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.