙁

    I do not undertand the anger aimed at my facts. Although I am not trained in the veterinary sciences, I have also read and educated myself about pet nutrition through the help of books, veterinarians and educational papers and documents and fact sheets that we all should read which are available on the internet. My judgement is not clouded by pre conceived and learned ideas from a school which is sponsered large corporations selling pet food for profit.

    Dr. Jones and Dr. Symes (links from Dr. Symes at top of this post), both state that they were sponsored by special interest groups or food manufacturers during and after vet school, as most veterinarians are.

    I am not trying to iduce fear, shame, guilt or harm. As I state in my first page: “I am not a vet or animal nutritionist, so always check with your own authority with any questions or problems. This is just a general starting guide for anyone interested in upgrading their pet’s diet.”


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