Understanding by-products in cat and dog food
Cats and dogs require a balance of precise nutrients based on specific amounts of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats, among others. To ensure cats and dogs are getting a complete diet, tailored to their needs, it’s vital that we focus not on the perception of an ingredient, but instead on the specific nutrients each ingredient is able to provide.
Understanding by-products on pet food labels
The by-products that Royal Canin incorporates into pet food can undergo a process of cooking, grinding, separating, and drying. Removing the moisture in this way enables us to create a much more concentrated and digestible source of protein.
In comparison to fresh meat, which can contain up to 85% water and only 10–30% protein. When water is removed in dehydrated meat, it provides a much more concentrated sour of protein. 1 kilogram fresh poultry will provide approximately 250 grams of nutrients compared to 1 kilogram of dehydrated poultry protein (chicken meal in North America), with much lower water content, which provides a massive 940 grams of nutrients.2
According to current pet food legislation, each ingredient in a pet food must be listed on the package based on weight before cooking in descending order. This means that fresh “meat” will naturally receive a high position on the ingredients list. This might give the impression that “fresh meat” is the primary source of the nutritional content of the pet food. However, this may not be the case.
The nutritional profile is provided by the entire diet, and not just the first ingredient listed on the pet food label. At Royal Canin, every single ingredient listed on our packaging is included for a specific purpose, determined by the high-quality nutrients they provide for cats and dogs.
Our nutrient-led approach allows us to precisely combine by-products and other raw materials to deliver a nutritional profile tailored to the breed, the age, or even any potential health conditions of your cat or dog.
If you are ever uncertain about ingredients in your pet food, or would like to know more about how a cat or dog’s diets should be tailored to address their unique needs, speak to your veterinarian.
2 Nutritional Truths Handbook 2018
Royal Canin’s approach to nutrition
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