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World’s Wealthiest Pet Food Companies and Maybe Why

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  1. Holly

    I’m wondering why FDA allows lamb meal to be from an animal which died other than by slaughter, but that’s not allowed with other meals such as chicken meal , turkey meal , salmon meal etc.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      It is all based on the legal definition of ingredients (they are written by AAFCO but are approved by FDA). The legal definition of chicken meal (turkey meal or any poultry meal) has the requirement to be sourced from slaughtered poultry. The legal definition of all other meals do not have that requirement. I can tell you with certainty (stated at summer 2015 AAFCO meeting) ingredient definitions are written based on what industry sells to pet food. In other words, consumers can more than safely assume that dead/diseased non-slaughtered lamb and beef ARE being included in lamb meal and beef meal.

      1. Casey

        I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that diseased chickens (not for human consumption) are sometimes slaughtered en masse via gas. I can’t think of a similar situation with other food animals.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Spent laying hens (hens no longer producing eggs) are also gassed or they are killed by maceration (ground alive). Either way, those birds all go into animal feed (livestock feed or pet food). With other livestock – the bodies have to be disposed of and regulation is very strict on how to dispose of bodies. Their bodies about have to be incinerated or rendered – burial is close to impossible because of the numbers of bodies and because of risk to human health (airborne disease from decomposing animal carcasses). My guess – is that because they have to ‘cook’ the material in some form (incineration or rendering) to protect human health they have decided they might as well sell this waste to pet food/animal feed. My guess would be lobby groups convinced FDA this is acceptable.

  2. Edith

    Get over your crazy uneducated selves.
    Learn about nutrition before you talk.
    And… All of your pets will end up needing therapeuyic foods; yes, those you so criticize

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      What part of this post was “uneducated”? Please explain your comment.

    2. Dianne

      ????????? Huh!???? I would be very willing to bet that Susan knows a lot more about pet nutrition than you do? All it takes to learn is access to information and a working brain with at least average intelligence and an interest in the topic. It is a myth to think that only someone with a degree is intelligent enough to learn about “complex” topics.

    3. Pat P.

      I noticed that in Susan’s article “The Last Piece of the Puzzle”, your were equally ignorantly aggressive, as in this offensive attack on her, always well-researched material. In that article you were obtuse and defiant about the innocence of the “Prescription” pet food companies, such as Hills and Royal Canin, insisting on their uninvolvement with the education provided in veterinary colleges, as well as any influence they may have on the students.
      Fortunately, other commenters fired back with evidence of your falsehoods and indignation with your attacks.

      If you continue with your absurdly negative misinformation and assaults on Susan Thixton and/or her supporters, you will thoroughly convince most of us of your connection with the pet food industry, probably, the companies you are so insistent on defending. You will also, IMO, increase doubt in their already questionable integrity and concern with their unhealthy/toxic ingredients.

      If you insist on your accusatory commentary, at least provide some specific evidence of any proported truth behind your criticisms and do it with some respect, civility and maturity!

      1. regina

        Pat P.
        That was an excellent response to Edith.
        ‘nuf said.

    4. Debi Cohen

      People like you are what is making these companies rich.

    5. Ruth Thomson

      Edith, you are the uneducated one!!! We have learned about nutrition the hard way, from losing our beloved furry children to the horrible, poison pet “food” put out by the big name manufacturer’s!!! You are the one who needs to be educated about correct nutrition for our pets!! You have obviously been drinking the kool-aid for a long time & it’s a wonder you even take the time to comment on this site! You obviously know nothing about proper nutrition for pets!! Please stop commenting unless you have something productive to say or some proof to back up your comments. We all know there is no danger of that happening!!

      Believe me, we would NEVER feed our pets ANY of the big name foods out there, because we know it would kill them!!

      Susan has saved many of our beloved furry children, including my own. We owe her a debt we could never repay. She has our eternal gratitude for her work on behalf of our pets!!! Thank you Susan!!!

      Ruth Thomson in AZ

  3. Mary Marseglia

    And it is ALL GARBAGE!!!! There is not one good commercial dry kibble on the market in the entire world. Only a few higher quality, grain-free “as low in starches as possible” canned foods but feeding a complete raw diet is your best bet for your pets! Its been around for 30,000yrs for domestic dogs; 16,000 yrs for domestic cats and 40+ million years for our dogs and cats wild carnivore ancestors. The PFI does NOT know more than Nature and they never will.

    1. Teresa

      My thoughts exactly. In every other situation such as zoos for example, the animals are fed species appropriate food. Only domesticated pets and humans stray from their natural diets. And we are the poorer for it.

    2. Pacific Sun

      Not in defense of kibble, but there’s a difference between serving it as a steady diet 365 days a year, and as a backup. Mulligan’s Stew used to do kibble right. But they couldn’t keep up the price point. Check out Natures Logic (they claim ingredients suitable for human consumption, with no Chinese supplements). Good customer service. It was reviewed through TAPF.

  4. Pam grimes

    I do not have to be convinced of the unethical and illegal practices of the big boys who act so innocent while they lie about the garbage they produce and call pet food. I am still surprised by some of their ploys. I call the pet food isle the isle of death in the stores. I lost one perfect spirit to the duck and potato game. No more, we make our 3 pups very nutritious food from raw food components. All cooked together like our own meals. PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP AND STOP GIVING MONEY FOR GARBAGE THEY WOULD THROW OUT AT HOME. We did hit Purina in the pocket and we can keep it up. MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD. I will continue to talk to people at the stores if I see death in their basket . My promise to my boy was to save others and I know I have and will continue to do so.

    1. Mark A.

      Well said, Pam. I loved your post.

      My beautiful, smart, and advanced cat was lost to a downward spiral of bad food, drugs, and ignorance (on my part). My promise to his sweet soul is to help is brethren here on earth. I have stood in a pet store food aisle, practically in tears, reading ingredients on small, independent pet food brands which contain stuff I know to be inappropriate: potato and other starches, various vegetable gums, carrageenan, and more. I don’t even LOOK at the big brand labels. I have adopted a rescue cat and don’t want her to succumb to the pet food “system.” There are some decent foods out there if you want/need to feed canned, but one has to look long and hard for them. Comments I hear from people with similar concerns include: “look at animals now suffering the same diseases humans have . . . we are ALL eating garbage!”, and “animals on the streets in the poorest countries are healthier than those in well-off homes in America.” Whether you agree with these statements or not, it certainly gives one pause to consider WHY so many animals pass at a younger age these days.

  5. Kathryn S

    To answer the question “would the annual revenue of these companies be the same if the FDA enforced the rules?”
    – no, of course not; 1. because the company would not be willing to purchase the USDA Approved for Human Consumption products, and
    2. even if they were, the average dog/cat food purchaser could no longer afford the cost and would find, as many of us have, that it’s easier, less ( in the long run ) expensive and better, again in the long run, for our animals to purchase the ingredients for their meals at the same retailer that we obtain our own meats/veggies/fruits/eggs/dairy/appropriate supplements.

  6. Monika & Sam

    Yipes! With this kind of consolidation I think I may need to go back to being a hunter/gatherer.

  7. Max

    That’s a staggering number! Multi-billion dollar industry.
    And I don’t think their profits are going to will change even if the regulations changed.
    It is a business after all, they will do things to prevent the loss.

  8. Christina

    I didn’t know that Mars Petcare owned pedigree, iams and whiskas. No wonder they’re raking it in.

  9. Ana Annett Gano

    So what is if any a brand that can be trusted as safe and healthy?

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