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All Dog

Always something worth listening to







but it's good enough for racing greyhounds 


"When cattle die, regardless of what infectious or contagious disease, the carcasses are often salvaged by rendering plants. The cadavers are boned out, the flesh ground and frozen. It is not heated, cooked, or sterilized in any way. The rendering plants are not USDA inspected but they are monitored and are required to add charcoal to it to keep it out of the human food chain. They label it unfit for human consumption.'

The greyhound people feed each animal a ration of this pathogenic smorgasbord' daily. They have the erroneous idea that when greyhounds are fed raw meat they run faster. Of course, the meat may contain many pathogens that killed the cattle in the first place as well as many of the drugs that were used to treat the sick cattle before they died.

As a member of the Iowa Veterinary Public Health Committee I made a strong effort to have this problem addressed, but was unable to accomplish anything. The committee chairman stated that he wanted to avoid controversy.

The Racing Commission told me not to be concerned. The Bureau of Animal Industries office in Des Moines told me that they have no intention of enforcing the laws on the racetracks of America and that this was the duty of the state vet. The state vet told me that he had no jurisdiction because the Racing Commission was set up by the legislature to be a self-regulating entity and that it was up to veterinarians like myself (who had contracts with the Racing Commission) to see that the laws were compiled with."

Dr. Arthur Strohbehn, DVM
Former Track Veterinarian
Council Bluffs, Iowa

What Is It?

4-D meat is the ultimate by-product of commercial rendering plants. Some of it is sterilized by boiling and becomes a product known as "tankage," which is a protein source for animal feed. What remains, raw and un sterilized, is packaged in plastic-wrapped rolls and sold to greyhound racetracks and trainers around the country.

While many kennels feed their greyhounds a quality meat and vegetable high-protein diet, the standard industry feed for the racing greyhound is raw 4-D meat. The four D's stand for animals, primarily cattle and horses, that are dead, dying, diseased or down (disabled) at slaughter. Cattle that are sick and near death are pumped full of drugs like penicillin, procaine, and trimethoprim in a desperate attempt to save them. These drugs, as well as the infectious or contagious pathogens that killed the food-source animals, remain in their systems after slaughter. The meat rendered from them can also carry anthrax, botulism, lockjaw, tuberculosis, salmonella, and other diseases.

The feeding of 4-D meat also affects state-mandated urine tests on racing greyhounds. Procaine, an anaesthetic used to deaden pain, can be injected into a dog prior to a race, affecting the dog's performance. Positive results from a drug test after a race result in a fine and bitter complaints from the trainers, who argue correctly that there is no way to determine the source of the drug in the urine - whether from pill, injection, or 4-D meat.

A racing greyhound requires one to two pounds of meat per day and the advantages of 4-D to the trainer are availability and price. It's cheap. At about 45 cents per pound, that translates to less than a dollar a day per dog. The average size of a racing kennel at a mid-sized track is 60 greyhounds. Since 4-D meat is served raw to racing greyhounds, the health hazards to the dogs range from gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, to food poisoning and death. Dogs are often unable to race due to the onset of acute vomiting and diarrhoea, known in the industry as "blow-out."

Who Makes It?

4-D is produced by animal rendering plants. Many of the larger companies such as Qual-Pet, a subsidiary of National By-Products (parent company: Holly Farms Corp.), provide perks including freezers and jackets displaying the company name free of charge to kennels that continue to purchase their product. Another brand of 4-D is Monfort, a subsidiary of Conagra, Inc., which also owns Beatrice Foods and the Swift Meat Packing Company. Monfort, with headquarters in Greeley, Colorado, has plants in Iowa, Alabama, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas.

Is It Legal?

The feeding of 4-D meat violates state animal welfare laws that require a "wholesome" diet for animals in commercial establishments and enterprises. Production of 4-D meat violates state laws that require the bodies of dead animals to be disposed of by cooking, burning, or burying. Section 301 of the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits interstate commerce of adulterated food, defined in Section 402 (342) of the Act to be food that is "in whole or in part the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter," or "if it consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance..."

