Most of the pet owners, when they initially contact me, typically and foremost are seeking advise on pet food matters for their dogs or cats. Whether they are feeding the right food. What the advantages are comparing our food to others. Is it necessary to spend a fortune on vet ordered pet food or are there more economical alternatives. These are just some of the reasons and questions they want to be addressed. While my main job is to sell healthy pet food, I am also out on a mission to educate pet owner on how to better feed their pets. In those cases where for any reason I don’t succeed as a sales man, I have absolutely no problem with just giving advise and sending those prospects away on their own. To maximize the benefits of this work, I decided I am going to share some of it here on this blog with you.
Researching pet nutrition in itself is an extremely involved, time consuming and lengthy process. I guess this is foremost the reason why I can exist in the first place in my so far non-paying function as a “consultant” Though I prefer being called “The Pet Food Examiner”, it’s, a.: different, everybody these days is or wants to be a consultant and b.: it hits the nail right on it’s head by exactly saying what I am doing.
Rather than now writing a 1,000 page article, on which all of us would loose interest quickly, I thought I am just dropping, in an unorganized manner, here and there a short comment related to the subject, sort of like a loose leaf subscription.
Today I am going to start with talking about ingredients. To be more specific, actually about ingredients you should avoid when making your buying decision. You can find the ingredient listing typically on the back or side panel of your food’s packaging.
I strongly recommend that you STAY AWAY from food containing:
Animal Fat (preserved with BHA/BHT). The key here is the way the fat is preserved. While animal fat is necessary to be included in a pet food, the chemical preservatives BHA & BHT are very controversial and linked to cancer and tumors. This is not a quality ingredient, and quite simply could be considered a dangerous ingredient. Instead, look for “Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols or citric acid). This fat is preserved naturally, which is positive. However, since there is no classification, i.e. fat deriving from which kind of animal, this is not considered a quality ingredient.
Chicken By-Product Meal. AAFCO defines this as consisting of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines. By-Products are not human quality. Thereby they are neither a quality ingredient nor a quality protein source.
Meat By Products by AAFCO definition are mammal parts other than meat. By-Products are considered left over ingredients from the human food industry and are not considered quality ingredients.
Meat and Bone Meal is one of the worst ingredients allowed in pet foods. Per AAFCO definition it is the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents. This in turn means, it can contain ANY mammal animal in any condition, including euthanized dogs, cats, cattle, and horses. It is a fact that indeed euthanized animals have been utilized as ingredients for some pet foods in the past (and who knows, maybe still today)
Poultry By-Product Meal according to AAFCO are the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines. This ingredient can be any type of poultry (chicken, duck, turkey, and so forth). The 3 negatives about it are: Not human quality, not a quality ingredient and not a quality protein source.
Poultry Liver/Poultry Liver is not a stay away, but more of a controversial ingredient. Scientists and researchers haven’t made up their mind yet on this one. Some claim it to be nutrient rich and beneficial to pets, others make the claim that since the liver’s function is to filter toxins from the body it can contain poisons and is dangerous to pets. I typically believe in “when in doubt, stay away.” Unless it is made by a manufacturer I really and 100% trust.
TBHQ is a chemical preservative related to BHA. Prolonged use in studies has shown cancer links.
Turkey By-Product Meal same as Poultry By-Product Meal.