Pet Food Regulations

Ridiculous but True


Here are ten of the most ridiculous ingredients or regulations that are allowed in pet food.  Compiled together, it shows just how difficult it is for consumers to find a safe/healthy food for their pet.




Always read the ingredient list (of every product you feed your pet) and ask the manufacturer questions (such as country of origin of all ingredients including supplements and if meat and vegetable ingredients are USDA inspected and approved).


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
Association for Truth in Pet Food

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients?  Chinese imports?  Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods,  and pet treats.  30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee.




2014 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods.  Click Here



Have you read Buyer Beware?  Click Here

Cooking for pets made easy, Dinner PAWsible

Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here

March 1, 2014

About Author


6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Ridiculous but True”

  1. Ellie says:

    The is so truly pathetic. If only we had a freely functioning media that truly cared to keep consumers informed about the human and pet food industry as well as the many other aspects of our society that have become severely corrupted.

    • Candence Griffin says:

      I’m not surprised. Years ago, we use to feed Kennel Ration Kibble (which used Ethoxyquin as a fat preservative) and had problems with sebaceous cysts and very dry coats. Used Proplan, Pedigree, and a few other designer dog foods and my Basenjis didn’t want to eat the stuff. I can’t blame them! Who in the world likes the flavor of all of those ingredients, pictured so gloriously on the labels for Ma & Pa pet parents, mixed together? Granted, my kids are considered primitive and aboriginal, which should translate into a more hardy digestive system. Quite the contrary, even though my kids are approximately 25% African, they still require high quality protein, derived from bovine, swine, poultry and fish. All dogs do.
      Remember, dogs have a short digestive system, so they can not ruminate plant and fruit material. Used for bulk, those items help keep the digestive track in better shape but they are worthless otherwise, except to make the label look inspiring.
      Once Promise (our oldest Basenji girl who is nine) was staged with Lymphoma back in 08′, we completely abandoned the use of any manufactured dog foods and took on the challenge of making our own. And we’re still making it. We rarely buy or ingest pre-prepared foods for ourselves either and we actually feel better! I’m thankful my Mom was such a good teacher and ‘scratch cooking’ is second nature to me.

  2. Pacific Sun says:

    TAPF readers are educated. But what about uninformed, unsuspecting consumers? This is by far the most succinct summary of why PF is bad if not dangerous! Part of the presentation should include how protein is “corrected” chemically. Isn’t the meat actually cut with hazardous chemicals because it is so diseased, and because the foundation of PF is just salvaged refuse? Which means that the PF must be cooked to a point that ends up eliminating nutrients. Which means artificial and synthetic additives, sourced overseas, must be added. But if a consumer takes away any message at all, it should be that pictures on the package, and advertising are lies and deception. The uninformed (unbelieving) consumer asks, “What’s the problem here, this is only animal food, it’s cheap, and mine hasn’t died?” Well the answer really is …Truth in Advertising must apply to PF so people can choose whatever product works best for them.
    Reforming the PFI is about money. It’s an up hill climb. But why is it people fail to demand Truth in Advertising? While we’d love for all companies to do the right thing. The fact is that every consumer, whatever the budget, or belief system towards animals, livestock, pets, and family companions, at least has the right to make “informed” choices. Because an informed choice ….is FREE choice! I thought that’s what this country is supposed to be about. We fight for that right regarding every other issue. Except consumerism. Because right now that choice does not apply to PF products! Why?
    While acknowledging that PF must be improved, all the while watching interested parties vying for their own profitable interests, one basic principle is lost. Which is that when a company is held to full disclosure (accountability) then choices become clear! And problems fix themselves. Right now the PFI has no incentive to “improve” it’s product, unless they are forced to “explain” the product first. That’s why the initiative (referred to in the accompanying article) is so important! Sign the petition or write the letter. Because definitions matter, standards matter, clarity is essential. Companies need to label whether or not ingredients are human-grade. Whether they’re USDA Inspected, Grade A or what. Whether they’re USA made, or where. To use common names for ingredients, ranking them minus the fracturing. To use minimum to maximum percentages. To state the business address of ownership of manufacturing, co-packing and distribution channels. To establish a consumer recourse system, and create a public database for tracking consumer experience!
    The failure of the PFI to do such straight forward communication certainly means they fear for their financial survival. Because upgrading a product to a point of full disclosure (to remain competitive) could indeed be too costly for the average consumer. Or so they say. But I don’t know. IS it too simplistic to expect that paying twice as much for PF is really worth keeping our companions healthier and alive for that much longer?? No matter the answer …’s still the consumer’s right to make their own informed choice. And sad to think that pets “must” depend upon the owner’s ability to do so!!

  3. CC says:

    Pacific Sun wrote:
    “TAPF readers are educated. But what about uninformed, unsuspecting consumers?”

    Pacific Sun,
    You just reminded me of another thing which could have made this list!
    What do you think of this?

    Powdered Cellulose was a top ingredient in what a veterinarian “prescribed” for ours. Look at what it IS! This is from a site BY the PFI — FOR the PFI, so it’s straight from the horse’s mouth!:

    “There are various forms of powdered cellulose available from trees like pine and beech to bamboo and cotton. By and large, the cellulose used in petfood applications is derived from pine trees. The ingredient starts its journey in the pulping mills, the same mills used to produce paper. The pulp is made into long continuous”

    There are soooooo many people who feed their chronically ailing and over-drugged pets such things because their trusted veterinarians “Prescribe” it.
    Dogs are falcutative carnivores, and felines (& Ferrets) are obligate carnivores. How can vets be allowed to “prescribe” they eat what a termite should be consuming — ALONG with many (if not all) of the items on Susan’s list?
    Trusting clients believe there is MEDICINE in the over-priced stuff and nobody I know personally will consider reading a site like Susan’s because their licensed, trusted Vets are telling them the polar opposite.

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Susan Thixton's author is a founding partner of the international pet food consumer association - Association for Truth in Pet Food. Through our consumer association, Susan has advisory position to AAFCO's Pet Food Committee and Ingredient Definitions Committee.