Think You're Safe?

Think again. Kennel workers who handle 4-D meat are exposed to the same health hazards as the dogs. The frozen meat is left out on counters to thaw, and workers routinely mix it with their bare hands. There is a documented case of one kennel worker in Iowa who became quite ill and was diagnosed with salmonellosis after he sought treatment at a local hospital.

Racetrack patrons are also at risk. Flies, attracted to the serosanguinous fluid exuding from the thawing meat, travel from the kennel area to the track food stands.

Despite the "monitoring" efforts of the USDA and the required addition of charcoal to insure 4-D meat is kept out of the human food chain, consider the following article which appeared in the April 12, 1993 edition of USA TODAY:

"Oakland - Federal agents have closed Coast Sausage Company, seizing 100,000 pounds of sausage made from cattle officials labelled 4-D - disast officials couldn't be reached."

eased, disabled, down and dying. 75% of the sausage was sold to military bases, agents said. Co

From the Greyhound Network News - Vol. 2, No. 2


 Dr. Arthur Strohbehn, DVM

 "Racing Greyhounds," by Marcia King, Dog Fancy Magazine, 1991

 "See How They Run," by Phil Maggitti, Animals' Agenda, 1992

 "Going to the Dogs," by James A. Grisanzio, Animals Magazine, 1993


 Ward's Business Directory

 Dun & Bradstreet Business Locator

Does our dearest canine friend really have a discerning pallet, refusing to eat one brand over the next, based purely on quality ingredients, or is there sodog food steakme mysterious ingredient being added to ‘hook’ your dog to one brand over the next?

There used to be a time when we could identify a particular dog food brand to a particular factory, knowing, or at least believing that what goes into the tin will be useful and healthy for our dogs.

However, over the past few years we have important more and more from unseen and unknown manufacturers in the far east, namely China, and regardless of what the label states, we can have absolutely no idea of what is actually in the tin.

Many of us will be swayed by words such as ‘wholesome’, ‘natural’ , ‘quality’ , ‘premium’ ’100% meat’ and so on…drawing us into the image of workers in white gowns carefully trimming the fat from pure steak slabs whilst carefully mixing in other ingredients which wouldn’t be amiss in our own home kitchens.

There are dog food manufacturers whose ingredients would pass any quality test and even be eaten by people, but these are the exception rather than the rule, which is why top brands will guard their ingredients and methods in order to maintain their reputations.

Many stories have abound about angry wives feeding dog food to their husbands out or vengeance, only for them to not even notice a difference and praise their wives for such good cooking!!

In order to judge dog food, we must look at several elements to be able to come to a fair conclusion, including food ingredients (not chemicals or e numbers), quality of ingredients, canine nutritional needs, canine health needs, natural additives and the digestive attributes of a dog.

Yes, we should not forget that a dog will not digest foods in the same way as people do, and will not get the same nutritional benefits as people will.

So what is the truth?

Well, just take a look at what we ourselves are eating at times with processed foods masquerading as fresh and recognizable cuts of meat. A chicken nugget which looks like white breast meat, but in fact has no breast and more to do with high tech and chemistry to remove every gram of inedible animal parts and transform them into what we think are recognizable meats…

We are not even talking about the current discovery of horsemeat being sold as beef, but sinew, bone, gristle, tendon and every other non-edible parts of animals which are processed and made to look or taste like actual meat. Often failing but often succeeding with the deception.

Of course the manufacturers would claim this is not deception as the ingredients are listed on the label, but in all honesty can it be claimed that a tin with pictures of fresh cuts of meat, is not trying to imply that those cuts are inside the tin? And who will know what processed means?

This is a high tech business which has a sole aim of fooling taste buds into believing what they taste matches up with an image, yet it often will not.

