Would you feed your dog chicken feathers? Well, ground chicken feather meal is being touted as the new protein source for pet foods.
Chicken feathers have been hydrolyzed, that is broken down by a chemical reaction to water. They are then used in dog food.
Granted, in the wild, dogs consume the whole animal, possibly ingesting a few chicken feathers along the way. But they are not any pet’s natural source of protein.
The Royal Canin dog food company appears to be leading the way to the use of feathers as the source of protein in their dog foods. They claim it is a good source of protein for allergic dogs. The list of ingredients in the Anallergenic dog food seems to point otherwise to people who really know about dog nutrition.
Keith Levy, executive at Royal Canin, claims that the feathers are nutritious and can be made tasty for dogs. We wonder what additives go into the food to make this so. Royal Canin is also researching the use of hydrolyzed soy and worm meal in pet foods.
Another problem discovered with chicken feathers is that they were found to contain several different drugs such as antibiotics in samples tested.
Real meat contains amino acids among other nutrients that cannot be reproduced in by-products such as chicken feathers. Added vitamins and supplements lose a lot of their value when kibble goes through the heating process.
If your dog has allergies or digestive problems, consider choosing a food that is grain-free with a single source of protein – not chicken feathers. If you don’t feed raw or homecook, try adding a bit of healthy homecooking to your dog’s kibble, whether s/he is allergic or not.
Mr. Levy, besides claiming that Royal Canin is the most expensive dog food (what company would want to do that), says that by using other sources of protein, Royal Canin is using “what would otherwise end up in a landfill.”
Recycling is a great idea, but when it comes to feeding out pets, perhaps those alternative protein sources belong in landfills, not our pets’ food.