Seven Secrets To Choosing A Safe, Healthy Pet Food

Do you choose dry or canned food? What is the best brand? There are so many different brands, all shapes and sizes of pet food you can pick from, and pet owners are given very little information to help you make your decision (other other than advertisements) It can be so confusing! Well, buckle your seatbelt depending on your knowledge about the industry of pet food This is likely to be a bumpy ride! You are about to learn seven secrets – well-kept secrets about pet food. Relax, be prepared and keep reading. Visit:-

Beneful says it’s ‘Premium Dog Food to ensure a healthy, happy dog’ and retails at around $18.00 for a 31-lb. bag. Science Diet “promises” ‘precisely balanced nutrition through ongoing research and the highest quality food backed by the Vets endorsement’. It retails for around $21.00 for just a 20 pounds bag. Then there are numerous pet foods with similar claims”Premium Dog Food, the highest quality’ that sell for $30.00 to $30.00 for a large 20 lb bag. And the same holds true for cats owners…Do you choose Whiskas that states ‘Everything we do is about making cats happy to make them happy!’ or do choose one of those expensive cat foods that make the very same claim of having a healthy, happy cat, but cost three times more?

As of now, with the ongoing pet food recall pet owners have to answer questions such as: “Has this food been removed from the market? or ‘Is this the next to be recalled ?’… Is my pet safe or is it safe for my pet? This is a bit an enigma! It’s also scary! What exactly is the pet’s owner’s job? Do you want to learn a few secrets! Equipped with the understanding of a few of the secrets to pet food and pet food, it’s less complex as it sounds.

Secret #1…

All pet food brands use descriptive words such as choice and premium, yet only a small percentage of them actually use premium or choice components in their foods. The secret is that according to the rules of the pet food industry it is illegal for any pet food to claim or make claims on their packaging or advertisement on the quality or the grade of ingredients. It’s true that the term “premium” when it’s referring to pet food DOES NOT indicate that the ingredients used that make up the food are high-end. In the case of pet food, premium is not a term used to (can not) refer to the food or is it able to (can it) refer to the quality of the food. It’s a marketing term and that’s it. As per the pet food industry’s own rules and regulations, “There are no references to ingredient quality or grade” (regulation PF5 d 3). Also, terms such as premium, or choice, or quality are simply sales or marketing terms. They should not be interpreted as words describing the high quality of food.

So why should the pet food label be able to inform potential buyers the high-quality of the ingredients they use? Isn’t it a right of a pet owner to know what they’re purchasing? This brings me to the next step…


If I can compare ‘people foods’ with pet food in one second, we have a sense of the various qualities of pet food. There is White Castle (I’m guilty here as I love the little guys!) There is also Outback Steak House (another favorite). Both restaurants offer meat and potatoes. At White Castle for under $3.00 you can get two hamburgers as well as fries. While at Outback you can buy the steak and baked potato for around $16.00. Both places serve potato and beef but you’re already aware that there are massive nutritional differences between a McDonald’s fast-food hamburger and a steak…right?

The problem in the food industry for pets is that the majority of pet owners do not think in the same terms regarding food for their pets. They don’t realize of fast food-types of pet foods and there are sit down restaurant healthier pet food. Actually, some years ago a young man attempted this same experiment on his own diet by eating only the fast foods for 30 consecutive days. In the course of just one month eating fast food three times a day, he gained lots of weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels sky-rocketed. Now imagine your pet eating this type of food for his entire existence.

Okay, let’s go let’s go back to our previous meals…if an analysis of the chemical composition of the food you ate in White Castle was compared to an analysis of the chemical composition of your meal at Outback Both would be analyzed with a percentage of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Regardless whether you consider a steak from Outback superior in quality of protein than the burger it still would be classified as protein. It isn’t a way to determine the how much protein is actually being used.

The secret…All pet food products come with a Guaranteed analysis that shows the percentage of fat, protein and moisture, as well as fiber. the food. The REAL secret lies in the quality of the percentages of fat, protein, and so on.

