Say Bye, Bye to Pet Foods with By-Products
A common ingredient found in dog food and cat food is by-products. When you look at your pet food or pet treat label, you might see by-product, chicken by-product, turkey by-product meal, or a few more variations. Most pet owners have never been told exactly what by-products are. If you don’t know – don’t feel bad about it…my guess is that even the pet food manufacturers themselves can’t tell you exactly what by-products are in their own brand of pet food.
To give you an understanding of by-products, I’d like to compare it to pies. How many different types of pies you can think of? There are apple pies, cherry pies, chocolate pies, meringue pies, meat pies, mud pies, pie in math, cow pies (yuck!) – I think you get my point. Now imagine if you were to purchase your dinner at the grocery and you looked at the ingredients and you see ‘pie’ listed as the first ingredient in your dinner. You wouldn’t know if it was apple pie or mud pie or even cow pie. All you would know is that your dinner contained ‘pie’. I’d guess if you knew that ‘pie’ could be any kind of pie – you wouldn’t be buying your dinner with ‘pie’ listed in the ingredients.
Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about ‘pie’ being a puzzling ingredient in people food. But there is the worry of the ‘pie’ ingredient in pet food – and that’s by-products.
Wikipedia describes a by-product as “a secondary or incidental product deriving from a manufacturing process,…”
The AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials – the organization responsible for all animal feed manufacturing rules and regulations) defines by-products as “meat by-products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth, and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”
So, with respect to pet food – a by-product is a catch-all ingredient name. My guess would be that AAFCO decided that ‘chicken lungs’ or ‘cow intestines’ listing on a pet food label wouldn’t sound very appealing to the pet owner. Probably wouldn’t sell a lot of that food.
Instead, all these less than appealing left-overs are clumped into one ingredient name – by-product. There is NO certainty of what you are feeding – one batch of pet food might be more intestine by-products while the next batch of pet food might be more liver or bone by-products. There is NO consistency to what is actually contained in the pet food ingredient by-product.
Without consistency of ingredients, there is no consistency to the quality of nutrition. Without consistency of quality nutrition, there is no consistency to your pet’s health.
The Center for Veterinary Medicine states that “animal feeds provide a practical outlet for plant and animal by-products not suitable for human consumption.” I can only imagine the conversation when that decision was made…’what are we going to do with all these left over intestines and spleens? Ah, what the heck, let’s put them in pet food. We’ll call it something else – no one will know – and then we don’t have to go through the expense and trouble of getting rid of the stuff.’
Personally I hope there will soon be a day for truth in pet food labeling. If some manufacturers are going to put intestines and spleen in their foods and treats – ok, just tell us. If you’ve got a clinical study showing pets thriving on these left-overs – show us your results. Just don’t put this stuff in my pet’s food bowl and tell me it’s premium and choice.
Please read your pet’s food and treat labels. Read the ingredients. Say bye, bye to by-products!
Wishing you and your pet the best,
Not surprisingly, many pet owners are now passing along some human lifestyle habits to their furry housemates. For a number of reasons, pet owners are opting to provide their animal companions with dietary choices once reserved for humans. Maintaining a proper diet regimen for our pets has always been an important responsibility of overall pet ownership. The trend toward more healthy pet foods has been growing for several years.
Dogs and cats are susceptible to many of the same diseases as their human counterparts. Diabetes, heart disease and other medical conditions strike pets with some regularity. Prevention or treatment of these illnesses often requires changes to the animals diet. My own beloved Golden Retriever was stricken with canine diabetes that required daily doses of insulin and very careful monitoring of his blood glucose.
Just like a human with this debilitating disease, Einstein needed a very special diet in order to control his weight and keep his blood glucose levels in line. A local vet recommended a very expensive brand of food that was not much different in nutritional content then the cheaper stuff.
After consulting several veterinary specialists, we settled on a combination of off the shelf foods that worked fairly well. We would occasionally prepare home cooked meals for this sweet dog, following the same dietary prescriptions that would be used for humans. We found recipes that contained high protein levels, and were low in fat and carbohydrates. Vegetables like green pepper and zucchini made great snacks.