The phrases of 100% complete, added vitamins and balanced diet, are all used to imply or again for us assume, that we are giving our dogs what is essentially a bowl of carefully selected cuts, cooked for maximum health benefit and taste.

dog food steak

Corn Meal or Corn Gluten Meal corn meal in dog food

Ever since dog food manufacturers found that dogs have a taste for sweet corn, they have been adding forms of corn to their foods. Corn a volatile market, but will still prove a highly profitable ingredient.

Corn Gluten is an inferior protein source in dog foods but is not a complete protein source, and needs to be mixed with animal proteins to be used with dog foods. Corn protein exclusively, can result in muscle loss. Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the manufacture of corn starch and corn syrup, and is used in various forms as weed suppressants and is a natural substitute for synthetic pre-emergence herbicides.

The AAFCO definition for corn gluten meal is "The dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm."

Corn is the single most abundant ingredient in many pet foods due to its relative low cost, helping to contribute to diseases linked to high carbohydrate diets, including obesity, chronic inflammation, diabetes and cancer. Corn has been linked to many dog ailments such as joint swelling bloat and allergies, and there have been cases of aflatoxin contamination associated with corn specifically in dog food.

The quality of the corn is however an important issue, as many pet foods will use poor quality corn often contaminated with mycotoxins (toxins from mold or fungi),  which can cause damage to a dog’s liver and kidneys.  

Corn metabolizes in dogs similar to the way sugar metabolizes in humans, therefore the dog may not be as healthy and may experience energy rushes and hyperactivity. Studies have shown that high doses of corn can inhibit serotonin in the brain (Serotonin is an important chemical which reduces stress and anxiety).

Corn may be a good economic ingredient, but a dog fed by its owner does rely upon him or her caring enough to ensure the foods being fed are the best for a good health.


Often with many dog foods, the inclusion of by-products creates a food that does not contain any actual meat. This is to minimize costs while depicting premium, healthy and top quality foods through marketing and clever pack or label design..

By-products, in many cases, are derived from "4-D" meat sources - defined as food animals that have been rejected for human consumption.

The following article courtesy of, with all credits included to the original source, explains concisely this consumer obscure meat source.   


The term By-Products is an open door for adjectives and interpretations…..Simply put,  a by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction.

The Association Of American Feed Control Officials ( AAFCO), produce guidelines for pet foods and livestock feeds, and their guidelines for example state that CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL can only consist of the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as neck, feet, intestines and  undeveloped eggs, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur or be unavoidable in good processing practices.


The AAFCO define Meat by-products as ‘consisting of the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents’.  It excludes hair, horns, teeth and hooves.


Wheat is found commonly in many pet foods. The constant feeding of wheat content to pets in general, has resulted in allergies and intolerance to wheat and wheat gluten. Wheat gluten is often used as a low cost protein source in dog foods and is another starchy crop that should be avoided.


Soy is commonly used in dog foods but is one of the most common allergens. Soy is commonly used in dog foods as a low cost substitute for meat protein.

A secondary issue with soy is that it is estimated that 89% of soy is Genetically Modified, bringing with it all manner of problems as there remains many unanswered questions over the safety of genetic engineering of food items , short and long term.


Dried Beet Pulp is the left over residue in the production of sugar and again is used as a bulker or filler.

wheat in dog foodsoy in dog fooddried beet pulp in dog food

Rice Hulls (Husks)

Rice Hulls (rice husk) is the outer hard covering of a rice grain.  Rice husks are used in agriculture, put to use as building material, fertilizer, insulation material and fuel, as well as many other uses.

Rice husks or hulls are made into numerous forms as seen in the images below, all rice husks / rice pellets.


Powdered Cellulose is basically a bulker, little more than 100% filler, and is commonly used in the building trade!!

powdered cellulose in dog food rice hulls in dog food rice husks in dog food rice husks in dog food rice hulls and husks in dog food

meat and bone meal in dog foodMEAT & BONE MEAL, (MBM)

Meat and bone meal (MBM) is a product of the rendering industry. It consists approximately 48 - 52% protein, 33-35% ash, 8-12% fat, and 4-7% moisture. It is mainly used in the formulation of animal feed to improve the amino acid profile of the feed.

