Beyond marketing hype—what we know, and need to know, about protein ingredients in commercial dog foods. A deeper look at what’s in the type of food so many of us feed our dogs.

In May 2014, Nestlé-Purina, the largest producer of pet foods sold in the U.S., filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo dog food, a competitor. Among other things, the lawsuit alleged that Blue Buffalo’s marketing claims—that their foods contained no by-product meals—were false and disparaging to other companies’ products.

According to the report of a testing laboratory hired by Nestlé-Purina, at least a few varieties of Blue Buffalo dry extruded foods (kibble) did indeed contain poultry by-product meal, comprising as much as 25 percent of the meal in some of its products. As is the way of the modern pet food industry, within days, Blue Buffalo responded with a countersuit of its own, accusing…

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