5 Shocking Truths About Your Pet’s Food.. Or Not

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Based on the title alone, I was excited to read this post on Yahoo about Pet Food.

5 Shocking Truths About Your Pet’s Food | Pets – Yahoo! Shine

Yet, despite the fact that this was written by a veterinarian, I was extremely disappointed by the depth of knowledge (or lack thereof) exhibited by the Author, Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC.

Two passages were particularly troublesome.

Point: “All the brands sold in supermarkets or pet stores are nutritionally adequate: They’re regulated by the FDA and the Association of American Feed Control Officials, guaranteeing that they meet a cat’s or dog’s “basic” nutritional needs.”

Counter point: The fact that pet food is regulated by the FDA and AAFCO does not guarantee anything.  The FDA has enough trouble regulating human food and although it is comforting to know that they are responsible for regulating pet food, they simply don’t have the resources to provide diligent oversight.  As Tony Corbo, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch discusses on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy Nelson, there has been a dramatic increase in dog and cat food imports from China. a lot of which has entered our Country despite dubious quality.  In the year 2000, only about 100,000 pounds of pet food was imported from China. In 2012 that number was over 95 million pounds. That’s a 950 x increase in just 12 years, and it’s important because of the number of deaths and illnesses being reported to the FDA since 2006.

And AAFCO, while providing minimum nutrition guidelines, does little to regulate ingredient quality or the actual ingredients that are included in the food formulas.  Thus, there are far too many foods that contain by products (i.e. parts of animals that you wouldn’t eat or feed your pet),  needless dyes and preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients.

Point: “Stick with a large, reputable, research-based pet food company (such as Purina, Science Diet, or Iams) that has a commitment to quality food sources.”

Counter point: Although I agree that you often ‘get what you pay for’ (as the Author states elsewhere in the article), there are many fine food brands that are smaller and still independent from the conglomerates (e.g. P&G, Mars, etc.).  Many of these, such as Canidae , NOW, and Blue Buffalo (to name just a few)  have quality standards and ingredient formulas that are equal to or better than the bigger Companies.  No matter which brand you use, compare the ingredient list on the food label to other food options.  You will probably find that size (of food company) doesn’t matter.



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  1. Woof! Woof! Being knowledgeable about dog food is important. Also take in consideration any health issues your dog may have. Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    BTW: Every Tuesday is Tasty Tuesday blog hop on my blog. You can add this post/url on today’s hop. Golden Woofs
    SUGAR: Golden Woofs recently posted…Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Potato Berries Flower TreatsMy Profile

  2. No mention of homemade pet food? There’s always one more commercial pet food coming to market.
    As good as they say they are, none of them compare to homemade pet food, cooked or raw.
    There is no guarantee where any of the ingredients in commercial pet food come from. The slaughterhouses and Renderers are not concerned where their “meat” comes from. And the pet food manufacturers certainly don’t care. “Meat meal” is not meat, “fish meal” is not fish. The mineral and vitamin content of anything that is boiled for 11/2 hours is nil.
    animalslikeus recently posted…Treatment Cures Pet Diabetes:Disease Prevention For Your PetMy Profile

    • There are so many ways that commercial pet food can be improved. Better formulations and/or higher quality ingredients are two examples.

      For some, choosing to cook their own is a decision that makes sense and as long as the diet is well balanced, a great and safe choice for the dog.

      For those that choose to use commercial products it is important to be informed on the food ingredients of their chosen brands as well as keep up-to-date on any news on changes in processing facilities and sourcing deals.

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