How To Analyze What Your Pet Eats

June 19, 2016  

If you ask your veterinarian what to feed your pet chances are they will say “Something with quality ingredients that is well balanced.” What does that mean? Not all foods are created equal; this goes for companies as well as ingredients. Folks, it isn’t about name recognition. Don’t be fooled by longevity in the industry.

Take a look at 2 labels:

#1 Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Tomato Pomace, Rye Flour, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Tomatoes, Rice Bran, Deboned Whitefish, Natural Chicken Flavor, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Ground Flaxseed, Ground Millet, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement], Choline Chloride, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Chicory Root Extract, Garlic, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products.

#2 Ground Whole Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Wheat, Meat And Bone Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved With Bha/Bht), Wheat Flour, Lamb, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vegetable Oil (Source Of Linoleic Acid), Caramel Color, Dried Beet Pulp, Titanium Dioxide, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source Of Vitamin E], L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source Of Vitamin C*], Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Potassium Iodide), Added FD&C And Lake Colors (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 2, Red 40).

Which would you rather eat or serve to your family? List #2 has mystery meat meal, generic animal fat preserved with Bha/Bht (do a search on those lovely disease causers), and the first ingredient is corn. The first five ingredients are like the cover of a book. They set the tone. #2 also has poor sources of carbohydrates and plenty of unpronounceable chemicals and coloring agents. While foods must be preserved for shelf life and safety, there are quality preservatives and then there are cheap, scary ones. We’re also sticklers for the use of whole meats from named species of animals (i.e., chicken rather than poultry; beef rather than “meat”) and meals made from whole meats from named species (chicken meal rather than poultry meal). All animal proteins (even by-products, which tend to be of lower quality than muscle meats) have more to offer dogs and cats than plant-derived proteins, especially wheat gluten and corn gluten. What are the sources for their meat proteins? Are they human grade (currently there is no regulation on this term as used in the pet food industry)? Is it beaks picked up from the killing floor? Less expensive foods get their meat/fat sources from rendering plants. If you want a really good eye opener check out the article on rendering plants at naturalcanines.com/gpage8.html . This may be obvious in your 40lbs for $4 dog food, but it may also be how your 20lbs for $15 brand of food was made.

Nutrition is about more than filling our pet’s stomachs. It is about nourishing them. Nutrition plays such a big part in who our animal companions become. GOOD nutrition helps to keep their bones and muscles strong, their coats glossy, and even their personalities more stable. With proper nutrition, pets are even able to cope with stress better. This means quality meat, fat, and carbohydrate sources.

Bad
ANIMAL FAT/DIGEST/BYPRODUCTS; CORN/GLUTEN MEAL; MEAT/MEAT MEAL

Good
FLAXSEED,CANOLA,SAFFLOWER
OIL, CHICKEN FAT
CHICKEN, LAMB, BEEF, WHITE
FISH, ETC
MILLET, BARLEY, SWEET
POTATOES/BROWN RICE

In all fairness, quality don’t come cheap. It also aint stocked at the Kroger. Whatever your choice to feed is, know what you are feeding and why you are feeding it. Understand that sometimes you will look into the bank account and have to cut corners by purchasing lesser quality food. However, be an informed consumer and make this decision based on fact not misleading information. Don’t just listen to the guy at the pet store, your neighbor, or the really cute commercial. Realize that you do get what you pay for.

Quality Commercial Brands
*Wellness *Fromm *Mulligan’s Stew *Life 4 K9
*Holistic Select *Innova *Pinnacle *Halo
*By Nature *Canine Caviar *Azmira *Karma
*California Natural *Merrick *Natural Planet Organics

Most pet food manufacturers offer discount coupons or frequent buyer programs. Whatever you feed visit their website to investigate these offers.