(NaturalNews) If you have pets, you probably see them as an extension of your own human family and care for them accordingly. You may even purchase premium pet food in the hope that your furry loved ones will live long, healthy and disease-free lives. But many conventional kibble products, or pet foods that come dried in bags, contain animal by-products, chemical additives and other questionable ingredients that could be slowly killing your pets.
Even the more expensive pet food brands contain some of these questionable ingredients, which include things like leftover animal parts ground up from "4-D" livestock. The 4-D part refers to dead, dying, disabled and diseased animals that are considered unfit for human consumption, and the by-products of these animals are routinely added to pet kibble, unbeknownst to millions of pet owners who think they are feeding their pets premium food products.
"According to the online pet pharmacy, PetMeds, by-products are 'the leftover parts of the animal that are not suitable for human consumption' and can include animal pieces such as necks, feet, bones, intestines and lungs," explains The Screeching Kettle.
Normally, these parts of animals would be nutritious for pets. But because they typically come from factory-farmed animals exposed to tainted feces, heavy metals and other toxins, these additives pose a grave health risk. These same animals are also deliberately fed things like genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and poultry litter, the latter of which is composed of debris and other waste collected from the floors of chicken cages and broiler houses.
"Poultry litter ... is recycled and fed to cows, and often contains not only uneaten chicken feed, but also feces, feathers, heavy metals and even bits of dead rodents," explains The Screeching Kettle, citing data presented by Consumers Union.
These are obviously things that no loving pet-owner would ever consciously feed to their pets. But because they are hidden in many of the most popular kibble brands, most consumers are unaware of their presence. As a result, millions of people are inadvertently feeding their pets poison, that with regular consumption, can lead to major health problems or even death.
Many pet foods loaded with ingredients that make pets sick
Besides animal by-products, most conventional pet foods are loaded with all sorts of other ingredients that no mammal should ever consume. The Dog Food Project lists ingredients to avoid when purchasing pet food that include things like glyceryl monostearate and food coloring. Many dog food brands that contain fish meat also contain ethoxyquin, a preservative chemical linked to cancer causation.
"They actually believed what commercial dog food companies have said -- that it is not good to serve your dog real food," stated nutritionist and chef Gayle Pruitt, author of Dog-Gone Good Cuisine: More Healthy, Fast, and Easy Recipes for You and Your Pooch, during a recent interview with The New York Daily News.
"To think that dogs should eat out of a can or bag for the rest of their lives, that's so wrong," she added, noting that dogs require the same nutrients as humans, which is why they function best on human-grade meat and vegetables.
Many pet foods are also heavily composed of grains like wheat and corn which, besides their potential GM status, are not healthy for pets. Dogs in particular thrive on raw diets composed of healthy meats, fish and vegetables, not processed grains and chemical additives.
For a thorough look at the best and the worst in the pet food category, be sure to check out our own Pet Food Ingredients Revealed! report, which is available for free here: http://www.naturalnews.com.