According to a recent article, the generic brands of pet food might contain rendered euthanized dogs and cats from shelters or unnamed sources. Read the complete article here http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/epa-document-proves-euthanized-dogs-and-cats-are-rendered.html?sms_ss=twitter
Excerpt from the above article
"An EPA document clearly states Rendering Facilities"obtain animal by-product materials" from "animal shelters." Along with another EPA report, the evidence is mounting; current pet food regulations must be changed. "
"Meat rendering plants process animal by-product materials for the production of tallow, grease, and high-protein meat and bone meal. Plants that operate in conjunction with animal slaughterhouses or poultry processing plants are called integrated rendering plants. Plants that collect their raw materials from a variety of offsite sources are called independent rendering plants. Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters."
This is one very good reason to get only high quality food, organic, natural, with high general standards including No Animal testing Labs.
Here is the Cruelty free food companies list at PETA http://www.peta.org/living/companion-animals/companion-animal-food-guide.aspx
Heres an excerpt from the PETA page " If you have been feeding your companion animals commercial pet foods, you may be jeopardizing their health. Supermarket pet foods are often composed of ground-up parts of animals deemed by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors unfit for human consumption. The flesh of animals who fall into one of the categories of the four D's—dead, dying, diseased, or disabled—is what often goes into pet food. Many of these animals have died of infections and other diseases. In all but a few states, it is legal to remove unusable parts from chickens and sell them to pet food manufacturers. Most pet foods contain the same hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics that are found in commercial meat products for humans. "
A lot of the companies on the PETA list have high standards and disclosure about where the ingredients come from. Some of them also have vegan options.
My current choices of foods and snacks for my dog usually come from
Natural Balance (has vegan options as well)
Wysong (has vegan options)
Between checking for the food ingredients, analysis and food rating (eg http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ ) , checking for the company practices ( testing and policies) and other issues which crop up now and then, it is a constant struggle to find the right dog/cat food.
Every few months , I pick up on the research and try some new and change out some of the foods, if there are any new controversies around those companies.
We also try to include fresh veggies and home cooked food into the schedule. Mostly it is some boiled rice and oats, with some fresh veggies (carrots, cauliflower, potato, bell pepper and such) added in when the rice is just about done(sometimes add flaxseeds or flax seed oil when cooled)I freeze this mix into ice cubes to last me a month or two( small dogs).
This also works great for our fosters. The dogs usually have sensitive stomachs and the dry food change does not help with all that stress. For the finicky ones, a small quantity of local and organic chicken or cottage cheese gets added to the rice mix and we are saved some extra walks or clean ups because of the poor upset tummies. There are a lot more recipes online, just google for home made dog or cat food recipes for a more balanced meal.
I am not affiliated with any of the above mentioned links or food companies. I keep researching and updating my own lists every once in a while. These are my current opinions and options for my pets. Any feedback is always appreciated.