By-products are poor quality ingredients

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Myth or Fact? By-Products

By-products are poor-quality ingredients.

It's a myth

By-products are sometimes thought to be low-quality ingredients that shouldn't be included in pet foods.

The facts

By-products are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients.

By-products defined:

  • A by-product is any ingredient that is produced or left over when some other product or ingredient is made.
  • Broths and gelatin are examples of meat by-products in human foods.
  • By-products in pet foods that meet Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines come from clean animal parts other than meat, such as liver, kidneys and other organs.1
  • Purina purchases all by-products from USDA-inspected plants. They must meet stringent criteria for nutrient content, production and quality assurance.


What they can be


What they can't be

Intestinal Contents

By-products can be more nutritious than meat alone.

  • Muscle meat is deficient in many nutrients, including calcium, other minerals and vitamins. Many of these missing nutrients are abundant in meat by-products or poultry by-products.
  • By-products are also an excellent source of protein and amino acids.
  • For example, poultry by-product meal contains 60% to 70% protein and can be highly digestible.2


By-products used in Purina© diets are high-quality ingredients that can boost the nutritional value of a pet food.

1. Wortinger A. Nutritional myths. J Amer Anim Hosp Assoc. 2005;41(4):273—276.
2. Murray SM, et al. Raw and rendered animal by-products as ingredients in dog diets. J Nutr. 1998;128(12):2812S—2815S.