e-book Deciphering Dog Food Labels - a guide to buying a better commercial food

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If you are worried, carry this list of chemical names with you, so you can double check. Chicken and Liver Dinner etc. More chicken than liver. Chicken Flavor Food Detectable amounts of some kind of chicken product. A number of minerals are chelated, which makes them more absorbable.

How To Read And Interpret Pet Food Labels - Veterinary Practice News

When comparing wet and dry foods, you do not want to measure the water content. What you need to do is compare the percentages of dry protein. Even though canned food looks like it has less protein, they often have more than dry food when you take the water out. Log in to leave a comment. Thank You! Email required. Yes, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter for information on natural health, products and great deals! No, Thanks. Thank you for your interest in writing for Animal Wellness. As the 1 natural health magazine for pets in North America, we take pride in providing our readers with the information they need to make wise health care choices for their animal companions.

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The Organic View: Deciphering Pet Food Ingredients & Ads

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Carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of commercial dog food in Brazil

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The NRC standards required feeding trials for pet foods that claimed to be "complete" and "balanced. Instead of feeding trials, chemical analysis would be done to determine if a food met or exceeded the NRC standards.

The problem with chemical analysis is that it does not address the palatability, digestibility and biological availability of nutrients in pet food. Thus it is unreliable for determining whether a food will provide an animal with sufficient nutrients. To compensate for the limitations of chemical analysis, AAFCO added a "safety factor," which was to exceed the minimum amount of nutrients required to meet the complete and balanced requirements.

In essence the pet food industry developed their own standards for nutritional adequacy. The digestibility and availability of nutrients is not listed on pet food labels. The idea of one pet food providing all the nutrition a companion animal will ever need for its entire life is a myth. Cereals are the primary ingredients in most commercial pet foods.

Bringing Home a Puppy

Most people select one pet food and feed it to their dogs and cats for a prolonged period of time. Therefore companion dogs and cats eat a primarily carbohydrate diet with little variety. Today, the diets of cats and dogs are a far cry from the primarily protein diets with a lot of variety that their ancestors ate. The problems associated with a commercial diet are seen every day at veterinary establishments.

Chronic digestive problems, such as chronic diarrhea, are among the most frequent illnesses treated. Allergy or hypersensitivity to foods is a common problem usually seen as diarrhea or vomiting.

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Dog and Cat Foods

Food allergies have become an everyday ailment. The market for "limited antigen" also known as "hypoallergenic" diets is now a multi-million dollar business. These diets were formulated to address the increasing intolerance to foods that animals have developed. Many commercial pet foods are made with ingredients that have poor protein digestibility. Some fillers used in these foods can also cause colitis, which is the inflammation of the colon. Most pet food companies do not publish digestibility statistics and they are never seen on pet food labels.

Acute vomiting and diarrhea is often a symptom of bacteria contamination and the toxins bacteria produce. Dry commercial pet food is often contaminated with bacteris, which may or may not cause problems. Improper food storage and some feeding practices may result in the multiplication of this bacteria.


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  5. For example, adding water to moisten pet food and then leaving it at room temperature causes bacteria to multiply. Yet this practice is suggested on the back of some kitten and puppy foods. Pet food formulas and the practice of feeding that manufacturers recommend have increased other digestive problems. Feeding only one meal per day can cause the irritation of the esophagus by stomach acid.