3 Unhealthy Pet Food Ingredient Types to Avoid

Whether you have a dog or a cat, we, as a professional pet sitting company are sure that you want your pet to be as healthy as he or she can be. But if you’ve looked at the food label and ingredient list on the back of your pet’s food lately, you’ve probably noticed a few unusual things listed. And unless you’ve taken a course in nutrition or are an expert in biochemistry, it can be hard to decipher exactly what’s in the food you’re purchasing for your fur baby. The great news for you today is that we’re revealing three unhealthy pet food ingredient types to avoid when purchasing food for your pet.

Ingredient #1: Meat and Meat Meal

If you see unnamed “meat”, “meat meal”, or “meat and bone meal” then this will let you know right off that the particular pet food you’re considering includes the worst source of meat possible in a processed food. “Meat” is a non-descript term that manufacturers use. 

However, it is also code for “anything goes”. You never know exactly what’s included. Often, it’s leftovers and can include expired meat sections, and can even include tumors. A rule of thumb is that if you’re reading the list of ingredients and you see the terms “meat”, “meat meal”, or “meat and bone meal”, put it down and move on to another brand of pet food.

Ingredient #2:  Artificial Colors

As humans, we all know that anything artificial is not the real thing and should be avoided if necessary. Well, the same concept applies to your pet’s food. The reason artificial colors are bad ingredients for pet food is because they are only used to make the food look better. There is no nutritional value added. 

However, there are a variety of side effects that can harm your pet if he or she consumes artificial colors on a regular basis. Artificial colors can literally be anything. There are many natural-derived colors that manufacturers can use for pet food ingredients.

Ingredient #3: MSG (monosodium glutamate)

It is used in a wide range of pet foods. In addition to artificial colors and unnamed “meat”, “meat meal”, or “meat and bone meal”, MSG is used to help enhance the flavor of pet food.

However, MSG is also known as a common allergen in both humans and pets. This is enough of a reason to stir clear away from it. But be warned, you may not see the word “MSG” on the food label…

You are more likely to see ambiguous MSG ingredients, such as: 

  • Hydrolyzed protein
  • Protein isolate
  • Texturized protein
  • Natural flavors (like chicken flavor)
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Hydrolyzed yeast
  • Yeast extracts
  • Soy extracts or concentrate
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Glutamate or glutanic acid
  • Disodium inosinate or guaylate

These are all MSG’s and should be avoided at all cost.


Post Written by Nick Cole ; Featured Image by Hoy