8 Deadly Ingredients in Dog Foods Dog Moms & Dads Don’t Know About

In this segment of our discourse on dog food, we’ll be talking about the exact bad ingredients in dog food and why they are bad. Most times, the popular dog foods are popular not because they are so awesome, but because they usually have huge advertising budgets, which help to put them everywhere in front of people, making them a familiar product to dog owners, and by so doing they are perceived as the best in terms of quality. The real fact about the actual quality of the ingredients used in making these foods may shock you.

Let’s consider some “guaranteed analysis, ” one of the well-known ones is “the Protein Content” which are often claimed that it came through the meat. This is not all true as Protein nutrient can be sourced from a variety of places, such as Soy Corn, By-products, Eggs, Meal, and Digest. Overall,
always look at the ingredients to see where actually the protein nutrient is coming from.

8 Deadly Ingredients in Dog Foods You Should immediately

The Following are the List of Deadly Ingredients in Dog Foods:

1. Animal Digest:

The animal digest may be sourced from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue.

Animal digest is not particularly a bad ingredient on its own, the trouble with feeding your dog with animal digest is about the source of the food. There is no quality control, which will help to guard against contaminations in preparing animal digest as dog food.

Any digest may be sourced from animal or poultry, and indeed any kind of animal may be used without any health considerations. E.g. “4-D Animals”, including dead, deceased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter, goats, pigs, horses, rats. Animals euthanized at shelters, restaurants, and supermarkets refuse and so on. If you French Bulldog is taking animal digest, chances are that he may have eaten some contaminated foods or food poisons. The best thing to do is to watch out for dog food that is transparent about how they source their animal digest dog foods. 

2. Soybean Meal:

Soybean is obtained from the flakes remaining after the oil have been extracted from soybeans. These flakes are then ground. It then becomes the Soybean meal.
The down-side of this in the poor quality of the protein filter used. In general, Soybeans Meal has a biologic value of less than 50% of chicken Meal.

3. Artificial Flavors and Colors:

Artificial flavors and colors are an ingredient used to make the dog food appear than it actually is. These humanly contrived addictives ingredients may conceal damage and inferiority.

4. Artificial Flavors and Colors:

These consist of the rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered meats, such as heads, feet, viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Meat by-products are an inconsistent ingredient because of the multiple organs used, their constantly changing proportions and their questionable nutritional value. Meat by-products are much less expensive and less digestible than “meal”.

8 Deadly Ingredients in Dog Foods You Need Know


BHA and BHT stand for Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene. These are chemical preservative ingredients that are vividly. 

N.B: Ethoxyquin is another chemical preservative that have been found to be harmful, yet are still allowed in dog foods.

6. Beet Pulp:

They are sourced from sugar beets, extracted in the process of sugar manufacturing. In dog foods, this acts as fibrous stool hardener. 

When considering meat “meals”, one thing  you must search for is the NON-SPECIFIC meals. An example may help you here; if a product uses the word “Meat” instead of “Beef”. Or “Fish” instead of Salmon. Or “Poultry” instead of “Chicken”, it is bad but if your food has a specific Meal type in itthat is okay, something like; Lamb Meal, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Beef Meal…. those are all good types.

8 Deadly Ingredients in Dog food You didn't know

Here are more Examples of Bad Ingredients in Dog Foods:

7. Meat Meal:

It is gotten from mammal tissue without any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hides trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents. Just as pointed out above, when the ingredient is described like this, the animal part used for making the food can literally be obtained
from just anywhere without any form of quality control. 

N.B: Almost the same can be said to about such other descriptions as Poultry Meal, and Meat and Bone Meal. If the Dog Food is from a particular source, if would read something like Chicken Meal or turkey etc.

8. Corn Syrup, Cane Molasses, and Sugar:

These are sugar and sweeteners found in dog foods. Sugar or sweeteners is an absolutely unnecessary ingredient in pet foods, added to make the product more attractive. Continuous intake can promote hypoglycemia, obesity, nervousness, cataracts, tooth decay, arthritis, and allergies. Pets also get addicted to foods that contain sugars, so it can be a tough piece of work to make them eat something healthier.

