Nutrition for your pet is an important aspect of caring for your pet and can also help keep your pet healthy. Hippocrates said, “Let food be your first medicine.” You can improve your pet’s health by feeding a good quality pet food. Dr. Anna Coffin will review eight questions that are helpful in picking the right pet food.
In 2014, Americans spent 22 billion dollars on pet food alone. Because of this lots of companies want a piece of the action. Are these companies in it for the money or are they concerned about the pet?
Eight Questions To Ask About Pet Food Companies.
- Does the pet food company have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? Board Certified Veterinary nutritionist have eight years of specialized training in formulating and evaluating diets for pet food. Companies that have prescription diets have veterinarians on staff for consultations. Dr. Anna Coffin says she likes having access to a veterinary nutritionist for case consultations because some pets have unique problems.
- Who formulates the diets and what are their credentials? A veterinary nutritionist should be formulating the diets.
- What is on the AAFCO Statement? Does the pet food meet AAFCO nutritional requirements or has the pet food gone through AAFCO feeding trials? Dr. Anna Coffin prefers pet food that has gone through feeding trials. This process takes more time and money but is proof that the food meets these nutritional requirements.
- What type of testing beyond AAFCO is performed? Have they conducted any research on their pet food products and are they published results? Research and additional testing is a rare find for most pet foods. However, most prescription pet food companies do a significant amount of additional testing and research.
- What are their quality control procedures? Good quality control prevents pet food recalls. Quality control begins with the purchase of high-quality ingredients. Do they keep raw and cooked ingredients separated to prevent contamination? Do they test the pet food throughout the manufacturing process? How do they deal with recalls?
- Where are the diets manufactured? Companies that own their manufacturing plant have more control over ingredients and quality control.
- Can the pet food company provide a complete product nutrient analysis of your best-selling canine and feline pet food including digestibility values? This information provides much more information than what is on the label and can help you and your veterinarian make informed decisions about the food. If they can’t provide this information, then it’s not worth feeding it to your pet.
- What is the caloric value per cup? Just like our food, all pet foods vary in calories contained in each cup. Size and shape of the kibble can also affect this. Caloric density is important to keep you pet at an ideal body weight.
Pet food Is An Important Part Of Your Pet’s Health.
All this information can be overwhelming, but nutrition is an important part of your pet’s health. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet food. Clip off the label and take it to your veterinarian for comparison. The Pet Food Alliance consists of several veterinary organizations that are committed to pet nutrition and has pet owner nutritional tools and resources. The Savvy Cat Owner’s Guide Nutrition on the Internet and The Savvy Dog Owner’s Guide Nutrition on the Internet are great sources that contain credible website to search for information about pet nutrition.