Most readers of this blog will look at the package of their pet food and will see the words “meets AAFCO standards.” It is very common for people to think that means the food is healthy for their dogs and cats. It is shocking to find out pet food is just a means of disposing of feed ingredients that are not acceptable for humans to eat – rather than just throwing it out.
Here’s a prime example: not one of us as parents would feed our two-legged children food that contained lead, mercury, zinc, cadmium or arsenic. However, a year ago, AAFCO officials passed a resolution permitting “acceptable” levels of these toxic metals in pet food. Additionally, this ingredient (zinc oxide) is being used to feed livestock – the animals we humans eat. This heavy-metal soup builds up in the body; it does not leave without being forced out. Our bodies. So the more meat we eat that has been fed zinc oxide, the more likely we will have heavy-metal poisoning – including our children. Same for our dogs and cats who are eating this inferior ingredient (zinc oxide). When objections were voiced to the ingredient definition, the answer from some AAFCO officials responded “there are other ingredients with higher levels of heavy metals!” Apparently that makes it safer – not in my world.
I will attend the next AAFCO meeting in August ’15. I’ll let you know what they come up with next!
Dr. Cathy Alinovi DVM
As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Cathy treated 80% of what walked in the door — not with expensive prescriptions — but with adequate nutrition. Now retired from private practice, her commitment to pets hasn’t waned and she looks forward to impacting many more pet parents through her books, research, speaking and consulting work. Learn more at drcathyvet.com