In most parts of the world, MBM is no longer allowed in feed for ruminant animals. However, MBM is still used to feed monogastric animals and is widely used in the United States as a low-cost meat in dog food and cat food.

In Europe, MBM is used in pet food, however, the vast majority is now used as a fossil-fuel replacement for renewable energy generation, as a fuel in cement kilns, landfilling or incineration.

Ibone meal in dog foodn the United States, many pet food companies and rendering plants have undergone scrutiny over their use of euthanized pets in pet food.  Ann Martin, in her book, "Food Pets Die For", exposed this utterly appalling practice as well as the detection of sodium pentobarbital in pet foods, a veterinary drug used in the euthanasia of animals.

Ann Martin exposed in recent years exactly what goes into pet food and what ‘ingredients’ are made from.  “At the rendering plant, slaughterhouse material, restaurant and supermarket refuse, dead stock, road kill, and euthanized companion animals are dumped into huge containers.

A machine slowly grinds the entire mess. After it is chipped or shredded, it is cooked at temperatures of between 220 degrees F. and 270 degrees F. (104.4 to 132.2 degrees C.) for twenty minutes to one hour. The grease or tallow rises to the top, where it is removed from the mixture. This is the source of animal fat in most pet foods.

The remaining material, the raw, is then put into a press where the moisture is squeezed out. We now have meat and bone meal."

Meat and Bone Meal come in numerous formats and colours as the 3 images show.


AAFCO: - "Animal Fat is obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting.   It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free s. fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative".  

Once again it is often the case that "animal fat" includes meat sources from the "4-D" class.


AAFCO:- "Meat Meal consists of the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices."

Meat Meal can include the "4-D" class of meat source.

Still think the picture on the tin can tells the whole story all of the time??

meat meal in dog food


BHA, BHT, Propyl Gallate, Ethoxyquin (E324), Sodium Nitrite/Nitrate and TBHQ

These powerful chemicals are used as preservatives and to prevent fats turning rancid. Some pet owners won’t buy food that contains the synthetic preservatives BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), or ethoxyquin.

Although these preservatives stop fats from turning rancid, and will help keep dry dog food fresh for approximately a year, their safety has been questioned by both consumers and scientists.  BHT has been banned from use in baby products in the United States and both BHA and BHT are banned entirely from use in human products by many countries throughout the world, but it seems that our beloved companions who will protect us, show us love and loyalty, are not considered worthy of protection.

Don’t think that just because a certain chemicals are included in dog food, that their presence will be listed amongst the ingredients.  Ethoxyquin is used as a food preservative in pet foods is often found in fish and meat based ingredients. HOWEVER, whilst Ethoxyquin has been banned from use in human products as it is believed to cause cancer, when a manufacturer obtains an ethoxyquin preserved ingredient from a supplier, or if it is added to pet food ingredients prior to the food manufacturing process, there is no requirement to list ethoxyquin on the pet food ingredient label or amongst any list of ingredients.  

This also oddly applies to the other chemical preservatives, which frankly makes a mockery of listing ingredients, surely?

There are various other chemicals which are used in manufacturing and other non-food industries, but are allowed to be used as preservatives when it comes to pet foods. Indeed, some of these chemicals are known as cacogenics (cancer causing), but are allowed to be widely used in pet foods.

These preservatives allow a low cost form of preserving the shelf life of pet food products, and it is legally allowed, which if often the main argument, and in turn help keep down costs of the products.

There are natural preservatives available and used in pet foods. Natural preservatives are common in often termed ‘green’ or ‘healthy’  pet foods,  as the manufacturers realize that the added expense is willing to be paid by those pet owners who care about what their pets are eating and their health.


Standard Table Sugar is often used to mask certain aspects of pet foods, there is no real benefit to our dogs in eating this sugar.


Coloured dry dog foods hold no real purpose for the dog, it is usually as an aesthetic value to make them visually appealing to you, the dog owner.

sugar in dog food

All pet owners must have at some point questioned exactly what does go into that tin of dog food??