Aside from the obvious need to treat a medical condition with proper diet, many pet owners are looking for ways to prolong the life and good health of their animal companions. Home cooked pet food recipes are widely available giving pets access to some foods that they would only dream about while napping on the couch. Begging at the dinner table has become a thing of the past for many pets. Providing the proper balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates can be tricky at first, but some types of people food can be prepared to your pets benefit.
In 2005, there was a nationwide scare over pet foods that had been contaminated with a naturally occurring grain fungus. The fungus produces the poison aflatoxin that resulted in the recall over a dozen brands of dog and cat food. Sadly, there were reports of pets that died or became seriously ill because of the contamination.
Pets were again put at risk in 2007 when two cases of pet food contamination reportedly caused the deaths of thousands of dogs and cats world wide. Two industrial chemicals, aminopterin and melamine, was found in dozens of pet food products. Two massive product recalls were ordered but not before thousands of family companions died or became seriously ill. Pet owners were forced to spend enormous amounts of money to treat their sick pets.
These tragic events have driven more and more pet owners to reconsider what their pets eat. As a result, the market for natural and organic pet foods has grown significantly. Many pet owners are not only cooking for themselves but for their pets as well. When preparing food for your pet, always consult a veterinary professional. Cats, dogs and other domestic pets have very different dietary needs and owners need to educate themselves before firing up the stove.
When choosing a store bought pet food product, take the time to read the content labeling carefully. Just like humans, our pet companions need us to provide them with a balanced diet. If you have questions about what is best for your pet, always consult a veterinary professional.
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Pet parents are beginning to become a lot more careful with what’s going into their pet’s food bowls. Natural and organic pet foods are increasingly turning into popular choices. According to PetFoodIndustry.com, pet lovers spent approximately billion last year on natural pet food and million on organic pet food.
Natural pet foods contain no chemicals at all. U.S. Association of American Feed Control Officials refers to “natural” as food or ingredients that come from only plant, animal or mined sources. This means that pet foods labeled “natural” should not contain any chemically synthetic processing aids and chemically synthetic additives such as artificial flavors, coloring or preservatives.
Natural pet foods can be made from whole ingredients like chicken, beef, vegetables and fruits.
Organic pet foods are foods that were raised without chemicals. They were grown or raised without the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or fertilizers.
Natural and Organic Pet Food Brands
Innova EVO California Natural HealthWise Mother Nature Karma
If a pet owner is considering changing their pet’s diet to a natural or organic food, it is suggested to feed the pet a combination of the new and old food over a seven day period, this way the pet will better used to the new texture and smell.
On the first day, feed your pet 90% old food and 10% new food; continue on the second day with 80% old food, 20% new food and so on. At the end of the seven days, your pet should be fully comfortable with the new natural or organic food.
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Green Earth Human Grade Pet Dog Foods Vs Commercial Grade Naturals Bought In Local Grocery Stores Near You – Is It Worth The Health RISK
Shopping online for humane grade pet foods formulated by a holistic pet food veterinarian can offer retailers many options,” such as what is the best holistic pet food buy for the buck,” am I ordering the safest pet foods online,” is the pet food made from all natural human grade ingredients,” like brown rice, kale, beets, celery, carrots, chicken, “: does the internet offer a guarantee analysis on the ingredients bought with a return for purchase guarantee.
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Martha and veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein share some bad foods that you should never feed you dog, and answer questions from our studio audience.
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A recent article posted on The Consumerist website brings up a very good point (and lesson) that pet owners should take note of…
The article comes from a pet owner whose Yorkie became ill, and after a couple of days in the vet’s office, the owner looked at her Eukanuba canned food and realized it had expired 3 years ago. When she checked the cupboard she discovered several other cans of dog food – all recently purchased at PetCo – had expiration dates from 2004.
What happened to this pet owner (and pet) can easily happen to anyone. How many times have you purchased something and never looked at the expiration date?
With pet food – somewhere on the can or bag, usually on the side or back of the bag – is the ‘Best By’ date. With most of the manufacturers that I have spoken with, this date does NOT mean the food is officially expired – it just means that the food does not provide the nutrition as stated in the Guaranteed Analysis. The ‘best’ nutrition for your pet has expired – but again in most cases – per what the manufacturers tell me – the food is still ‘good’.
Shelf life is one of the questions I ask manufacturers about and provide in Petsumer Report. It varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. The shelf life of dry pet foods can vary from 4 months to 3 years – canned and/or pouched products vary from 1 year to 5 years. Treats usually have the same shelf life as the manufacturer’s dry food – but just to keep things confusing, that can vary too. The ‘Best By’ date provided on the food – does NOT tell you how old the product is – it does NOT tell you when the food was manufactured. It only tells you the date that particular manufacturer has determined the food no longer provides the pet with the proper nutrition. While some ingredients in the food might still provide adequate nutrition – other ingredients have faded over time.
All pet foods that are naturally preserved begin to lose their nutritional value almost immediately after they are made. This is the drawback to natural preservatives (but the ONLY drawback – you ONLY want naturally preserved pet foods and treats for your pet ). So the challenge is to find a pet food that is very fresh. Our friends at AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials – rule makers of the pet food industry) have made that a little difficult for pet owners – adding to the challenge. Pet food manufacturers are not required to put the date the pet food was manufactured on the bag or can – ONLY the date that particular manufacturer has determined the food no longer is ‘best’. As I stated above – it varies a great deal from product to product – manufacturer to manufacturer.
So here’s what you can do to assure your pet is eating ONLY fresh food – providing the best that product offers…
Call the manufacturer and ask them what the shelf life is for their dry foods and/or canned foods. Let’s say ABC Pet Food Company tells you that the shelf life of their Premium ABC dry foods is 18 months and their Premium ABC canned/pouched foods is 2 years. With that information – you then look at the ‘Best By’ date on the product. As an example, if the best by date on the dry dog food you are considering says June 2008 – knowing that ABC told you 18 months for dry food, you would know that the food was made in January of 2007. Using today’s date – October 20, 2007 – this would tell you this particular bag of ABC dry dog food is 10 months old.
With a canned food – the ABC canned cat food best by date is also June 2008. This would tell you that this can was made in June 2006 and thus it would be 14 months old in October 2007.
Most of the time, when pet owners look at the ‘best by’ date and they see June 2008 – they think ‘this is good – this food still has 8 months until it expires’. I was guilty of this until I learned the differences too. But the bigger picture needs to be explained.
Using my above examples – I would NOT purchase a dry dog or cat food that was already 10 months old. Ideally – dry foods should be four months or less old and you should use them within a two month time frame. Again, with any naturally preserved dry product – the nutritional value starts to deteriorate almost immediately. Fresh is best. I would recommend purchasing and using the food within six months of manufacturing. Storing the food in an air tight container will help keep the food fresher after opening the bag – providing your pet with more quality nutrition. With canned products – it’s a different ballgame. You definitely want to purchase and use the food before the best by date expires – but the quality of the nutrition is protected by the canning process. Any unused opened can must be covered and stored in the refrigerator and used within a couple of days.
Call your pet food’s manufacturer and ask them the shelf life of dry foods and canned foods. I know it’s a chore, just one more thing you have to do and look out for – but it is very important. You want what you pay for – quality nutrition for your pet – and a fresh product will provide that (of course you have to pay attention to ingredients too – but that is a whole different subject!). Get yourself into the habit of looking at the ‘Best By’ date BEFORE you purchase the pet food and or treat. Your effort will not only provide your pet with better nutrition – getting yourself into the habit of looking at the expiration date could just save you from an experience similar to the pet owner mentioned in the beginning of this article – and a sick pet.
Wishing you and your pet the best,
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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