What exactly is Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, and why is it my my cat’s food?
If you’re feeding your cat a commercial food, chances are he’s getting a daily dose of some ingredients that read less like a food label and more like gibberish! While this guide is not all-inclusive, it defines the worst of the worst of the most commonly used ingredients in commercial cat and dog foods, explains their purpose for being there, and details the possible side-effects as a result of regular or continual ingestion.
Although many of these ingredients may be fine in the occasional treat or meal (many of them are in the processed foods we eat, too), cats are, more often than not, fed the same exact meal, day after day, year after year.
To many pet owners, this may (and should) read as a list of ingredients to avoid. When choosing the right food for your furriest friend, look for real named meats (rather than just the term “meat” which could include any variety of animal), whole ingredients, things you recognize. If there are more questions than answers when reading your pet food label, look elsewhere.
Common Pet Food Ingredients (Listed Alphabetically): *Note: Several ingredients indicate that they may come from “4-D” sources. This means the ingredient can be legally sourced from Dead, Dying, Disabled, or Diseased sources – this can, and sometimes does, include animals that died of natural causes, disease, or were euthanized, and may explain the recent pet foods recalled due to the presence of the barbiturate Pentobarbital, also known as the euthanasia drug.
corn This controversial cereal grain typically used in pet food is feed-grade (not for human consumption) and can include mold or fungus. Corn is typically considered a cheap filler which is both difficult for dogs and cats to digest and can increase a pet’s blood sugar, leading to diabetes, weight gain, and joint dysfunction.
corn gluten Highly allergenic, adds sugar, is a poor protein source, interferes with digestion.
corn gluten meal Waste product, cheap, non-nutritive filler but used as protein source — can cause allergies and sugar imbalance.
corn oil (preserved with TBHQ) TBHQ contains petroleum-derived butane, can be carcinogenic.
corn starch Terrible filler, causes several health issues including allergies.
corn starch-modified Poor source of nutrients, protein, filler, binder.
Take a look at your own pet food labels and compare. How many of these common ingredients did you find? Are you comfortable with the explanation for why it’s there?
Did you find any unusual or hard-to-pronounce ingredients not listed above? Leave a comment below and we’ll research that ingredient and add it to the list.
Many pet owners complain that the industry doesn’t always have our pet’s health and vitality as their top priority. And, while this may be true in some cases, it’s ultimately up to us, as pet parents, to make the best choices when it comes to our companions. And, when enough of us are educating ourselves and making better choices, the industry will be left with no option but to follow our lead.