Ingredients you should know about in pet food

Do you know what you are really feeding your pets?  Here are a few advertisement myths that you may want to take a closer look into:

AAFCO ensures that pet food is safe: The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a nonprofit organization responsible for making sure that every pet food sold in America adheres to a set of acceptable standards.  This is supposed to ensure that all pet food that goes on sale in the market is safe for pet consumption. However, pet food recalls are a clear indication that its existence is not an assurance that pet foods are cleared of toxic contaminants prior to sale.

Foods labeled “Natural” are best for my pet: According to AAFCO, a product is considered natural if its ingredients are free from chemical alterations.  This leaves a broad spectrum of ingredients that can be used, and the list in not pretty.  Many of the ingredients come from other countries where there is very low quality control.

Raw foods are not good for your pet:  In a study conducted in young animals that were fed raw food and another group fed cooked food, the animals fed cooked food appeared healthy.  As they matured, the animals that were fed raw food aged much less rapidly than the animals who were fed cooked food and showed less degenerative diseases.

Always look at the label on the back of your pet food and avoid these ingredients: carcinogens, preservatives, protein extenders, heavy metals, and excessive metals.  As earlier stated, an alternative to commercial foods is a raw diet.  Other options are home cooked food, and organic products.  These diets could help prevent health problems and extend your pet’s life.



Another Great WalMart Find

On the same day I found the Grandma’s Casserole, I decide to look up another dog food that had peaked my interest that is kept in a colder.  Freshpet Selects slice and serve.  Looking at the package makes one think this would be a very helpful dog food, but as we all know packaging can be very deceiving, otherwise I would be feeding my dogs Beneful  with all the pictures of vegetables and fresh meat on the package.

However when I did my research on Freshpet Select I was very pleasantly surprised as it gets a five star rating! And you can buy it in most grocery stores!!

This product comes in a roll, I take it and stuff my dogs Kong’s and that is how I now serve them there dinner.  Not only do the dogs love this new twist at dinner time, it takes them a while to eat it, so I get a few min to unwind or in most cases fix my two legged family their dinner.

We give Freshpet Selects Four Paws Up!   Let us know if your dog likes it as much as ours.

What is Your Pet Eating? Part III

There is a lot to be said about the negative effects of processed pet food, which is why I put together this five-part blog series. In my last post, I discussed how many of the seemingly harmless ingredients in processed pet food, like poultry meal and apple pomace, can actually be detrimental to your pet’s health.
But what about all the other ingredients? What about the chemicals, preservatives, “flavor enhancers” and binders? We already know our pets don’t need to eat those ingredients, so why are they there? And what does consuming them do to your pet?
Chemicals & Preservatives
Many of these mystery ingredients also have mysterious names. Ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), to name a few. Some go by the rule, “If an ingredient can’t be pronounced, it shouldn’t be eaten,” and with good reasoning. These preservatives, which are included in pet food to keep the meat from rotting, have been linked to allergies, organ failure and cancer.
Some brands have already replaced these chemical preservatives with natural alternatives, like Vitamin E, which can also keep the food fresh but often have a shorter shelf life than their chemical counterparts.
Flavor Enhancers
Any kind of added flavoring is unnecessary. If the food your pet was given had any nutritional value, his or her instinct would be to eat it. Flavor is added to pet food in most part to make it more appealing to your pet. Even worse is that these “flavor enhancers” are rarely from natural sources. They are usually an artificial composition that resembles the taste of meat.
Wheat and corn gluten are commonly used to bind pet food together. Neither of these ingredients have any nutritional value. They are typically of poor quality and come from the byproducts of human food processing – not that the corn and wheat produced for humans is much better.
In the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, the genetic manipulations of wheat is discussed and how the altering of this grain in the last 50 years has contributed to many of the health problems we face.
In Part IV of this series I will share some of the facts I learned from reading Wheat Belly, and explain how eliminating this genetically modified grain will not only improve your pet’s health, but yours as well.

