Happy Dog Times

Good Dog Health Begins With Healthy Dog Food

dog breed Welsh Corgi, PembrokeIf you Google search the term healthy dog food, you’ll get a bewildering array of answers, the first seven of which are those of dog food manufacturers and vendors. I went through this exercise recently and finally got to an article titled “What Pet Food Makers DON’T Want You to Know.”  While this headline was clearly designed to get clicks, I felt it was worth reading.

The article’s Second paragraph was as follows:

“According to Susan Nelson, DVM and assistant professor of clinical services at Kansas State University:

“Natural and veggie-based pet foods are based more on market demand from owners, not because they are necessarily better for the pet.”

It is difficult to argue with this statement although, of course, they have to be based more on market demand from owners because pets don’t buy pet food. It’s also possible that the market demand from owners comes from the fact that they believe the food there buying is good, nutritious and healthy for their pets.

It’s really up to you

The article went on to say …

“Pet owners should check labels and look for a nutritional adequacy statement from AAFCO — the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This will insure the formula at least meets minimal nutritional requirements.”

I thought this was excellent advice although a bit on the basic side. I suppose their pet owners who don’t check labels and look for nutritional adequacy statements but I would at least hope that they are in the minority.

Can you trust holistic, organic and natural pet foods?

The following paragraph stated …

“Definitions for ‘holistic,’ ‘organic,’ and ‘natural’ pet foods have not been established by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) so interpretation of what those words mean in terms of formula ingredients is left up to the manufacturer of the product.”

The AAFCO is a volunteer organization and is not clear how many dog food producers actually belong to it. The veterinarian Dr. Becker was quoted as saying …

“As I’ve discussed in other articles, very little regulation of commercial pet food quality exists in the U.S. Neither the USDA nor the FDA gets involved in what is fed to the majority of companion animals in this country.

“And while it’s true AAFCO has established minimum nutritional requirements for domesticated dogs and cats, it is not concerned with the quality of ingredients pet food producers put in their formulas. Meeting pets’ basic requirements for life and providing optimal, species-appropriate nutrition are two entirely different goals.

Best selling dog foods may not be best for dog health

We may have the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) watching over our food to make sure that it contains quality ingredients and that it meets our nutritional requirements, this is clearly not the case for dogs and cats. If you are goal like ours is to ensure dog health of a healthy dog, it’s clear that the burden is on you. You need to make sure you read dog food labels carefully and try to stick with a dog food producer that you trust.

Best selling dog foods may not be best for dog health

I read recently that the best-selling dog foods can be found in supermarkets but best selling doesn’t necessarily mean the best dog foods. For example, Blue Buffalo’s annual revenue (these are 2011 numbers) was about $352 million. P&G Pet Care (Iams & Eukanuba) – $1.8 billion. Nestle Purina – $10.4 billion. Mars Petcare (Pedigree, etc) – $16.2 billion. There are brands such as blue Buffalo that are marketing to people who want a dog food with better quality ingredients and others are beginning to show up in the same category … which is a very good trend.



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