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What’s In Dog Food?

Ever stop to think about what goes into your dog's food? What ingredients are included? How is it produced? Is the meat humanely sourced? These are all important questions to consider when choosing the right dog food for your beloved pup.

It can be a challenge trying to figure out what the ingredients in your dog’s food fully entails. When taking a closer look, you may find that some of the ingredients included are not in fact healthy for your dog. Animal sourced materials are major ingredients commonly used in pet foods. However, the quality of these materials is not always made clear by certain pet food brands who try to cut corners.

Despite the health risks it poses for dogs, some pet food companies continue to use cheap mechanically separated meats (pink slime) in their products in order to yield a larger quantity and incur less costs.

Below we share what to look for to ensure the ingredients in your dog’s food is healthy and safe. 

What is mechanically separated meat (pink slime)?

Mechanically Separated Meat - Pink Slime

Mechanically separated meat is a paste-like and batter-like product made from leftover parts of animals such as chicken, turkey or beef. The carcusses are forced through a sieve or similar device under high pressure to separate the bone from the “edible tissue”. The product is then treated with an ammonia solution to kill bacteria. Artificial flavouring and colour is also added to make the product look and taste good. 

Health concerns 

There has been much debate over the safety of mechanically separated meat  (pink slime) and whether it's fit for human consumption. Recent scrutiny with this substance has been focused on the ammonia treatment process and how it leaves traces of ammonia in meat which can pose certain health risks to children, pregnant women and people who have weak immune systems.

Back in 2012, ABC aired an investigation into the production and proliferation of pink slime. As a result, McDonald's and other fast food chains, stopped using pink slime in their hamburgers after receiving customer complaints about the product's quality. Pink slime is now banned in Canada and the European Union.

Despite being unsafe for humans to eat, pink slime continues to be used to maximize the production of dog food because it’s cheaper than fresh meat. However, much like humans, overconsuming ammonia can lead to a series of health issues for dogs such as skin irritation and breathing difficulties. 

What makes a healthy diet?

Good nutrition is vital for your dog's wellbeing and development. A complete and balanced diet should include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. These key nutrients are needed to support growth, structure, bodily systems and metabolism.

One of the first things to look for on a dog food label is whether the product is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by  AAFCO guidelines. AAFCO is a private, nonprofit organization that defines the ingredients used in pet food. They help ensure that pet food products have undergone the appropriate analyses and have the necessary, required nutrients. 

The importance of food safety

When deciding on the right dog food for your dog it’s important to avoid all brands that don’t abide by AAFCO guidelines. This will ensure that the dog food you choose is composed of quality and ethically sourced ingredients. 

At NutriCanine, we’re committed to transparency and delivering the highest quality food for dogs. Our food is sourced from local Canadian farmers that raise their animals humanely and in accordance with the CFIA. All our recipes have been developed by a pet food formulation specialist according to AAFCO guidelines to make sure they're perfectly balanced to meet your dog's nutritional needs.  

In addition, our dog food does not have preservatives, hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients and we don’t use mechanically separated meat. Learn more about our recipes here.

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How it works

Get Started with Your NutriCanine Fresh Food Meal Plan!

  1. 1

    Made with 100% human-edible ingredients

  2. 2

    Customized and pre-portioned for your pup

  3. 3

    Agrologist-formulated for complete & balanced nutrition

  4. 4

    Delivered right to your door every 2 weeks

What picky dogs pick - Healthy meals for your dog