If you were to conduct a chemical analysis on a pet food – chicken feet would analyze as proteins, but it’s not very nutritious. Also an animal that was executed (put to lay down) due to a condition that rendered it unfit for human consumption could be evaluated as protein although that could be considered dangerous for consumption. Both of these items – chicken feet as well as the carcass of a cow that has been killed are allowable ingredients and commonly utilized as pet food ingredients. The secret to success in the food industry for pets is that producers have an WIDE OPEN door to where they obtain their ingredients. The only restriction they must follow is an adult dog food has to analyze at least 18% protein. Likewise, adult cat food should analyze with 26 percent protein. The sources used to get those percentages vary from ‘human grade’ animal, to chicken feet, to animal euthanasia, to grain proteins, and man created chemical proteins, and numerous varieties in between.

Pet food labels don’t need to reveal – and are not allowed to tell – the sources they use for the required 18 percentage or 26% protein. Then to make it worse…quality conscious pet food producers that make use of the highest quality human grade ingredients are not able to tell customers or potential customers that their food is made from premium, human-grade ingredients.

So how can you know whether the food your pet eats contains cattle feet or euthanized animals or if it has human grade ingredients?

Secret #3…

If the words premium and selection mean nothing in regard to quality the food for your pet, and if some food items contain animal euthanasia and chicken feet in their food – how does a pet owner know what they are getting in their pet’s food?

This secret can be found in the definitions of ingredients. Contrary to “people’s” food, where you simply take a look at the food and determine the quality the pet food is completely different. Foods that are marketed as ‘people’ must be in compliance with specific USDA (United USDA) (United States Department for Agriculture) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines. The same is not true when it comes to pet foods. Euthanized cows and chickens are NOT allowed in people food due to obvious reasons – they have no nutritional value or are dangerous to eat. The same is NOT true with pet food. The only way of knowing whether those chicken feet or euthanized cows are included in the food of your pet is to identify the ingredients they may be included in.

The standard pet food ingredient ‘Meat and Bone Meal’ is essentially a mixture of various leftovers from the human food industry. Ingredients in’meat and bone meal’ can be anything from cow heads, stomachs and intestines, up to (horrifying but true) the euthanized animals, which include cows, horses and dogs and cats from veterinarians’ clinics, animal rescue shelters, and farms. Along with the pets that have been killed, the food also contains pentabarbitol which was employed to kill the animal. ‘Meat and bone meal’ may also contain leftover restaurant grease and cancerous (including cancerous) meat tissues that have been removed from animals killed. In other words, this widely utilized ingredient is a mixture of inferior and dangerous left-overs from the human food industry.

The ingredient in pet food ‘Meat By-Product’ or ‘Meat By-Product Meal’ is pretty identical to “meat and bone meal”. It’s an extremely inferior pet food ingredient containing practically nothing.

Another ingredient that is similar to the above is ‘Animal Digestion’..

Regarding the chicken feet, I have mentioned them earlier. the item is in the ingredients ‘Chicken By-Product (also known as ‘Poultry By Product’) or ‘Chicken By-Product Meal’ or ‘Poultry By-Product Meal’. Anything left over from the poultry or chicken division – which includes but is not restricted to chicken feet, skin including feathers, poultry or chicken heads, and intestines are present in these components. It does NOT matter as to the condition of the bird. It could be sick, healthy, in a state of death, dying…all is included in these ingredients.

This is the thing you must do…BEFORE you buy any pet food, flip the bag and go through what ingredients are listed. The ingredients mentioned above would be listed in the initial five or 10 ingredients. If you are able to identify any of those ingredients – it is my recommendation to not buy that food. Keep in mind that chicken feet and euthanized animals do analyze as protein. This is all that’s needed in pet food, only the correct analysis.

Another little trick some manufacturers of pet food use in this area is the use of grains and chemical additives to grain products to boost the protein levels. That is exactly the reason of the recall for pet food that started in March 2007 – chemical proteins. Two chemical ingredients – that are not nutritionally beneficial for pets, yet have been analyzed as proteins added to a cereal product (wheat gluten as well as corn gluten as well as rice gluten) for the sole purpose of providing inexpensive protein. There were thousands of animals killed and a multitude of others got sick because no one counted on the possibility that the combination of the two chemicals that could cause kidney and urinary blockage. Again, their secret is the product must be evaluated as having a certain amount of protein . No one is required to offer high-quality meat protein.

While you are looking at the ingredient listing – you should be aware of the quantity of grains (corn wheat, rice, corn) and/or the amount of grain products (corn gluten, whole ground corn, whole wheat, ground, wheat gluten, brown rice, brewers ‘ rice, soy, and on and on) are listed within those five or six ingredients. If you find more than one grain listed as the primary ingredient, that means this pet food is getting some proteins from the grains.

Why is the protein that comes from grains essential to understand? Several reasons – first off scientific research shows that cats and dogs alike require and thrive on meat protein. If a pet food includes protein from grain sources it is not getting the protein it requires to be healthy. Second, if the grain products are corn gluten, wheat gluten or rice gluten, you take the risk of chemicals like melamime, for instance, being added to it used strictly for the purpose of boosting proteins analysis. In fact, melamime is one of the chemical found to be the cause that led to the February 2007 pet food recall. And there is one more concern about grains – aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a deadly mould that’s prevalent in corn, wheat, and soy and it’s responsible for several other pet food recalls you’ve never heard of. It was discovered in the month of December, 2005. Diamond Pet Food contained mouldy grains that killed more than 100 pets before the product was taken off the market because of aflatoxin.

It is my recommendation to avoid any pet food which contains wheat, corn or soy in any variation. The risk is just too high.

Secret #4…

I’ve got some more suggestions to search to in your ingredient listings…chemical preservatives. A very well kept secret of the pet food industry is their use of chemical preservatives. BHA and BHT are extremely popular chemical preservatives in pet food, and research has linked them with cancerous tumors and other malignancies. Another preservative that is commonly used is ethoxyquin that is known to pose risks for cancer. Ethoxyquin is only permitted in human food in a few spices because of its tiny amounts. It is however allowed in much greater amounts in pet food.

If you check the ingredient list You will look for BHA/BHT and Ethoxyquin everywhere. Usually, BHA/BHT is used in order to preserve the fat in the food items, which is usually in the upper part of the list. You should also search for these chemicals towards the end of the list of ingredients. Personally, I wouldn’t eat any pet food that contains these preservatives made of chemicals. It is best to choose a pet food with natural preservation. typical natural preservatives are ‘natural mixed tocopherols’, or vitamin E’.

Secret #5…

The best food to provide to your pet is a carefully created food made with human grade ingredients. It should be easy enough…How do you determine this? We all know that pet food producers are NOT allowed to provide any information regarding the quality or purity of their ingredients, the only way you can discover the grade or quality of your pet’s food is to call the manufacturer and inquire.

Now, let’s imagine that you call an ABC pet food company and ask the question “Is your Premium dog food and Premium cat food made using human grade ingredients?” It could be that you get the response yes, we make use of human grade ingredients but only a few of ingredients are of human grade. This is the way to go about asking…ask them if they are APHIS European Certified.

Pet food companies that possess APHIS European certified guarantees that all ingredients used that they use in their pet food are human grade. APHIS is Animal Plant Health Inspection Services is a division of the USDA. APHIS European certification provides this pet food manufacturer with the ability to ship their products and treats to Europe. When importing pet foods out of the US, European countries demand that all ingredients are human grade , and hence need this certification. Most pet food manufacturers that possess APHIS European certification do not send their products to Europe but instead use this certification to assure their customers of the higher high-quality of their ingredient.

You won’t see this on the label. It’s not permitted. You must call the manufacturer and inquire. Sometimes, the person who sells the food for pets won’t know what you’re asking about APHIS certification. If this is the case, you can assume they are not APHIS European accredited. APHIS European certification is a benefit for pet owners. It isn’t required or even recommended that any pet food manufacturer take the extra steps to be able to attain this. It is a particular effort some pet food manufacturers make to show their customers they REALLY CARE for the safety and quality of their products. Personally, I’d not purchase a pet food which doesn’t have it.

And by the way If you are unable to reach the pet food manufacturer or they don’t respond to your calls within a short period of time, lose their number! Any business that doesn’t place a priority on answering customer questions isn’t worthy of your business!

Secret #6…

Minerals are an essential ingredient in human diets as well as the diets of our pets. For example, Copper Iron and Zinc are common minerals that are found in pet food. As they are, iron, copper, and zinc are, in essence, minerals that are extremely difficult for anyone and any pet to consume. Scientists have come up with a variety of ways for introducing minerals to the human body (human and pets) to improve absorption, thus giving the individual a better benefit. This is a scientific breakthrough known as proteinating or chelating and has been in use for a long time. Through the chelating process, minerals are absorbed approximately 60% better than the minerals themselves.

This is the process of spotting minerals in your pet’s food to determine if they’re chelated or proteinated. Notice the minerals on your pet food’s label, which is located down on the ingredient list. Look for the minerals that say ‘copper proteinate or chelated copper’. If you only see the mineral you are looking for and your pet’s name is not listed, then it’s sort of Charlie Brown at Halloween saying “I’ve got a rock”. If you wish for your pet to be surrounded by the best, chelated or proteinated minerals are a part of the best foods!

Secret #7…

The reason for this is ‘friendly bacteria’. Although the word “friendly bacteria” may sound slightly alarming, the truth behind it lies within your pet’s’ digestive system. The majority of your pets’ immune system is found within the intestinal system. Maintaining a healthy immune system helps to keep the animal in good health. This beneficial bacteria is identical to that in yogurt, but in pet food, it’s introduced in a fashion so that cooking does not destroy it. Looking at the small print on your pet food label This time, you’re looking for lengthy scientific terms such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, or Bifidobacterium Thermophilum. If you don’t come across these or other words similar, that pet food does not address the care of your pets’ immune system. Again, if want your pet to be the very best, you must have “friendly bacteria” within their diet.

There are your seven very tips to help you choose the best and healthiest animal food you can give your furry friend. Armed with these tips, you now have the knowledge to find your pet the highest quality food available! A pet food that can extend their lifespan and avoid premature aging and disease. If you’re not inclined to do the work involved, I urge you to subscribe to my monthly publication Petsumer Report(TM). Through the Petsumer Report(TM) I’ve completed all the work for you. Each month I go through and evaluate over 40 different food items for pets as well as toys, treats, and various other pet supplies. It’s the only publication of this kind offering pet owners the information they need to know about their pet’s products purchases.

I want to share just few more details…

It’s best to feed an adult dog or adult cat two meals each day. The nutritional value they receive from two meals will be more efficient than with just one meal daily. If you feed your pet a single meal per day, divide that amount into two meals , and feed at both AM and PM.

You should know that the majority of canned or moist pet foods are anywhere between 70%-85 percent water. This means that 70% to 85% of that can or food pouch contains not worth the calories – it’s water. It is true that our pets need water, and cats in particular tend to not drink enough water. But , as all canned or moist foods comprise mostly water which is why they are not adequate nutrition to be fed exclusively a canned or moist diet. Use a canned or moist product to enhance your pet’s food intake, but not as the sole source of food.

The most delicious pet food options are preserved naturally (secret #4) However, there is a concern about preserved natural pet foods…freshness. Pay attention to the expiration date printed on the label of your pet’s food – typically , with natural preserved dry pet food (not as much of a concern with soft food due to the process of canning, which requires very little in the way of additives) when the date of expiration is one year or 18 months from the time it was manufactured. Let’s suppose that the food you are considering to purchase on July 1, 2007 has the “Best if Used by 1 January, 2008. This would tell you that the bag of food for pets is more than 6 months old. While it’s still “good it is better to buy a food that is fresher bag – that is only two or three months old – is better. Naturally preserved pet food loses nutritional value over time. Always seek out fresh bags.

If you are considering changing the food you feed your pet make sure you consult your veterinarian first. It is important to keep your vet informed about any changes you have made with your pet. Do not risk it. And if you do switch pet food, make the change over very gradually. I would always suggest to pet owners 1/4 of a new food and 3/4 of the old one for 4-7 days, and 1/2 and 1/2 after another 4 to 7 days, and the cycle continues. The rapid switching of food can lead to intestinal issues! It’s a short-term issue, but we don’t want intestinal disorders! !

A final point As you are aware, cats and dogs have a far better sense of smell than humans. Their food bowl can be an array of smells – both positive and negative. There are times when a pet may not eat because the smell of a old food that was in the bowl. Plastic food and water bowls hold the worst odors. And surprisingly so does stainless-steel bowls. The best water and food bowl is one made of ceramic. They do not retain odors.