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Is the food I feed my pet made up of waste?

Let’s clear the air – the commercially prepared food that you are feeding your pet is not made from waste or discarded ingredients deemed unfit for human consumption.

The images conjured up when hearing the word “waste” are a far cry from the ingredients actually used in pet food. And while it is true that by-products of foods manufactured for human consumption are used in pet foods, it is hardly waste, and in actual fact they often contain more nutritional value than the products extracted for use in human foods.

With the advent of processed foods and the increasing demand by humans for processed foods, a great deal of wholesome components are extracted in the food production process – these unwanted, yet nutritious ingredients have become the major constituents of pet food. They include by-products from refining maize for maize meal, wheat for pure white flour, vegetable proteins for vegetable oils and most pet foods may also include the refined products themselves, such as various oils.

Use of by-products of human manufactured foods have benefits further than those related to your pets’ nutrition – not only is there a reduction in the cost of both human and pet foods but, at the same time, overall wastage is significantly reduced, so both you and your pet benefit from the process.

And for as long as man continues on his path of demanding more convenient and refined foods, the amount of unused by-product from this primary food industry will continue to grow. While man may not be benefiting from this refining process, on a nutritional level, you can be sure other animals, especially pets, are.

Of course the quality of ingredients used in different pet food brands differs and you’ll want to choose a brand that is committed to upholding safe and nutritious pet food, putting the wellbeing of your pet first. You can do this by choosing a pet food brand that is a member of the Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa (PFI). And if your preferred brand is not, you really should demand that they join the PFI, as a public pledge to upholding these principles.


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