How to Identify the Bad Ingredients Dog Food Manufacturers Don't Want You to Know About

How to find the bad ingredients in dog foods

There’s little regulation in the area of Dog foods, so reading Dog food labels may be a chore for most people. Oftentimes you find that the front of the dog food bag has some good looking freshly cut fruits and vegetables, and sometimes comes in an impressive product name like Beneful, which can buy you over believing that you are getting something really great for your Frenchie, but when you flip over and study the ingredients, you’ll be shocked at what your best friend is eating. In this piece, I am not particularly taking any specific dog food as a case in point, but I may give a couple of examples.

To understand the French Bulldog food labels and find out the bad ingredients included, you have to look beyond the list and look at the source of the ingredients listed on the label, fat or oil.

Look for the first source of the fat or oil, it usually appears in the ingredient list, and can be either vegetable or animal fat. These are good, but there is also the bad part of both. Take note of anything that is stated before the first source of the fat or oil because this is where you will mostly find the main ingredient of the food. Any other item that comes after that is usually in smaller quantity, just to add some flavors, and may be used as preservatives as well, or in order to add some dietary benefits such as probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

Let’s compare too dog foods here to better understand what we are talking about: 

1. Beneful Original Formula 

2. Fromm 

Ingredients in Beneful Original Formula are:

  • Ground yellow corn,
  • Chicken by-product meal,
  • Corn gluten meal,
  • Whole wheat flour,
  • Animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E),
  • Rice flour,
  • Beef,
  • Soy flour,
  • Sugar,
  • Propylene glycol,
  • Meat and bone meal.
  • Calcium pantothenate,
  • Thiamine mononitrate,
  • Garlic oil,
  • Pyridoxine hydrochloride,
  • riboflavin supplement,
  • Tricalcium phosphate,
  • Phosphoric acid,
  • Salt,
  • Water,
  • Animal digest,
  • Sorbic acid (a preservative),
  • Potassium chloride,
  • Dried carrots,
  • Dried peas,
  • Calcium propionate (a preservative),
  • L-Lysine monohydrochloride,
  • Choline chloride,
  • Vitamin D-3 supplement,
  • Menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity),
  • Calcium iodate,
  • folic acid,
  • Added color (Red 40,
  • Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2),
  • DL-Methionine,
  • Vitamin E supplement,
  • Zinc sulfate,
  • Ferrous sulfate,
  • Manganese sulfate,
  • Niacin,
  • Vitamin A supplement,
  • Calcium carbonate,
  • Copper sulfate,
  • Vitamin B-12 supplement,
  • biotin,
  • sodium selenite.

The ingredients listed in Fromm are listed thus:

  • Salmon,
  • Salmon Meal,
  • Brown Rice,
  • Sweet Potato,
  • Pearled Barley,
  • Potato,
  • Oatmeal,
  • White Rice,
  • Whole Dried Egg,
  • Salmon Oil (preserved
    with mixed tocopherols),
  • Millet,
  • Dried Tomato Pomace,
  • Safflower Oil,
  • Cheese,
  • Flaxseed,
  • Copper Sulfate,
  • Cobalt Carbonate,
  • Calcium Iodate,
  • Sorbic Acid,
  • Carrots,
  • Broccoli,
  • Cauliflower,
  • Apples,
  • Lecithin,
  • Chicken Cartilage,
  • Potassium Chloride,
  • Monosodium Phosphate,
  • Calcium Sulfate,
  • Cranberries,
  • Blueberries,
  • Salt,
  • Monocalcium Phosphate,
  • Chicory Root Extract,
  • Alfalfa Sprouts,
  • Yucca Schidigera Extract,
  • Iron Proteinate,
  • Zinc Proteinate,
  • Copper Proteinate,
  • Manganese Proteinate,
  • Sodium Selenite
  • Folic Acid,
  • Parsley,
  • Lactobacillus
  • Acidophilus,
  • Bifidobacterium Longum,
  • Lactobacillus Plantarum,
  • Enterococcous
  • Faecium,
  • Vitamin A, D3, E, B12 Supplements,
  • Choline Bitartrate,
  • Niacin,
  • Pantothenic Acid,
  • Ascorbic Acid,
  • Riboflavin,
  • Thiamine Mononitrate,
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,
  • Biotin,
  • Zinc Sulfate,
  • Ferrous Sulfate,
  • Manganous Sulfate,



