Poultry by-products have recently been causing controversy among pet consumers, advocates and the petfood industry. So what's the truth?

The fact is, according to Tim Phillips, DVM, by-products such as the spleens, intestinal tracts (without the contents), lungs, hearts and stomachs of most meat animals have a greater nutritional value to dogs and cats than muscle meat and connective tissue, because they contain a greater proportion of essential amino acids. However, pet owners tend to be squeamish about such ingredients. The question is, is this kind of pickiness, and the resulting waste of good ingredients, wrong? Many underfed people worldwide would love to feast on poultry by-products. Many people in developed countries have the luxury of being picky and imagine that pickiness is true for their pets. But when petfood companies make sure that poultry by-products are handled properly, they are excellent ingredients for petfoods.

Read more about poultry and how it is used in petfoods in this paper by Greg Aldrich, PhD, author of the column "Ingredient Issues" in Petfood Industry magazine. Proceedings from Alltech's 20th Annual Symposium, Nutritional Biotechnology in the Feed and Food Industries. Edd T.P. Lyons, and K.L. Jacques. Nottingham University Press, pp. 477 - 475.