When consumers are misled by a pet food company, it doesn’t make me happy. I’ve found that Almo Nature Pet Food is providing very misleading information to consumers that could result in sick pets – especially cats. I’ve reported this to FDA, Florida Department of Agriculture, and now to all consumers.
A pet food consumer alerted me to a possible problem with Almo Nature Pet Food’s recommended feeding (thank you!). The pet food’s website (cat food) tells consumers that 60% wet food + 40% dry food = 100% Balanced Nutrition.
The problem is that this pet food is only meat and moisture, it contains no supplements or no additional food ingredients that would provide the cat complete nutrition. It is puzzling how this company can state 60% of their wet food + 40% dry food would = 100% balanced nutrition. While meat only pet foods can be a wonderful supplement to a pet’s diet, meat only does not provide 100% balanced nutrition.
So, I asked the company if their foods were complete and balanced…
On August 27, 2015 I sent a second request for information to Almo Nature (first request sent a week earlier was ignored): “This is a second request. I would like to know if your pet foods meet AAFCO nutrient profile for a complete diet or if the foods are for supplemental feeding.”
On September 7, 2015 I received the following response…(bold added)…
Thank you for your interest in our product.
Almo Nature products can be complete or complementary (supplemental feeding).
All the complete dry or wet foods comply with the FEDIAF guidelines. Currently we don’t sell complete dry or wet foods in US, but our nutrient profiles comply also with AAFCO requirements, since they are quite the same.
Feel free to contact us for further informations!
Almo Nature Pet Food”
(Note: FEDIAF is the European Pet Food Industry Federation)
Same day (September 7, 2015) I responded…
“Thank you for your response. Yes – I do have a few more questions. Your website states 60% wet food (your food) plus 40% dry food 100% equals balanced nutrition. Can you provide information of how you came to that calculation? My concern would be cats not getting enough nutrients using this system of feeding. So if you can provide your information of how this style of feeding would be complete and balanced it would be appreciated.”
Today (September 11, 2015) I received the following response…
We take the chance to go a bit deeper in Almo Nature philosophy to explain it better !
Nutritional requirements may vary considerably from cat to cat, even among animals living in the same house and having similar habits. This wide variation among individual animals can be due to intrinsic factors (age, breed, body size, body condition, temperament, health status or activity), as well as external ones (ambient temperature, housing conditions, etc).
Complete products are adequately supplemented with vitamins and minerals, so that each recipe can meet all cats’ nutritional needs in a single meal. In terms of nutritional profile, complete recipes may be given every day, for the cat’s entire life span.
However, Almo Nature does not recommend this dietary approach as the unique source of nutrition, because it lacks the full nutrients variety which contributes to every cat’s wellbeing. We should not forget that each cat has different needs! Let’s just think of our cats behaviour and we’ll realize how much nutritional needs can change pretty frequently, for example in winter time, cats tend to stay at home and nap in a warm place, while they are more active in summer. Different behaviours mean different needs and the diet should be adjusted accordingly. This is why one recipe, even if complete, may not always be the most appropriate choice.
Complementary products – as per definition – are not enough to meet a cat’s nutritional needs in a single meal. But this is what actually happens also to us, humans: we are not concerned with every single meal to be complete, because we balance our diet and overall nutrition rotating among different foods and nutrients (meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, etc).
Almo Nature recommends a nutritional advice based on rotation to grant the cat a wide range of different nutrients, as it would have found in nature.
The percentage of wet (60%) and dry food(40%) originates from cats’ nature: cats are carnivores. Their natural prey and diet mostly consist of mice and small rodents. Both have a body mass containing 70 to 80% water. This is why cats lack a natural instinct to drink water: they satisfy their water needs from their prey. And this is why we adjusted our nutritional advice accordingly, to respect and be in tune with their nature, with a diet « from their point of view ».
Almo Nature’s feeding advice allows each of us to adapt our cat’s diet to his lifestyle and habits ensuring hydration and a complete mix of all food sources. Furthermore. Almo Nature nutritional advice is based on FEDIAF and AAFCO feeding guidelines.
Almo Nature Pet Food”
And finally I responded with…
“I still don’t understand how you can say that your product would provide a cat with a complete diet when fed with 40% dry food. I attend AAFCO meetings and hold advisory position to the Pet Food Committee and the Ingredient Definitions Committee of AAFCO. I am not aware of any AAFCO feeding guideline that suggests a supplemental food can be added to a balanced food (at a 60/40 ratio) and the diet be considered complete. If I’m missing something, please let me know. Please provide the AAFCO documentation that backs up your suggested 60/40 feeding recommendation is within regulatory feeding guidelines.
I am very concerned that pets eating a diet as you suggest would be missing required nutrients. Your advice to consumers is what I consider as reckless. The nutrient requirements established by AAFCO are based on research performed by the National Research Council. The nutrient requirements are not based on ‘satisfying moisture needs’ of a cat. Moisture needs and nutritional requirements are both important to cats – but your advise to pet food consumers is neglecting the nutritional requirements.
Your website and your suggested feeding recommendations on your labels should be changed immediately. I also suggest, if your company truly cares about the health of animals consuming your food, that your company issue a press release alerting consumers that the suggested 60/40 feeding ratio could result in health concerns in some pets due to lack of a balanced diet.
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
Association for Truth in Pet Food
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