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A Comparative Analysis of Dog Food Ingredients

Now, let’s look at our earlier nutrients, fat and oil, and try to juxtapose these two. In Beneful, the first fat source is “animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)”. And you can see that BEEF is after the fat source, not in front of it. That means that this food is made mostly of ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E).
On the other hand, in Fromm the first fat source is Salmon Oil, that tells us this food is made mostly of Salmon, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Sweet Potato, Pearled Barley, Potato, Oatmeal, White Rice, Whole Dried Egg, Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols).

Having said, let’s again reveal another trick that dog food manufacturers play on all of us that has to do with using fillers to coat ingredients so that you don’t really decipher the actual amount of a bad ingredient was used for particular dog food.

Now, for this purpose, I am picking Corn as an ingredient in dog food. Mind you, I will leave out the debate about how good or bad is corn in dog foods (of course to be considered in another study). But, I can categorically tell you, it’s not so wonderful.

Dog food companies are the only ones who claim that corn is great for pets. But really, corn is a protein source, and it could very well be the reason Fido does not smell great, and always is itching, full of allergies, shedding and miserable- even though you just put on Flea Medication and gave him a Benedryl.

Therefore, be wary of dog food companies that include multiple corn sources in their products. They do this to hide the actual quantity of corn you have in the food. For instance, an ingredient list that reads something like this: Corn, Corn gluten, Corn gluten meal, etc.

 They seem to be different ingredients, but the truth is, by the time you combine all the corn sources, you’ll find out that corn is actually the major ingredient in the dog food. That’s it, we hope this helps you to understand dog food labels and how to find the bad ingredients in them. As always, we’d appreciate your responses and contributions. If you have any question or comment, please the comment box below.


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  1. Kelly Baber January 18, 2022 Reply

    I hear such bad things about foods all the time. Is the brand “Nulo” dog food bad? I feed my Frenchie the limited edition that is grain free/no chicken.
    Please help me! I want what is best for my Furbaby!

  2. Becky January 19, 2022 Reply

    Unless your pup has a medical reason to eat grain free (major skin allergies or other health related problems directly affected by eating grains) you should allow for dome healthy grains in the diet. Dogs aren’t strict carnivores. Poultry tends to sour any bulldogs belly that I’ve had (had 2 frenchies & 2 english) and I avoid foul also. Best with our babies to stick to salmon, beef, lamb or other alternative proteins like kangaroo (zignature has it but there are other alternative proteins like Buffalo etc.) I’ve found beef tends to plump up mine so we stick to salmon or lamb with things like brown rice (some are saying to stay away from potato type ingredients so we stick to rice)

    We feed frozen green beans, frozen blueberries, carrots etc. as treats as well as banana and cantaloupe once in a while instead of just store bought treats. Fruitables are a good store bought treat. Lots to choose from! Hope this helps!

  3. Angela soya January 31, 2022 Reply

    Good read

  4. Diane Taylor February 10, 2022 Reply

    I’m a RAW feeder no chicken beef or lamb instead I use Turkey duck and venison chicken is a prime source of allergies in all dogs making for itchy skin beef can upset the digestive system in some and lamb can be terrible for a colitis dog too fatty I also don’t give rice if any sort or potato in the wild no dog would ever go into a rice field and eat rice or dig up potato’s !! There a RAW debate about fruit & veg also but I’m kinda in the middle with that as I know it’s been proven that a dog will only eat fruit & veg which would be in the contents of the dead preys stomach so I blend any fruit & veg I give them and try to only give them it once a week in a very small amount I also have a FB that suffers regurge he had to be taken off RAW it just was not for him fair enough I want my dogs to have whatever suits them He eats Chappie which I find suits him better than the hyper digestive kibble the vet hospital wanted to have him on Finer By Nature have the best treats that are 100% what they say they are So that’s my feeding and treat story I’d say look into things don’t always presume what it says on the packet or tin is what the manufacture is telling you it is !!

    • americanpets February 11, 2022 Reply

      Topnotch Diane! You hit the nail on the head. Thanks for your contribution.

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