Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Choose Quality Pet Food

 
There are so many different kinds of pet food at the grocery store, but most is not the best for your pets. Consumers should look for the AAFCO statement on the food package, not just what the bag says on the front (located on the side or back usually near the ingredients).

Choosing the right food is based on what?

When it comes to determining which pet food is right for your pet, it’s as simple as 1-2-3.
1. Life stage – How old is your pet? Is he a puppy or a kitten? An adult? A mature adult?

2. Lifestyle – Does your pet live indoors, outdoors, both? Is he your running partner, or on your lap while you read a book?

3. Health status – Is your pet healthy, or needing special nutrition?

Label A

Brand X Cat Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.






Label B
 
Animal feeding tests using Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) procedures substantiate that Brand Y Cat Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance of adult cats. 


The feeding test method is the gold standard for determining nutritional adequacy for a specific life stage. It is the preferred method. The “Feeding Trial Method”: Requires the manufacturer to perform an AAFCO protocol feeding trial as the sole source of nutrition, including required veterinary exams; biological data collection


BEST OPTION: Pet food labels with the AAFCO Statement saying the food has been test fed is the optimal choice.
Label A
Brand X Cat Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.





Label B

 Animal feeding tests using Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) procedures substantiate that Brand Y Cat Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance of adult cats.
 
 
 Manufacturers use the cute pictures to attract consumers. You will see that many of those brands are "all life stage" pet foods.  "All life stage" pet foods are actually growth life stage pet foods which mean the nutrition is at levels to support growing puppies and kittens. Often times the pictures on the label are of adult pets which lead the consumer to believe the food is for an adult age pet. What happens is the adult age pet ends up eating a puppy or kitten food that is too high in calories and nutrients like protein and calcium that is intended to support growth, but is too much for maintenance.  It is unfortunate that the better quality food usually does not have the cutest pictures; manufacturers should really improve on their packaging!

We are pleased to report that our food was fed tested and is for our life stage. Good job, mom! If you decide to switch food, do it gradually by mixing a little of the new food in with the old and gradually add more of the new and less of the old.

Source:  Hills Pet Nutrition Specialist, Lori Smith

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5 comments:

Ann in the UP said...

Good information, Karen (and Gerard) and whichever cat shared the info. I'm going to read my label right now.

Sandee said...

Well I learned something valuable today. Thanks.

Have a terrific day. :)

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

the way that I choose is I bring in the food to the vet and have him look at the ingredients taking into consideration any needs of our pets.

If he is fine with whatever I choose than I am!

Karen and Gerard said...

Ann in the Up: Glad we could be of some help to you!

Sandee: You just never know when I might have something worthwhile here! This is much faster than reading through all the ingredients.

Cat Chat: That sounds like a good way to do too. But when I asked our vet about the dog food we were using, they said it was fine (didn't have the bag with me though). It doesn't pass this "label test" though so we are switching.

ain't for city gals said...

The best thing people can do is not give their pets people food. Our vet once said to me.."If you really love your pet you will not give them people food". It is hard but I haven't and Molliedog is still going strong at 12 years and our last dog Sugar made it to 15 and was good to go until her very last day.

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