I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about why pet food is so confusing, and why even when you are reading labels, you may not be getting all the info you need.
When you read articles like this:
“The food label is not designed to provide the information they are looking for,” said Dr. Jennifer Larsen, a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. “And a lot of the pet food ranking lists available on the internet rely on the label and focus inappropriately on the ingredient list.”
“What’s important is the nutrients in the product, said Dr. Kathryn Michel, a professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. “And those nutrients need to be bio-available, meaning they need to be in a form the pet can utilize.”
How does that make you feel? Is there really anyway for you the consumer to know What’s in your pet’s food, and know they are the right ingredients?
First, Here’s a typical package and nutrition label for a human frozen meal.
All the ingredients, macro nutrients, and the complete nutritional breakdown is there easy for you to read.
Now contrast that with pet food labels:
We have the ingredient list, the guaranteed analysis, and how to feed. Notice in the guaranteed analysis the nutrients are listed out in terms of percentages. What does this mean? How do we know that our pets are getting enough? Because the pet food manufacturer says it is, when they put complete & balanced on the label. And how do they know?
Because the NRC publishes these recommendations, and the pet food manufacturers follow them. But these are still quite confusing, because they are published based on 1000 calories fed, not what your pet needs. The recommendations are divided up into adult, puppy and seniour. But what about pets that are ill?
This is why I believe in home cooking. You know what your pet is eating, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your pet, and you can adjust the supplementation based on what your pet needs, not what the recipe needs to be “complete & balanced for all life stages”. If you missed the Youtube broadcast, check it out here: https://youtu.be/5PXoH_kQg9A
If you want help designing your pet’s diet for your pet, not the average one, click here to find out how.