Do you REALLY know what is in your pet food?
Do you think that just because there is a picture on the food product of a cute kitten eating carrots means that brand of food is good for your new pet?
THINK AGAIN! Don't be fooled by the pretty pictures of happy cats and frolicky kittens! Pick up a bag of dry cat food in the grocery store and see for yourself how poor the quality is of their products!
Got your attention now?
The best way to determine the quality of your pets food is to carefully read and understand the labels. While reading the label ask yourself the following questions:
Does the food use high quality ingredients? Is there a quality meat source as one of the first two ingredients instead of a by-product? Better yet, are the ingredients human grade or organic.
If you love your pets as much as I do and value their heath, I hope you will take the time to do a little research of your own so you can see the truth for yourself. Pets deserve to eat just as well as people do!
FILLERS ARE A RED FLAG!
Fillers are usually corn or wheat and ALL low quality pet foods have this as their main ingredient because it is CHEAP to use than meat in the making of the food!
Foods with a high level of fillers are NOT giving your pet a well-balanced healthy meal!
Wheat and corn are the #1 cause of food related allergies and intestinal upset in animals. Could you imagine your cat, in the wild, hunting for a husk of corn?
(Please Do NOT ever give your kitten milk - they will not be able to digest it and will have diarreha!)
- Occasional cooked meats and treats are great for your cat in small portions, but do not feed your kitten people food or table scraps. They have a very delicate digestive tract.
- Tuna is like cocaine to you pet and very addictive. This is not a good pet food choice, ever!
- Chocolate is poison to a cat. If your pet eats a large amount of chocolate or a candy bar you must RUSH HER TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY! Animals can die within (2) hours of consuming chocolate.
For more information on keeping your pet healthy and reviewing the best types
of food, please visit Dr. Lisa Pierson's website for great ideas at (www.catinfo.org)
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT PET FOOD DEFINITIONS:
- Animal Digest: This is the dry by-product of rendered meat. During rendering, all usable animal parts (including fetal tissues and glandular wastes) are heated in vats and the liquid is separated from the dry meal. This meal is covered with charcoal and labeled "unfit for human consumption" before processing it into pet food. Digest can also include intestines, as well as the contents of those intestines, such as stool, bile, parasites and chemicals. Rendered meat can also include all pets euthanized in animal shelters, zoos and animal science labs - that means POISONS have been injected into them!
- Animal Fat and Tallow: Animal fat is a "generic" fat source that is most often made up of rendered animal fat, rancid restaurant grease or other oils that are deemed inedible for humans. Tallow is low quality hard white fat that most animals find hard to digest, not to mention the cardiac risks resulting.
- Chemical Preservatives: Chemical preservatives include BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytolulene), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used in automotive antifreeze and is suspected of causing red blood cell damage) and ethoxquin , are all potentially cancer causing agents that your pets are eating every day.
- Chicken By-products: These are ground parts from poultry carcasses such as feet, heads, feathers, intestines, necks and undeveloped eggs and can included any rendered material.
- Corn Products: Corn products including corn meal, gluten and grits are cheap, allergy causing fillers and are very difficult for animals to digest.
- Food Fragments: Lower end by-products of the food manufacturing process, examples include wheat bran and brewers rice which are a waste product of the alcohol industry.
- Ground Whole Grain Sorghum: The feed value of grain sorghum is similar to corn and is grown primarily as a feed grain for livestock.
- Meat and Bone Meal: “Meat” and bone meal are inexpensive sources of animal protein. Note that companies do not clarify the source of “meat”, nor are they human-grade meat. The protein in Meat meal containing a large amount of processed bone may not be digestible and fail to provide adequate nutrition.
- Meat Based: A label that say "meat based" may also include blood vessels, tendons, organs and other parts of the rendered animal. Note again that companies do not clarify the source of “meat” nor are they human-grade meat products.
- Meat By-products: Pet grade meat by-products consist of organs and parts not desired or not fit for human consumption. This can include organs, bones, blood and fatty tissue. It can also include brains, feet, heads, intestines and any other internal parts. Unbelievably, by-products can also contain cancerous or diseased tissue containing parasites, euthanized animals.
The 95% Rule:
If the product says “Salmon Cat Food” or “Beef Dog Food,” 95% of the product must be the named ingredients. A product with a combination label, such as “Lamb and Liver for Dogs,” must contain 95% Lamb and liver, and there must be more lam than liver, since lamb is named first.
The 25% or “Dinner” Rule:
Ingredients named on the label must comprise at least 25% of the product but less than 95%, when there is a qualifying “descriptor” term like “dinner,” “entree,” “formula,” “platter,” “nuggets,” etc. In “Beef Dinner for Dogs,” beef may or may not be the primary ingredient. If two ingredients are named (“Beef and Turkey Dinner for Dogs”), the two ingredients must total 25%, there must be more of the first ingredient (beef) than the second (turkey), and there must be at least 3% of the lesser ingredient.
The 3% or “With” Rule:
A product may be labeled “Cat Food with Salmon” if it contains at least 3% of the named ingredient.
The “Flavor” Rule:
A food may be labeled “Turkey Flavor Cat Food” even if the food does not contain such ingredients, as long as there is a “sufficiently detectable” amount of flavor. This may be derived from meals, by-products, or “digests” of various parts from the animal species indicated on the label.
Here are some samples of "low quality" pet foods and the first (8) ingredients they use:
First Eight Ingredients
Iams Original Chicken
Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn grits, corn meal, chicken fat, fish meal, dried beet pulp, chicken flavors
Pro-Pac Adult Formula
Chicken meal, rice flour, ground yellow corn, chicken fat, corn gluten, dried beet pulp, fish meal, dried egg product
Purina Complete Formula
Poultry by-products, corn gluten meal, corn meal, ground whole wheat, animal fat, brewers rice, soy flour, fish meal
Science Diet Original
Chicken by product meal, ground whole grain corn, brewers rice, animal fat, corn gluten, chicken flavor, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate