Seven Tips for Choosing a Safe and Healthy Pet Food


Do you prefer canned or dry food? Which brand? There are so many different brands, shapes, and sizes of pet food to select from, and pet owners are given very little information to base their decisions on (apart from advertising) – it can be very confusing! Buckle your seatbelt because this could be a rocky journey depending on your knowledge of the pet food market! You are about to uncover seven well-kept secrets regarding pet food. Take a seat, brace yourself, and continue reading. Check out to know more

Beneful bills itself as ‘Premium Dog Food for a Happy, Healthy Dog’ and sells for roughly $18.00 for a 31-pound bag. Science Diet “promises” ‘precisely balanced nutrition through continual research and the highest quality food supported by your Vets recommendation’ in a 20-pound pack, costing approximately $21.00. Then there are the pet meals that make the same claims – ‘Premium Dog Food, Highest Quality’ – yet cost $30.00 or more for a 20-pound bag. And the same is true for cat owners…Do you go with Whiskas, which advertises, “Everything we do is about making cats happy!”‘Or do you go with a portion of high-end cat food that makes the same claim about a happy, healthy cat but costs three times as much?

With the ongoing pet food recall, pet owners are asking, “Has this food been recalled?”‘ or ‘Will this meal be the next to be recalled?’…’Does my pet have a chance?’Wow, this is perplexing! And terrifying! So, what should a pet owner do? Why not discover a few secrets? It’s less mysterious if you’ve learned a few pet food secrets.

Secret #1…

All pet meals utilize descriptive adjectives like choice and premium, but only a few use premium or choice ingredients. According to pet food industry laws, the secret is that no pet food can make any claims or references to the quality or grade of ingredients on its label or advertising. Regarding pet food, the term “premium” does not necessarily imply that the ingredients are of the highest quality. Premium does not (cannot) describe the food, nor does it (cannot) describe the dish’s quality.

That’s all it is: a marketing word. “There are no references to ingredient quality or grade” (regulation PF5 d 3), according to the pet food industry’s own rules and regulations. As a result, phrases like premium, choice, or quality are marketing or sales buzzwords. They should not be regarded as phrases describing food quality.

Why shouldn’t a pet food label be allowed to inform a potential buyer about the quality of its ingredients? Doesn’t a pet owner have the right to know what they’re getting? This brings me to my next secret…


Let me compare ‘human’ food to pet food for a moment. We all know that people’s food has different features. There’s White Castle (I’m guilty, I adore the little men!) and Outback Steakhouse (another favorite). Both places provide beef and potatoes. For less than $3.00, you can purchase two hamburgers and an order of fries at White Castle. A steak and baked potato will cost you roughly $16.00 at Outback. Both serve beef and potatoes, but you already know the significant nutritional differences between a fast-food hamburger and a steak.

The issue in the pet food industry is that most pet owners do not conceive of pet food similarly. They do not distinguish between fast food types and more nutritious sit-down restaurant sorts of pet foods. In reality, a young man performed this experiment with his diet several years ago, consuming only fast food for 30 days. He gained a lot of weight in just one month of eating fast food three times a day, and his blood pressure and cholesterol readings skyrocketed. Consider your pet eating this food for the rest of its life.

Back to our two meals…if you compared a chemical analysis of your dinner at White Castle to a chemical analysis of your lunch at Outback, both would analyze with a proportion of protein, carbs, and fat. Whether you regard a steak at Outback as higher protein quality than a burger, it would still be classified as protein. The analysis does not assess protein quality.

So here’s the deal: all pet meals include a Guaranteed Analysis that details the percentages of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture in the food. The REAL key is in the quality of the protein, fat, and other rates.

Chicken feet would test as protein in a chemical study of pet food, even though they supply little nourishment. Furthermore, a cow that was killed (put to sleep) due to an illness that rendered it unfit for human consumption would analyze as protein, even though it could be regarded as harmful for ingestion. Both chicken feet and killed cows are permissible ingredients routinely used in pet food.

The key in the pet food market is that producers have an open door to where they get their ingredients. The sole requirement they must adhere to is that adult dog food must include 18% protein, and adult cat food must contain 26% protein. Sources for those specific percentages include ‘human quality’ meat, chicken feet, euthanized animals, grain proteins, and even artificial proteins, with numerous variables in between.

Pet food labels are neither required nor permitted to disclose 18% or 26% protein sources. To make matters worse, quality-conscious pet food manufacturers who employ only human-grade ingredients cannot tell customers or potential customers that their products contain only human-grade components.

So how do you tell if your pet’s food contains chicken feet, euthanized cows, or human-grade ingredients?

Secret #3…

If the terms premium and choice signify little concerning pet food quality, and some pet feeds contain chicken feet and euthanized animals, how can pet owners know what they are feeding their pets?

Ingredient definitions reveal this enormous mystery. Pet food is somewhat different than ‘human’ food, where you can judge the quality by looking at it. All ‘human’ food must adhere to strict USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations.

The same cannot be said about pet food. Chicken feet and killed cows are not permitted in human meals for simple reasons: they have little nutritional value and may be harmful to consume. The same cannot be said about pet food. Knowing what components can be used in your pet’s food is the only way to know if those chicken feet or euthanized cows are in it.

The typical pet food component ‘Meat and Bone Meal’ is a mash-up of several unwanted byproducts from the human food industry. Features of meat and bone meal can include anything from cow heads, stomachs, and intestines to (horrifying but true) euthanized animals from veterinarian offices, animal shelters, and farms. In addition to the euthanized animals, the pet food contains the medication pentobarbital, which was used to euthanize the animal. ‘Meat and bone meal’ may also have leftover restaurant grease and sick (including malignant) meat tissues removed from murdered animals. In other words, this widely used component is a concoction of highly substandard and potentially hazardous byproducts of the human food business.

The pet food component ‘Meat Byproduct’ or ‘Meat Byproduct Meal’ is the same as meat and bone meal. It is a low-quality pet food component that contains who knows what.

‘Animal Digest’ is another substance comparable to the ones mentioned above.

The chicken feet can be found in the ingredients ‘Chicken Byproduct’, ‘ Poultry Byproduct,’ ‘ Chicken Byproduct Meal,’ or ‘Poultry Byproduct Meal.’ These ingredients contain any leftovers from the chicken or poultry division, including but not limited to chicken feet, skin (including some feathers), chicken or poultry heads, and intestines. Again, it makes no difference to the bird’s health – sick, healthy, dead, dying…all are contained in these substances.

So here’s what you need to do…Before buying any pet food, flip the bag and carefully read the ingredient list. The ingredients stated above would be listed among the first five or ten. If you see any of those ingredients, I recommend not buying that meal. Remember that chicken feet and euthanized animals do have protein. All that is required in pet food is the proper analysis.

Another tactic certain pet food manufacturers use in this area is adding grains and chemical additives to grain products to increase protein levels. The cause of the March 2007 pet food recall is artificial proteins. For cheap protein, two chemical additions were added to a grain product (wheat gluten, maize gluten, or rice gluten).

These additives had NO nutritional benefit for pets but were evaluated as protein. Thousands of pets died and countless others were ill because no one anticipated the problem of kidney and bladder obstruction caused by the combination of these two substances. Again, their trick is that the product must be tested for a specific protein level – no one is compelled to give excellent meat protein.

Take note of how many grains (corn, wheat, rice) and grain products (corn gluten, whole corn, ground corn, whole wheat, ground wheat, wheat gluten, rice, brown rice, brewers rice, soy, and so on) are listed within the first five or so ingredients. If you see more than one grain listed in the first five components, this pet food gets some of its protein from grains.

Why is a protein derived from grains crucial for you to understand? For starters, science demonstrates that both cats and dogs require and thrive on meat protein. The creature will not get enough meat to survive if a pet meal obtains protein from grain sources. Second, suppose the grain goods are maize gluten, wheat gluten, or rice gluten. In that case, you run the possibility of compounds like melamine being added to them only to increase the protein analysis.

Melamine, by the way, was one of the substances discovered to be the cause of the March 2007 pet food recall. And there’s another issue with grains: aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a lethal mold found in corn, wheat, and soy responsible for several other pet food recalls you may not have heard about. For example, Diamond Pet Food included moldy grains that killed over 100 pets before the product was placed in December 2005 – all due to aflatoxin.

I suggest avoiding pet food containing corn, wheat, or soy. The danger is too great.

Secret #4…

More things to check for in ingredient lists…chemical preservatives. Artificial preservatives in pet food are a well-kept secret in the industry. BHA/BHT are common chemical preservatives in pet food, and studies have connected them to tumors and cancer. Ethoxyquin is another frequent preservative that has been linked to cancer. Because of the minute amounts, ethoxyquin is only permitted in human food in a few spices. However, it is allowed in far more significant concentrations in pet food. How do I find the right Best natural food for cats?

Scanning the ingredient lists will reveal the presence of BHA/BHT and ethoxyquin. BHA/BHT is commonly used to preserve fat in food, typically found higher on the list. Also, search for any of these substances near the bottom of the ingredient list. I would not feed these chemical preservatives to my pets. Instead, you want a natural preservative in your pet food, such as ‘natural mixed tocopherols’ or ‘vitamin E.’

Secret #5 …

The most fabulous food to feed your pet is well-made and has human-grade components. That should be easy…How did you locate that? You are well aware that pet food producers are not permitted to make any statements regarding the quality or grade of ingredients; the only method to determine the status or rate of your pets’ food is to contact the manufacturer and inquire.

Imagine you phone the ABC pet food company and ask, “Is your Premium dog food and Premium cat food made using human-grade ingredients?” You can get the response, “Yes, we use human-grade ingredients,” when just a couple of ingredients are. The trick is to ask them if they are APHIS European certified.

Pet food suppliers who are APHIS European approved to guarantee that ALL of their ingredients are human grade. APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Services) is a USDA division. APHIS European certification allows this pet food producer to send their foods/treats to Europe. When importing pet meals from the United States, European countries demand that all ingredients be of human-grade quality, necessitating this certification. Most pet food businesses with APHIS European accreditation do not transport their products to Europe; instead, they use it to reassure their clients about the higher quality of their ingredients.

Again, you will NOT see this listed on the label because it is prohibited. It would be best if you inquired with the manufacturer. When you ask about APHIS certification, the pet food representative may need to learn what you’re talking about; if this is the case, you can presume they are not APHIS European certified.

APHIS European accreditation benefits pet owners; however, it is not obligatory, nor is it even recommended, that any pet food company go through the extra efforts to achieve this certification. This is an extra step that some pet food companies take to show their clients that they CARE about the quality of their products. I would not purchase pet food that lacks it.

By the way, if you can’t reach the pet food manufacturer or if they don’t answer your call within a reasonable amount of time, save their phone number! Businesses that prioritize responding to consumer queries do not deserve your business!

Secret #6…

Minerals are essential components of both human and animal diets. Copper, iron, and zinc are common minerals in pet meals. Unfortunately, copper, iron, and zinc are pebbles that are tough for anyone or any pet to use. Science has devised numerous methods for introducing minerals into the body (both human and animal) for improved absorption, benefiting the individual considerably more. This scientific advancement is known as chelating or protecting and has existed for many years. Minerals are absorbed 60% better when they are chelated or proteinate than when not.

This trick involves identifying the minerals in your pet food and determining whether they are chelated or proteinate. Look for minerals near the bottom of the ingredient list on your pet food label. You want minerals with the words ‘copper proteinate’ or ‘chelated copper’ on them. If you only see the mineral listed, your pet is like Charlie Brown on Halloween, stating, “I got a rock.” Chelated or proteinate minerals are included in the best foods if you want the best for your pet!

Secret #7…

This is known as ‘friendly bacteria.’ Although the term ‘friendly bacteria’ may sound frightening, the reason for it is found in your pet’s intestinal tract. The digestive system houses a substantial amount of your pet’s immune system. Keeping the immune system healthy aids in the overall health of the animal.

This friendly bacteria is comparable to what is found in yogurt, but it is incorporated in pet food so that the cooking process does not destroy it. When reading the fine print on your pet food label, search for long, scientific phrases like Lactobacillus Acidophilus or Bifidobacterium Thermophilum. If you don’t notice these terms or something similar, your pet’s diet isn’t addressing immune system care. Again, if you want the best for your pet, you want ‘friendly bacteria’ in their diet.

Here are seven tips for finding the healthiest and greatest pet chow for your four-legged friend. With those secrets in hand, you’ll be able to find the most fantastic food for your pet! A pet diet can help them live longer by preventing premature aging and sickness. If you don’t want to conduct the research, please subscribe to my monthly publication Petsumer Report(TM). I’ve done all the legwork for you by reviewing and rating over 40 pet meals, treats, toys, and other pet products each month through Petsumer Report(TM). It is the ONLY newspaper that provides pet owners with the information they need to make pet product purchases.

I have a couple more things to say…

It is ideal for feeding an adult dog or cat twice a day. This is because the nourishment they ingest with two meals daily is more efficient than just one meal. For example, if you feed your pet one meal daily, divide that amount into two meals and feed in the morning and evening. How do you choose the best dry cat food for weight loss?

You should be aware that all canned or moist pet foods contain between 70% and 85% moisture. This means that 70% to 85% of the nourishment in the can or pouch is water. Although our pets require water, cats, in particular, do not drink enough of it. However, because all canned or moist foods are primarily water, they need to supply more nourishment to be fed exclusively on a canned or wet diet. Therefore, use a canned or moist product to enhance your pet’s diet, not as the sole source of nutrition.

The best pet foods are organically preserved (secret #4), however, there is one issue with naturally preserved pet foods…freshness. Take note of the expiration date on your pet’s food label; usually, the expiration date is one year to 18 months from the day it was created with naturally preserved dry pet foods (not as much of a worry with soft meals due to canning – very little need for preservatives).

For example, assume the pet food you wanted to buy on July 1, 2007, has a ‘Best if Used by’ date of January 1, 2008. This indicates that the pet food bag is over six months old. While it is still ‘excellent,’ fresher food – a bag no more than 2 or 3 months old – is preferable. Natural pet meals lose nutritional potency over time. Always go for a bag that is as fresh as possible.

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