Some dog foods and cat foods use ingredients many consider to be risk ingredients. Furthermore, those that use what many consider risk ingredients in dog foods and cat foods, defend their use vigorously. If these ingredients are so safe, why then have so many other pet food companies stopped using them?
Thirty years ago, a pet owner would have been laughed out of the pet store asking for a pet food that was preserved with mixed tocopherols (natural preservative). Today, almost all pet food manufacturers preserve naturally. Years ago, probiotics weren’t even a possibility as a pet food ingredient; same goes for chelated minerals and many other health promoting ingredients.
The ‘change’ happened when one or two conscientious pet food makers decided they couldn’t just go along like everyone else. The ‘change’ they envisioned in pet food might not have even had any dog or cat related scientific research attached to it (yet they probably had human scientific research). I’d have to guess these trail blazing pet food makers used what science they had and just went with their ‘gut’ feeling; utilizing safer, healthier ingredients in pet foods.
So…once a healthier, safer ingredient is bravely introduced to pet food world, feeding trials prove its quality, why then don’t other pet food manufacturers utilize the safer and/or healthier ingredient? Are they stubborn? Cheap? Stuck in their ‘ways’?
As an example, pet foods using chemical preservatives versus natural preservatives. Again, thirty years ago a pet owner would be laughed out of the pet store asking for a dog food or cat food that used mixed tocopherols. Thirty years later, there are only a handful of pet food makers that still use BHA/BHT, ethoxyquin, and or TBHQ (all chemical preservatives linked to serious illnesses) as a preservative for their foods. That ‘handful’ of pet food makers vigorously defends the chemicals through a variety of messages to pet owners. But I can’t help from thinking…if these ingredients are as safe as they claim, why then have the majority stopped using them?
Another example would be the ingredient Animal Fat. The FDA website states the pet food ingredient Animal Fat is one of four pet food ingredients likely to contain pentobarbital (a euthanizing drug) and thus Animal Fat is likely to contain the remains of a euthanized animal. http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm While some pet food makers use Animal Fat in dog foods and cat foods, most others use Chicken Fat or Poultry Fat. If so many pet food makers use Chicken Fat, why then would others continue to use a fat source ingredient that the FDA says is probable to contain a lethal drug and a euthanized animal?
This ‘why then’ doesn’t imply that every pet food maker should copy what their competitor is doing. However those that are stuck (or cheap or stubborn) using one particular ingredient when safer, healthier alternatives are available just doesn’t make sense.
Below is a list of pet food ingredients; row one is the perhaps riskier ingredient, row two is the perhaps safer alternative.
Risk/Inferior Ingredient? Safer/Premium Ingredient
Animal Fat Chicken Fat, Poultry Fat
BHA/BHT or TBHQ Mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E
Ethoxyquin Mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E
Menidione Sodium Bisulfate Alfalfa
Sodium Selenite Selenium yeast (only approved in dog food)
There are many other ingredients that separate pet foods, however when it comes to a safer ingredient used by the majority, why then are some still using what the majority believes to be risk?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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The 2019 List of Pet Foods I would trust to feed my own pets