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 Friday, July 20th, 2018
House Pets with Sandy Robins
Features   |   On The House Show and Tell   |   House Pets with Sandy Robins  

September 21, 2013


The pet food recall of 2007 when so many pets died really changed the way pet parents feed their pets.

It’s very important to read labels! Not only this, but this major recall made pet parents more aware of the importance of good ingredients as opposed to cheap fillers. So along the way there has been growing emphasis on all natural and organic foods.

Often pet trends follow human trends hence no grain or gluten in pet foods. But its very important to discuss diet with your veterinarian because dogs for example are more likely to be allergic to chicken than to grains!

Although the industry is definitely more cautious, pet food recalls continue to happen. Whatever food you re feeding its important to check the company’s website often to make sure there have been no sudden recalls.

Here’s a brief summary of what you need to know about food labels and main ingredients:

By law, pet food ingredients must be listed on the label in descending order by weight, and the protein should be top of the list. It’s important to remember that the moisture content affects weight. So ingredients that are moisture-heavy, such as chicken or lamb, are listed higher on the ingredient list than the same ingredient that is added in a dry form.
In addition, similar materials listed as separate ingredients may outweigh other ingredients that precede them on the list of ingredients. For example, chicken may be listed as the first ingredient, then wheat flour, ground wheat, and wheat middling. In this instance, although chicken may appear to be the predominant ingredient, when added together, all three wheat products may weigh more than the chicken.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the most common ingredients:
• Meat: Cleaned flesh from chicken, lamb, turkey, cattle, and related animals that have been slaughtered specifically for animal feed purposes. However flesh means more than skin. It may include muscle (including the diaphragm), fat, and nerves, blood vessels from the skin, the heart, esophagus, and the tongue.
• Meat byproduct: Clean, non-flesh parts from the same animals mentioned above. This can include the blood, bone, brain, liver, lungs, liver, kidneys, and emptied stomach and intestines. There are no hooves, hair, horns, or teeth in meat byproducts. Chicken byproducts are feather free.
• Beef tallow: A fat made from beef.
• Meal: Finely ground tissue.
• Bone meal: Finely ground bone from slaughtered feed animals.
• Fish meal: Clean, ground whole fish or fish pieces. The fish may or may not still contain fish oil.
• Ground corn: Chopped or ground corn kernels.
• Corn gluten meal: A product that forms after corn syrup or starch is made.
Preservatives play a critical role in dry pet foods as they are antioxidants and prevent the fat in foods from spoiling. Once a fat spoils, the food loses its nutritional value and can become unsafe to eat.

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