There are many things that the pet food label doesn’t tell you in order to choose a safe, healthy pet food. To make matters worse, getting the needed information from the pet food manufacturer can be like pulling teeth. And then, to top it off, once you finally get the information you asked for, the pet food company legally prevents you from sharing the information learned. This just really bites.
There are many things that the dog food or cat food label doesn’t tell you that every pet owner deserves to know; one being country of origin of ingredients. Recently, an email was sent to a pet food company asking if any ingredients were sourced outside the United States, and if so, what ingredient and what country? The email sent specifically asked about vitamins and minerals in the pet food (this was a very smart pet owner). One of the latest tricks of pet food companies is to Not include country of origin information of vitamins and minerals. For some reason (perhaps its that so many of the vitamins and minerals come from China), some pet food companies of late feel as if vitamins and minerals are not ingredients (?); some simply neglect to provide that information. This particular pet owner asked for this information specifically (they asked if any vitamins and minerals were sourced from China) along with asking about country of origin of all other ingredients.
The first reply received from a representative of this pet food company was something similar to a response you’d get from a politician. It was full of accolades for what this pet food company does to keep its pet food safe; but it didn’t answer the full question. The pet food company reply (first reply) provided the typical ‘lamb from New Zealand’ response, but it did not make any mention of country of origin of vitamins and minerals. In fact, the reply stated the Veterinarian Representative was ‘not aware’ of any ingredients being sourced from China.
Hmmm, a veterinarian representative of the pet food company that is ‘not aware’ where the ingredients in the pet food are from? That’s comforting.
So, another email was sent by this pet owner asking the veterinarian representative that since they ‘weren’t aware’ perhaps they could ask someone that was aware. The second email specifically asked (again) if any vitamins or minerals in the pet foods originate in China or other Asian countries.
A week passed, no response. A third email was sent to the pet food company, again asking the golden question. The next day the representative confirmed that ‘some vitamins are sourced from Asia’.
But wait, there is more to the story! Being quite frustrated at the struggle to obtain this information, and as well, learning that this pet food company sources vitamins from China, this pet owner wanted to share this information with other concerned pet owners. But they cannot. This pet food company attached the Electronic Communications Privacy Act warning to the email communication. It states that the information shared is confidential and privileged. Sharing the information in any fashion is prohibited.
Not only do pet owners have to scratch and claw to get the information they deserve to know in the first place, now some pet food companies are preventing those that go to the multiple efforts to discover the truth from sharing it with other concerned pet owners.
Be determined and discover the information about your pets’ food you deserve to be told. Don’t accept evasive answers. Keep emailing and asking the tough questions. If there is no response, or if you have to repeatedly ask the same question, that in itself gives you some valuable information. If the pet food company attaches the Electronic Communications Privacy Act warning on the email, that too tells you a great deal.
Questions to ask your pet food manufacturer:
1. Do all ingredients in the pet food – including vitamins and minerals – originate from U.S. sources? If no, what ingredients from what country? (Risk country of origin would be Asian countries.)
2. Do the meat meal ingredients such as chicken meal include bones and internal organs? (A new study from EWG.org showed that bone in pet foods is linked to high levels of fluoride; high levels of fluoride is linked to bone cancer. http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/388/1/The-latest-pet-food-concern-Fluoride/Page1.html )
3. What is the preservative used by your supplier for fish meal? Not the preservative you use, I would like to know what preservative is used by the supplier of your fish meal. (Some fish meal suppliers use ethoxyquin – a chemical preservative linked to serious illness including cancer. Federal laws require fish meal suppliers to preserve with ethoxyquin UNLESS a special permit is obtained to preserve the fish meal with a safer alternative such as Naturox.)
4. Are the meat ingredients human grade/quality or pet grade/quality? (By official definition, all pet food meat ingredients are considered pet grade. However many pet food companies use the same quality meat found in your grocery, others do not using left overs or rejected for use in human food grade meats.)
5. What is the shelf life of your foods? (Shelf life varies from pet food to pet food. Knowing the shelf life of your pet food and checking the ‘Best By’ date on the package tells you how fresh the food actually is.)
6. Where are your foods made? Do you have your own manufacturing facility? If not, who makes your foods? (Most U.S. or Canadian sold foods are made in the U.S. or Canada. Some companies have their own manufacturing plants, and others sub-contract manufacturing to other plants.)
7. Does this manufacturing plant have any special certifications to assure the safety of the food? (Special certifications such as APHIS EU would give the pet owner some insight to quality of ingredients and quality control.)
8. Do your canned foods have a BPA lining? (BPA or Bisphernol A is an element of plastic; BPA is known to leach into foods with increased heat and it is linked to serious illness. Recently, current FDA ‘safe’ BPA levels has been highly questioned. Currently, only small cans of some pet foods are BPA free.)
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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