That’s basically what we are told as pet food consumers…just trust me. The pet food is safe, the ingredients are healthy, nothing comes from China…just trust me. So far, only a handful of pet food manufacturers have realized that ‘just trust me’ is nothing more than the famous used car sales pitch, ‘the car was owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday’. Here are the pet food companies that understand we deserve more than ‘just trust me’ and why no pet owner should have to ‘just trust’ any pet food manufacturer.
Have you ever bought a used car? A slick salesman shows you this shiny car, tells you the story ‘the car used to be owned by a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sunday’, assures you it’s perfect for you…’just trust me’ – they say. And you do…
You buy the car (and the sales pitch)…drive your shiny, low mileage pride for a week, then parts start falling off as it breaks down on the highway leaving you stranded. Those words of ‘just trust me’ ring in your head – you’ve just been taken.
Now imagine this same scenario with a pet food. Picture a pet food packaged in a beautiful bag with ‘shiny’ images. The advertising on this pet food tells a story hard to resist – Helps your Pet Live Longer, Proudly Made in the USA, Premium Nutrition. You buy the pet food. Then you learn the ingredients in this pet food can be sourced from junkyard type material such as rendered euthanized animals or livestock rejected for use in human food – (illegal per federal law but FDA Compliance Policies allow into pet foods). This same pet food sources ‘junk’ vegetable bits and pieces, and the cheapest vitamins and minerals (China).
If this pet food turns out to be a lemon, the pet breaks down often suffering serious illness or even death. There are no lemon laws with pet food protecting the consumer or the pet.
Just like with a used car, we know there can be lemons and we have to ask questions. Because FDA Compliance Policies allow some of the worst of the worst garbage from the processing of human food, we ask our pet food manufacturers what is the grade or quality of meat and vegetable ingredients? Because recent history has quality of foods or food ingredients sourced from China are risky, we ask our pet food manufacturers the country of origin of ingredients? And for the most part, they simply tell us ‘just trust me’.
I’ve spoken with and emailed with pet food companies thousands of times. With the exception of only a few, conversations asking the quality of ingredients and country of origin of ingredients goes something similar to this…
Me: What is the grade of meat and vegetable ingredients in your pet foods? What is the country of origin of all ingredients?
Pet Food: Our meat ingredients are sourced from a USDA facility, our vegetables are sourced locally. With the exception of lamb from New Zealand, all ingredients are sourced from U.S. suppliers.
Me: But what is the grade of those ingredients? I am aware that pet food is allowed to use meats and vegetables that are rejected for use in human foods, needless to say, I don’t want this for my pet. Are the meat and vegetable ingredients in your pet foods USDA inspected and approved? And with my question of ingredient origin, U.S. suppliers doesn’t tell me the country of origin…can you provide me with the country of origin of all ingredients?
Pet Food: We use only the finest quality of ingredients, again all meat ingredients are sourced from USDA inspected meat processing facilities and vegetables are sourced mainly from local farmers. And with the exception of lamb from New Zealand, all ingredients originate from the U.S.
Me: Thank you for your response, but I would like to know the actual grade of meat and vegetable ingredients you purchase for use in your pet foods. I am aware that rejected for use in human food animal or animal parts come from a ‘USDA inspected facility’. Again, I don’t want this type of meat in the pet food I purchase. As example, is the chicken used in your pet food USDA inspected and approved Grade A? And does the country of origin information you provided include vitamins and minerals?
Pet Food: I have no information if the chicken or other meats are Grade A. However please be assured that we only source the finest of ingredients for use in our pet foods. Some vitamins and minerals are sourced from China as they are the only country in the world to produce them.
For starters, most pet owners would not know to keep digging and digging to discover the true quality of the pet food. But more importantly, we shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to ‘just trust them’.
A handful of pet food companies have recognized the dilemma pet food consumers are in. They have showed us with their actions we don’t have to ‘just trust them’.
We asked for a Pledge to Quality and Origin of ingredients in our pet foods and treats. These companies said you don’t have to ‘just trust me’ – we’ll give you our word.
I would never buy a used car – trusting that car with my life – based solely on what the salesman told me. And I would never buy a pet food – trusting that pet food with the life of my pet – based solely on what the advertising or the packaging told me. If they want my business, they are going to have to do far more than stating ‘just trust me’. Remember, shiny advertising and a good story can hide the worst of pet food junk.
It is certainly within your rights as an informed consumer to ask for more.
One more used car analogy…With used cars they say ‘show me the CARFAX’. With pet foods, please tell them ‘show me the Pledge‘. Ask for their word, their Pledge to Quality and Origin of pet food and pet treat ingredients. As a consumer who is buying a product your pet’s life depends on, you deserve this.
Several pet food companies have emailed me and shared they will soon provide their Pledge. As new Pledges come in, they will be posted Here.
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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