How To Read A Dog And Cat Food Label
Do you know what your dog or cat is eating? Please take the time to review the list of ingredients printed on your bag of dog or cat food. Ingredients are listed in order of their volume percentages. Compare the ingredients and decide for yourself. Look for a natural dog and cat food that contains the hallmarks of a high quality food and none of the hallmarks of a low-quality food. A good dog or cat food will contribute to a healthy coat, good energy level, balanced temperament, and flawless health.
High Quality Dog And Cat Food Should Contain The Following
Superior sources of protein. This means either whole, fresh meats, or single source meat meal. (For example chicken meal rather than chicken by-products.)
A whole meat source as one of the first two ingredients. Meat is the most natural source of protein for cats and dogs and contains the amino acids most important to dogs and cats health. A mix of meat proteins (such as chicken and fish) helps round out the amino acid profile of the proteins included in the food. If a list of ingredients begins with whole chicken followed by three or more grains and no other meat proteins, it is likely that the food contains considerably more grain than meat.
Whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables, and other foods. A previously unprocessed food has the best chance of surviving the food-making process with some of its nutrients intact.
High Quality Dog And Cat Food Should NOT Contain The Following
Food fragments. Fragments are lower cost by products of another food manufacturing process such as brewer's rice (a waste product of the alcohol industry), wheat flour, and rice flour. Most foods contain at least one fragment as makers attempt to keep the food affordable. Beware of a product that contains several fragments of a single food. Some food makers do this to disguise an excess of a low-value ingredient. Remember, the law dictates that each ingredient is listed separately by weight. So when you see a list of ingredients that begins "lamb, rice flour, rice bran, brewer's rice. . ." you should be aware that there is far more rice in the product than lamb.
Meat by-products. Using an animal by product (or more than one animal by-product) for a food's main protein source is indicative of a low-quality product. (i.e. chicken by product). Animal by-products are any part of an animal not acceptable for human consumption. Ingredients listed as by products are not required to include actual meat. Using an animal by product (or more than one animal by product) for a food's main protein source is indicative of a lower quality product.
Corn products. The presence of corn products - particularly if they are high on the list of ingredients - may indicate that corn has been used instead of a more expensive alternative. About 25% of the corn produced in the U.S. today is genetically modified. Corn is more difficult to digest.
Corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a concentrated source of protein that can be substituted for costlier animal protein. In many bargain dry dog and cat foods, corn gluten meal provides a large proportion or the total protein in the food rather than more digestible forms of protein such as meat. Any pet food containing corn should be avoided.
Meat and Bone Meal (MBM). MBM is a convenient catch all term for whatever offal and refuse happens to be rendered that day. This is where the worst stories about pet food come from. Many renderers accept for processing such items as road kill, euthanized pets from shelters and veterinary clinics, downers and animals who diet on the farm, during transport, or at a slaughterhouse, cut away cancerous tissue, fetuses, out of date supermarket meats, restaurant waste and other unappetizing ingredients. Needless to say, the presence of MBM on a label is a signal that the food is of inferior quality.
Animal Digest. Material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably... Animal digest comes in a liquid or powder form that is typically sprayed onto finished kibbles to add flavor. It is found primarily in low quality pet foods.
Indicators Of A Low-Quality Dog Or Cat Food
Generic fats or proteins. Ex. Animal Fat. Animal fat can be just about anything; recycled grease from restaurants or an unwholesome "mystery mix" of fats. Animal protein is far inferior to beef protein or chicken protein.
Artificial preservatives. BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, and propylene glycol. Have been known to cause cancer.
Artificial colors. Your pet doesn't care what color his food is and doesn't need daily lifetime exposure to these unnecessary chemicals.
Sweeteners. Corn syrup, sucrose, sugar, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, and other sweeteners are sometimes added to lower quality foods to increase their appeal. Dietary sugar can aggravate health problems in pets including diabetes.
Flavors. A high quality food does not require flavoring to be palatable.
Poor Sources of Protein - Soybean Meal, Wheat, Corn Glutens, Corn Meal, Whole Corn, Crushed Corn and Ground Corn are commonly used for their protein content in many pet foods. These ingredients are generally poor sources of protein vs. meat. They are often difficult to digest & to use by the body. Also can cause G.I. problems. Meat & bone meal can contain an unknown quantity of bone, which is an inferior protein.
Know The Rules! What Your Dog And Cat Food Lables Means
Every dog or cat food has a name, whether it is "Lamb and Rice Dinner," "Beef for Dogs," or "Tuna Flavor Dinner." But what do these labels actually mean? Believe it or not, there are specific regulations for naming pet foods, so it's helpful to know the "rules."
95% Rule - "Chicken for Dogs" must contain at least 95% chicken (excluding water). "Fish and Giblets for Cats" meanwhile, will be 95% fish and giblets combined, but there must be more fish than giblets, since fish appears first on the label.
25% Rule - "Fish Dinner" or "Beef Dinner" must contain 25% fish or beef. If more than one ingredient is named, the two together must comprise 25% of the total, although the second ingredient may be as low as 3%. This means that "Lamb and Rice Dinner" may actually contain a greater quantity of other ingredients, such as chicken and corn.
"With" Rule: If the word "with" appears in the label (e.g. "Fish Dinner with Giblets"), the second ingredient must comprise 3% of the food. An ingredient labeled as a "flavor" such as "Beef Flavor Dinner" doesn't have to contain any beef at all, just something that gives the food a beef flavor.
Life’s Abundance premium natural dog and cat foods are based on a variety of superior whole food ingredients designed to provide 100% complete nutrition in accordance with AAFCO feeding protocols and contains -
* No Corn or Wheat
* No By Products
* No Dairy
* No Artificial Colors Or Flavors
* No Chemical Preservatives Added
* High Quality Chicken And Fish Meal And Eggs Derived From Human Grade Processing Plants
* Nutrient Dense With Vitamins, Minerals, Fats And Essential Fatty Acids
* Probiotics For A Healthy Digestive Tract
* Highly Digestible And High Energy, Low Fiber Carbohydrates
If you want to feed your pet the very best and get paid for doing so, please take a look at our Life's Abundance Home Based Business. Tell other people about Life's Abundance and you could get your own pet products free!