Which brand do you prefer? Which brand do you prefer? There are many brands and varieties of pet food available. Pet owners don’t have much information. This could prove to be quite a ride, depending on your knowledge of the pet food industry. Here are seven secrets to pet food. Keep reading.
Beneful claims it is ‘Premium dog food for happy, healthy Pets Petz and that it costs around $18.00 per 31-pound bag. Science Diet, a bag that promises ‘precisely balanced nutritional through continuous research and high quality food backed up by your Vets endorsement’, sells for $21.00 for a 20-lb bag. There are many pet foods that can make the exact same claims, such as ‘Premium dog food, highest quality’ that retail for around $30.00 for a 20-lb bag. The same applies to cat owners. Do you choose Whiskas? It states that “Everything we do for cats is about making them happy!” Or do you go for a high-end cat food that claims to be happy and healthy, but costs three times as much?
Pet owners are now asking questions like “Has this pet food been recalled?” Or ‘Is this the next food to be recalled ?’…? “Is my pet safe?” This is so confusing! It’s also scary! What should a pet owner do? Let’s learn a few secrets. It’s much easier to understand pet food if you have the right information.
Although pet foods often use words such as choice and premium to describe their products, very few actually use premium or chosen ingredients. The secret is that pet foods cannot make claims about the quality of their ingredients or refer to them on their labels or advertisements. When it comes to pet food, the term ‘premium” does not mean that the food’s ingredients are of premium quality. Premium does not (cannot) refer to the food or the quality of pet food. It is simply a marketing term. According to the regulations of the pet food industry, there are no references or quality indicators for ingredient grade (regulation PF5d 3). Hence, terms like premium, choice, quality, and so on are purely marketing or sales terms. These terms should not be understood as describing the quality or quantity of food.
Why shouldn’t a pet food label allow prospective customers to know the quality of their ingredients? Isn’t it right for pet owners to know the ingredients they are purchasing? I now have the next secret…
We all know that pet food and ‘people food’ have different qualities. White Castle is my favorite (I know, I’m guilty of this, but I love these little guys!) Outback Steak House is another favorite. Both restaurants offer meat and potatoes. White Castle offers a few burgers and fries for as low as $3.00. Outback offers a steak and baked potato at $16.00. Both offer beef and potatoes, but you’ll soon realize the nutritional differences between a hamburger and a steak.
Problem in the pet food industry is that pet owners are not able to see the same picture when it comes down to pet food. They don’t see the difference between fast-food and healthier, more nutritious pet food options. A young man did this exact experiment several years back, eating only fast food for 30 consecutive days. He gained weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol in just one month. Imagine your pet eating this kind of food for the rest of his life.
Okay, back to the two meals. A chemical analysis of White Castle’s meal would be compared with Outback’s meal. Both would have a percentage of protein and carbohydrates. It doesn’t matter if you think Outback steak is better than burgers, it will still be protein. Quality of protein is not measured by the analysis.
Here’s the secret: All pet foods come with a Guaranteed Analyse that reveals the percentage of protein and fat as well as fiber and moisture. The quality of the protein, fat, fiber, and other nutrients is the real secret.
A chemical analysis of pet food would show that chicken feet are protein. However, it does not provide much nutrition. A cow that has been put to sleep due to a disease would also be analyzed as protein, although it could be dangerous for human consumption. Both chicken feet and a cow that has been euthanized are allowed ingredients in pet food. The secret to the pet food industry’s success is that manufacturers have an open door policy on where their ingredients are sourced. An adult dog food must have 18% protein, and an adult cat food with 26% must. These percentages can be obtained from many sources, including chicken feet, human grade meats, grain proteins, man-made chemical proteins, and many other variations.
Pet food labels are not required to disclose – and are not permitted to reveal – where they obtained the 18% or 26% of their protein. To make things worse, pet food manufacturers who use only human-grade ingredients are not permitted to tell potential customers or customers about the quality of their products.
How can you tell if your pet’s food is made from chicken feet, euthanized cows, or contains human-grade ingredients?
Premium and choice are not a way to tell if pet owners know what their pets are eating.
The ingredient definitions are the key to this big secret. Pet food is very different from ‘people’ foods, where you can look at the food to judge its quality. All food that is considered ‘people’ must comply with certain USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and FDA (Food and Drug Administration), guidelines. Pet food is exempt from this requirement. People food is not allowed to contain chicken feet or euthanized cows. This is because they are either dangerous to eat or have no nutritional value. Pet food is not exempt from this ban. You can only determine if your pet is eating chicken feet or euthanized cattle by knowing what ingredients they can be used.
Common pet food ingredient, ‘Meat and Bone Meal,’ is essentially a mixture of various discarded leftovers from the human food sector. The components of’meat & bone meal’ include cow heads, stomachs and intestines as well as animals that have been euthanized from animal shelters and veterinarian offices. Pet food can also contain pentabarbitol, which was used to kill the animal. “Meat and Bone Meal” can contain leftover restaurant grease and diseased (including lethal) meat tissue taken from animals that have been slaughtered. This is the common ingredient that contains a mixture of potentially hazardous and inferior ingredients from the human food industry.
The pet food ingredient Meat Byproduct’ or Meat ByProduct Meal’ is almost identical to’meat & bone meal’. It is a very inferior pet food ingredient that contains literally everything.