Why Best Bites for Pets Exists

Back in the 1990s, hardly anyone had heard of these crazy all-natural dog foods and I absolutely had to have the best for Flash and Zeke!

I started Best Bites for Pets in 1999, a former kennel owner who saw first-hand the difference between dogs fed naturally and those on ... well, anything else.

  • Jake the elderly Golden Retriever who finally ended years of itching torment after switching from Science Diet.
  • Marley the American Bulldog who went from a scabby, bloody, itchy mess to nearly show condition after switching from Pedigree.
  • Schnapps my wonderful rescue cat whose bald spots finally filled back in after switching from Purina ONE ... after I finally woke up and did some research!

And after four months of scouring ingredient lists, reading textbooks on pet nurition and exhausting the old dial-up modem, I realized my pets weren't the only ones who desperately needed a dietary change.

Those pretty, bright pet food bags were hiding a lot of nasty secrets and ingredients which were not helping my pets thrive. And I've seen in the decade since, some of those foods were the direct cause of my clients' problems. Let's face it, those foods might be easy but they're very hard on your pet.

Now since we use Best Bites’ foods we've experienced ...


Increased longevity                                                                          Better muscle tone                                                                 Stabilized weight
Increased energy                                                                             Nonexistent or fewer allergies                                              Improved digestion
Smaller stools with less odor                                                       Less shedding                                                                        Shinier, healthier coat
Fewer fleas                                                                                      
Less body odor

Because Best Bites foods have …

Only human-grade ingredients                                                     No chemical additives or preservatives                               No artificial flavors or colors
No corn, wheat or soy                                                                     No by-products                                                                          No glutens
No fillers or grain parts                                                                  No added sugar

 

These rules go for our treats too! You're going the extra mile to eliminate all toxins from your pet's diet and environment. Why defeat your own efforts by feeding a treat filled with by-products, pet-food-grade ingredients, corn, wheat, etc. You might even spark an allergy and they're very hard to get rid of once they start.

No by-products!!

By definition, “by-products” contain no meat at all.

Zero. Carcass only. NO meat!! None!! If an ingredient is organ or muscle meat, it's listed as that specific meat (or a meal if the water has been extruded).

Even blood-soaked sawdust from the processing room floor can qualify as a by-product. When you see poultry by-products on a pet food label, do not envision that attractive chicken breast in the butcher’s cooler. Instead, envision chicken beaks, feathers, feet, and don't forget that sawdust swept from the floor and thrown into the process.

“It is difficult to determine which pet food makers are using products like these, or mixing in tumorous tissues, hooves, hair, feathers and … unsavory fillers. But it is common knowledge that the pet food industry is built on the undesirable remnants of the human food industry. And common sense suggests that the cheaper the food, the more suspect its quality.” (Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM)

Again, while these parts of the prey are not necessarily harmful -- we've all known pets that have eaten icky roadkill -- they provide little nourishment, especially when they are included in a food in lieu of actual meat.

Since they're nutritionally useless and possibly harmful, just eliminate them altogether!

Best Bites’ brands contain only USDA certified human-grade meat products, and absolutely no by-products.

 

After switching to Solid Gold (just one of Best Bites' many cat foods), Schnapps' coat literally felt like velvet and all of her itching totally stopped. She convinced me no by-products or pet-food-grade ingredients would ever enter my household again!

 Rowdy, what a trooper back in the '70s, before all-natural pet food crossed anyone's minds!

 

Human-grade ingredients only!!


Best Bites foods use ONLY human-grade ingredients. It won't show up on the bags, but it is one of the most important considerations! If you call a company to inquire and they beat around the bush, their ingredients are pet-food grade and therefore forbidden in Best Bites' inventory! Why .... ?

Sure, they’re pets, so the use of “pet-food grade” ingredients in pet foods seems logical. UNTIL you ask WHY the ingredient has been rejected for human consumption.

If you were a slaughterhouse, would you rather sell meat at $1.99/pound to humans or pennies/pound for pet food? They'd sell everything possible at the higher price, of course, but they can't sell everything to humans for good reasons. The cast-offs are dumped into pet food.

