One of the most important issues I speak about often is food and nutrition. The constant recall of pet foods is one that concerns me wholeheartedly. Most pet parents believe they are providing their pets with a good quality food because that’s what the package tells them. In fact, there are pretty pictures of blueberries, cranberries, eggs, turkey, etc. on the package of food and it states that it is “complete and balanced” for your pooch. What does that mean?
While AAFCO sets certain standards for pet foods and has created the “Nutrient Profile” testing method, the testing does not take into account things such as digestibility or the quality of nutrients in the pet food. In fact, many nutrients are lost during manufacturing and thus companies will add vitamins and minerals to compensate for what is lost. Unfortunately for our pets, some of the “nutrients” added are unchelated which means they do not combine with proteins so they basically just pass right through your pet’s body. Another issue in the pet food industry is that a company can say that the food is “beef flavored” even though there is no beef (only by-products) in the food itself. Labels are misleading whereas the package can state that it contains “real turkey” and only contains 3% of the meat. All the consumer sees is that it contains “real turkey,” not the 3%. Bottom line is that consumers are being misled to believe that the foods on the market are beneficial for their pet. There are some good quality foods out there, but having the knowledge of exactly what can and cannot be placed on the labels is important information in making a sound decision for your fur-family member.