What is Animal Digest? What is in it?

    • Gold Top Dog

    What is Animal Digest? What is in it?

    I have been trying to find out what Animal Digest exactly is and what animals are the digest from? My husband got a sample of Nature's Recipe Farm Stand Select (a product of Del Monte, maker of kibbles'n'bits). I was looking at the ingredient list and noticed that it contains Animal Digest. I didn't get any clear response from Nature's Recipe email reply other than something about "clean rendered animal tissues...."

    Nature's Recipe Farm Stand Select claims to contain no beef, corn, or soy (or is it wheat?), but.........cows can be in the so called Animal Digest.

    P.S. I checked the prices and, wow, they are quite expensive.  I personally think that I would get more for my money on products like Orijen, Innova EVO, and etc than I would on Nature's Recipe.

    • Gold Top Dog

    I did a bit of work for that company and although there are dogs who need some of the product lines they carry for allergies I guess, I had to quit because the cat line had by product for the first ingredient and I just didn't know how to explain that to the customers.  When I worked for them they were owned by Heinz.  Also for the record.  Kibbles n Bits is a Purina company!  I want to know what digest is also.  I assumed it was stomachs with their partially digested ingredients but I am probably wrong.  It sounds like that though.

    • Gold Top Dog

     From Wikipedia;

    Animal Digest is a common ingredient used in pet foods. It is material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.[1]

    As defined by the AAFCO, it is produced by chemically or enzymatically treating animal tissue (such as flesh, bone, organs, etc.) from slaughterhouses and other sources, in a process akin to rendering.


       It's not necessarily a bad thing. The company should be willing to tell you what's in it. For example, I was thinking about feeding Jessie the ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach formula, but I needed to know what was in the animal digest listed. I e-mailed the company  and they replied very quickly that it was made from chicken, which Jessie's allergic to.

    • Gold Top Dog

    I'm pretty sure if it's labeled non-specific "animal digest" that it can be and probably is all sorts of animals, and the pet-food company probably doesn't even know. Basically it's the parts of the animals the slaughterhouses can't sell to anyone, so they hydrolyze it. The proteins should be so broken down that they are very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction- it's the same principle they use in Hill's z/d. If the animal digest is way down on the ingredient list they probably just added it for flavor. Certainly preferable to spiking the food with sugar for that purpose.

    • Gold Top Dog


    Also for the record.  Kibbles n Bits is a Purina company!  I want to know what digest is also.  I assumed it was stomachs with their partially digested ingredients but I am probably wrong.  It sounds like that though.


    Kibbles n Bits is owned by Del Monte. I just went to www.kibblesnbits.com and look under parent company information.  Here is the list of pet brands listed as made by Del Monte (as listed on Del Monte's website):

    Pet Foods
    Pet Snacks
    Canine Carry Outs
    Jerky Treats
    Meaty Bone
    Thanks everyone for the feedback,  I have actually sent an email to Nature's Recipe and the reply I got is basically the encyclopedia definition...which does not explain what animals are the digest from.  Nature's Recipe claims to contain no beef but, unless they can say what is in their animal digest, they should not be making that claim (as some dogs are allergic to beef and etc.).
    P.S. Holy cow.... Nature's Recipe Farm Stand Select is about $54 for a 32 lb............... I think I can buy Innova EVO or Orijen with that money.
    • Gold Top Dog

    Yeah, I think Purina makes Kibbles N Chunks, or something like that, LOL. They do have a version of the same food. 

    • Gold Top Dog

    If you see animal digest listed on a bag of dog food it's coming from the waste products of the slaughterhouse industry.  It's a very nice way for the FOOD GIANTS like Purina and Del Monte to get rid of this junk that is swept from the floors.You pay for it instead of them having to haul it away.

    What a member did not continue on in the Wikipedia def. was this :

    Yet another expert defines this as "a cooked-down broth" which can be made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. The animals used can be obtained from almost any source and no control is in place over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: "4-D animals" (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, euthanized at animal shelters, restaurant and supermarket refuse and so on."[2


    • Puppy

    I have read from several sources that animal digest includes euthanized pets and even fresh road kill processed as described in other responses. Safe to feed, perhaps, but do you really like the idea of feeding Fido somebody else's pet? By the way - that's why you don't get a very clear answer from the pet food manufacturers who use it as an ingredient.

    • Bronze

    Animal digest is a common ingredient used in pet foods. As defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, digest is produced by the chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition.