Why do you use by-products in your food?

Commercial Dog Food and By-products

By-products have been commonly used in both human and animal food throughout history to avoid wasting perfectly nutritious food or other resources. The use of by-products is considered a part of sustainable food sourcing. 

By-products are the co-product of food ingredients, including portions of an animal that are less commonly used in the U.S. human food supply, but which can provide important nutritional benefits. For example, clean animal parts such as liver, kidneys and other organs, may be considered by-products. By-products can also come from grains.  For example, wheat gluten and corn gluten can be considered by-products. 

By-products  are ingredients that can contribute to the nutritional value of a pet food by providing nutrients like protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fats. They also provide vitamins and minerals. These are key components in your dog’s food that give him energy, stamina, and support overall health. By-products are included as ingredients in many commercial dog foods for their beneficial nutrients.

Examples of by-products we use in our everyday life include gelatin (by-product from livestock), molasses (from sugar refining), and pectin (recovered from remains of processed fruits). However, Purina never uses the feathers, hide, hair, hooves, and intestinal contents of animals in any of our pet foods.

Nutrient-rich By-products

A complete and balanced diet for your dog is more than pure protein, since dogs are omnivores, not carnivores. Omnivores like dogs and humans thrive on meats, grains and vegetables. Beneficial carbohydrate and healthy fats are necessary for your dog’s health in addition to protein. Nutrients like calcium and other vitamins and minerals are not fully provided by muscle meat alone. Healthy by-products are rich in many vitamins and minerals that supply your dog’s food with beneficial nutrients. 

Purina® Dog Food Products

Purina® dog foods source by-products that meet or exceed guidelines established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). All Purina dog foods are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulatory standards for dog foods are just the starting point for Purina’s stringent quality assurance and food safety program. We take pride in making sure our foods truly help pets thrive.