What is Your Pet Eating? Part II

In Part I, I touched on a subject that is of great importance to me – the negative effects that processed pet food has on dogs and cats. In this segment I will go into more detail about processed pet food and a few of the risky ingredients that are used to make this popular “fast food.”
So, what exactly is considered “processed food”? Processed food can include both dry and wet varieties of pet food. The scary part is that the majority of pet food found on store shelves falls into this category of cheaply made, overly processed food.
Despite misleading packaging and ingredients lists filled with fancy words, many of the ingredients in processed pet food are just byproducts of human food processing and contain little to no nutrients. For example, you may find “apple pomace” listed as an ingredient. You figure an apple is a nutritious food and probably contains some vitamins and minerals that could be beneficial to your pet. Although it is true that an apple is a nutritious fruit, apple pomace is not an apple. Apple pomace is what is left over after making apple juice for human consumption. That’s the skin, seeds and core. Apple pomace does not contain the same nutrients as an apple.
Pomace is just one of many fancy words used in ingredients lists that can be misleading to pet owners. And while we’re on the topic of apples and misleading information, I should mention that packaging that boasts fruits and vegetables may be doing so for a reason. Let’s not forget that our pets are carnivores, which means that the number one most important ingredient in their diet is meat. Apple pomace aside, what your animal really needs is a hearty meat diet. Many pet foods today point a lot of attention to these “filler” ingredients like fruit and vegetables, to distract from the fact that they don’t include very much meat.
Is the first ingredient in your pet’s food meat? If not, that’s a problem. Is it the only meat ingredient among tens of others? That may also be a problem. Processed pet food tends to not have adequate amounts of meat to fulfill your pet’s dietary requirements. The quality of the meat used is also extremely questionable. For example, some brands list “poultry meal” or “meat meal” as an ingredient, without specifying which animal the meal comes from. This generalized term leaves a lot of opportunity to source from basically anywhere and does little to regulate quality or the possibilities of contamination.
I know this a lot of information to take in and I have only discussed the ingredients we thought we wanted to find in pet food. What about all the chemicals, preservatives, binders and “flavor enhancers” that are also in processed pet food? We’ll save that for next time. Join me next week for Part III of this series, What is Your Pet Eating?, where I will discuss other harmful ingredients found in processed pet food and what these not-so-good ingredients can mean for your pet’s health.

What is Your Pet Eating?

What effect does processed food have on your pets?
The negative effects of processed pet foods are not widely publicized, but that does not mean they are not concerning. Processed pet foods, both dry and wet, have been linked to diseases and illnesses in dogs and cats. Some veterinarians believe the onset of these illnesses, ranging from kidney failure to cancer, especially in younger animals, is due in large part to diet. I think of it like this; we know a human who consumes large amounts of fast food and junk will be in poor health, so why should we assume an animal is any different?
Processed food first and foremost, does not contain the same nutrients that can be found naturally in whole food. A dog that only eats processed foods will likely not receive the proper nutrients he or she needs and, unfortunately, signs of this malnutrition can sometimes take years to surface. The main ingredients in processed pet food are also a concern, since the majority of brands use cooked grains, which is not natural for dogs or cats to consume.
Additionally, many processed pet foods contain chemicals and additives that have already been deemed unsafe for human consumption, but are still allowed in food for pets. If these ingredients cause harm to humans, why should they be considered safe for animals?
Another related concern is that animals that eat predominantly dry food can potentially suffer from dehydration and related illnesses. With so many potential risks, it is important for pet owners to become educated. Although processed pet food is convenient, natural options are the better alternative – even if they require some extra effort from owners.
Since pet food manufacturers play such a large role in the veterinary world, from education to testing, it is difficult to be fully educated on the effects this food has on animals. Despite this restriction, there is still plenty of information available from veterinarians and scientists who have made it a point to bring attention to this issue.
Being that this is an extensive topic and of personal importance to me, I am going to be publishing a series of related posts in the upcoming weeks. I will go into further detail about the risks of processed foods, the benefits of a natural diet, and share my recommended alternatives to processed pet food.

Dog Food Avalible at WalMart

Feeding five dogs a good diet can be  expensive, so when I find a good deal I like to share it with my dog lover friends.
I was at Wal-Mart the other day picking up medication for my mother and I needed some canned dog food to add to my crew’s kibble.
I found Grandma’s Casserole made by Variety. I read the label and it looked good, so I looked it up on my favorite website when choosing dog food DogFoodAdvisor , and I see it has a for star rating. After reading there review I decided to give it a try. Well let me tell you it gets four paws up at my house, the pup’s love it, and it is only $1.50 a can, so I love it too!
Let me know if your dogs like it as much as mine.