When Brandless developed a line of treats for pets, we sought out the best ingredients we could — because we’re pet parents, too, and we want the best for every member of our family. When you peruse the ingredient lists and values, you’ll see that the number-one attribute is protein-first, meaning that the meat in the recipe, whether it’s beef, poultry, or fish, is the first thing on the ingredient list. While we’re so proud of being able to offer treats with premium ingredients in them, what’s just as important is what’s not in them.
Did you know that a common ingredient in pet food is animal meal, which is a byproduct of animal processing? This rendered product from animal tissues is cheap and not something we’d choose to eat ourselves, and thus, would not give to our pets. And at Brandless, it’s one of the ingredients we don’t — and will never — include in our treats.
What else won’t you find? Corn, wheat, or soy. While those ingredients are nowhere near as unappealing as animal meal, and in fact, are a part of a lot of peoples’ diets, they’re not necessarily the best for your furry BFF to eat in large quantities.
Alice Yang, who is both a senior product designer at Brandless and a certified raw-food dog nutritionist (as well as being the dog mom of Toki, a French bulldog), breaks down why those ingredients are more digestible for humans than pets: “In general, some animals have allergies to things like [corn, wheat, or soy],” to start with. Dogs in particular, because they’re carnivores, “don’t process carbohydrates and grains the way that we do; they lack a certain enzyme — amylase. It starts in our saliva, so when we eat carbohydrates, it starts breaking it down when we chew it. But they don’t have that enzyme to break it down, and if you feed them something like corn or anything grain-related, it basically goes in end and out the other. It’s really hard on their digestive system because they can’t process it.”
Whatever the reason, if an ingredient isn’t something we’d feed our own pets, we wouldn’t put it in a Brandless treat for yours. Because we all deserve better.