Commercial or noncommercial pet foods?
Article by Paul Dilima
In the United States, there are more than 140 million dogs and cats. The vast majority of pets receive more than 90% of their calories from commercially prepared pet food. There is an increasing interest in feeding home – prepared foods to pets for a variety of reasons. In a recent telephone survey, owners of 635 dogs and 469 cats were questioned regarding diets fed to their pets. More dogs received noncommercial foods (table scraps, leftovers, or homemade foods) as compared to cats. Noncommercial foods were a part of the diet in 31% of dogs and 13% of cats and comprised at least one – fourth of the diet for 17% of dogs and 6% of cats. About 3% of pets were exclusively fed homemade diets, and 7% of dogs received homemade food for at least half of their diet. Treats of some kind were given daily to 57% of dogs and 26% of cats. Supplements were given to 13% of dogs and 6% of cats and were reported to include multivitamins, fatty acids, chondroprotective agents, vitamin C, yeast, taurine, zinc, calcium, and antioxidants, among others.
For humans, food consumption has social and cultural connotations. With the humanization of pets, owners may associate social and cultural behaviors with their pets. In the telephone survey, owners said that cuddling or petting their animals and talking to the pets were the most common activities shared with their dogs or cats. Dog owners were more likely to walk or run with their pets, play with toys together, play fetch, ride in the car together, participate in obedience or agility training, and go to work together as compared to cat owners. Other activities that both dog and cat owners shared with their pets included watching their pets play, grooming their pets, watching television with their pets, and eating with their pets. As pets are treated more as ” humans, ” many owners may feel that their pets should share the food customs of humans.
There are many reasons suggested as to why a homemade pet diet is desired. Some owners wish to feed natural or organic foods or vegan or vegetarian foods. Many wish to cook for their pets and provide a varied diet. Others may fi nd commercial pet food labels and ingredients confusing and want to avoid additives, preservatives, chemicals, or certain ingredients found in pet foods. In the previously mentioned telephone survey, owners feeding noncommercial pet foods had less trust in their veterinarian to provide sound nutritional advice and felt that dogs and cats needed a variety of different foods in their diet. Owners feeding noncommercial pet foods were more likely to feel that processed foods for pets were unhealthy, that cooking destroys nutrients in pet foods, and that organic foods were safer and healthier than other foods. Owners that fed noncommercial food were more likely to feel that dogs and cats need more meat than is provided in commercial products, that information on pet food labels is misleading, and that additives in pet foods have unhealthy side effects. They were less likely to trust pet food manufacturers to provide nutritionally sound products and less likely to feel that ingredients in commercial pet foods were wholesome and nutritious. They are less likely to believe that pets live longer today because of good nutrition from commercial products, that commercial products contain necessary nutrition, and that pet food companies place a high priority on pet health and well – being. Owners feeding noncommercial foods were more likely to believe that raw bones could be safely fed to pets, that raw meat provides better nutrition than cooked foods, and that foods sold for human consumption provide better nutrition than do commercial pet foods. Owners feeding noncommercial foods also enjoyed preparing foods for their pets more than did owners feeding commercial pet foods.
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www.wedtvshow.com full episode Watch The Apprentice (UK) Season 7 Episode 5 Create, Brand & Launch a Pet Food S07E05 07×05 In a pre-recorded briefing via a giant screen flanked by Karren and Nick, Lord Sugar has called the candidates to an advertising agency. Their task will be to create, brand and pitch a new pet food. But before they start Nick has a message from the boss – once again he picks the team leaders. One team chooses dogs, the other cats. Both teams split – one half to Lincolnshire to create the food, the other half staying at the agency to name and brand the product. Supported by Britain’s biggest pet food manufacturer it looks like a breeze, but soon the teams are making some fateful decisions, sweeping aside advice from pet-loving focus groups and inventing product names so leftfield that even teammates can’t understand them.
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