In terms of meat, pet-food ingredients are almost literally scraped from the bottom of the truck. Those animals that are dead, dying, diseased, and disabled (the 4 D's) can't go to humans so are filtered directly to pet food rendering plants.

“Commercially manufactured or rendered meat meals are highly contaminated with bacteria because their source is not always slaughtered animals. Animals that have died because of disease, injury, or natural causes are a source of meat for meat meal. The dead animal may not be rendered or cooked until days after its death. Therefore the carcass is often contaminated with bacteria.” (What’s really in pet food, Animal Protection Institute article)

Finally, a food might claim to contain lamb, but by law, only the majority of the meat product must be lamb. (Natural Rearing Newsletter, May 1997) The rest can be, and is, almost anything. In 1990, The San Francisco Chronicle reported the pet food manufacturers’ use of euthanized cats and dogs from shelters, up to 5 million animals each year. The American Veterinary Medical Association confirmed this report. Tests of the meat tissue found harmful substances like sodium pentobarbital, penicillin, and other drugs at levels considered unsafe for humans. (Natural Rearing Newsletter, May 1997)

Sure, that was over a decade ago. But if you think the big corporations won't do absolutely anything to save money, think again!

It's not just the meat we take issue with. Pet-food-grade grains may be rejected because they are too old or have been stored improperly. Either way, they're a breeding ground for bacteria, which can easily cause diarrhea or worse.

The kindest thing that can be said about both pet-food grade meats and grains is that they contain little to no nutrition, and what’s going in your pet’s bowl is not what you intended. Pet-food grade is much, much cheaper, but barely sustains your pet.

Label fables – All food must inspected by the USDA, but a label that boasts either USDA or AAFCO approved does NOT indicate whether it is human grade.

Best Bites’ carefully selected brands contain only USDA certified human grade meats and grains, and maintain highly stringent processing standards. Some are even made in dedicated human-grade facilities which require phenomenal governmental oversight.

No chemical preservatives or flavors!!

The three common chemicals used as preservatives in pet foods are Ethoxyquin (EQ), Propyl Gallate, Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxtoluene (BHT).

All have come under severe criticism by experts in animal-related professions. Dr. Pitcairn states that BHT is a “…poorly tested preservative … implicated by some scientists as a cause of liver damage, metabolic stress, fetal abnormalities, and serum cholesterol increase.”

The FDA has legally categorized EQ as a pesticide. Originally developed to soften tire rubber by Monsanto, EQ has also been accused of playing a major role in disease, skin problems, and infertility in dogs.

Many of the lesser (in my opinion) pet foods have wised up and eliminated these but you'll still find them out there.

Again, the kindest thing that can be said about all three is that much more long-term testing should be done before they are used so heavily in pet foods.

Best Bites brands use the only FDA-approved natural preservatives, such as mixed tocopherols, (or Vitamin E), to keep the high-quality food fresh. In combination with intensely-researched packaging materials, my companies have found a way to keep chemical-free food fresh for up to one year in unopened bags.


 No corn, wheat or soy!!

Pet food manufacturers could not possibly make a profit without using lower quality meats and grains. The same goes for their selection of grains.

Many dogs react badly to corn, wheat, and/or soy products. Eliminating them can ease digestive and skin conditions.

Yet these three taboo ingredients are found frequently throughout most commercial pet foods as inexpensive filler.

Even when you locate a more digestible grain, such as rice, don't forget to ask if it is "human grade".  Most likely it's ‘pet food grade’ which means it has been deemed unfit for human consumption (see column 2).

No matter how good the grains, your pets will still benefit most from a meat-centered diet, especially your carnivorous cats. We want a specific meat listed first on the ingredient list and we never want to see corn, wheat or soy!

Best Bites’ brands instead choose grains like Whole Ground Barley, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Grain Sorghum, Organic Quinoa, Whole Brown Rice, and others that are easier to digest, provide optimum nutrition through increased absorption, and reduce waste product. We also carry several grain-free brands! Ask if they're right for your pet!

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