Advice & Information · Nutrition · Uncategorized

Don’t Be a Blind Consumer When Buying Pet Food

If any of you consider your dogs and cats to be not only animals, but a member of the family you are probably always on the hunt for ways to optimize their health regardless of what you feed.

In the U.S. alone, $60 billion was spent on pets in 2015, and food accounted for $22-23 billion of total expenditures. Quite evidently, pet food is the fastest-growing segment in the pet industry. That’s a lot of money going to pet food companies and suppliers to nourish our pets- reflecting the huge responsibility on the pet food industry to do right by us, the consumers.

us-pet-food-spending-1507PETtreats_fig1
Image c/o petfoodindustry.com

A large and booming market indicates lots of competition in the space. It is becoming increasingly difficult to weed out pet food brands that we can trust versus those that are dishonest about their products. With the recent trend and growing consumer demand for grain-free, fresh, protein-rich, and reputably-sourced ingredients in pet foods, health-conscious pet owners are looking for better, healthier alternatives. But with clever marketing strategies executed by large pet food companies using catch-all phrases such as “all-natural” and “fresh,” pet parents are overwhelmed with all the options on the market and don’t know what is truly best for their pets.

No pet parent is safe from the increase in recent pet food recalls from even “premium,” trusted pet food brands. That is why we need to be more proactive when it comes to choosing the right foods for our 4-leggers.

RecallSalmonellaRawKibble-1024x601
Image c/o truthaboutpetfood.com

Pet food labeling regulations are established by the Food & Drug Administration; however, there is no requirement that pet products have pre-market approval by the FDA. That means that pet foods are not checked for truthful labeling before they hit store shelves.

Another concern is the quality and source of ingredients in pet foods. For example, the word “chicken” does not reveal anything about the source, quality, or condition of the animal processed in the pet food.

how-to-read-a-dog-food-label

In my opinion, the best pet foods are those that are as fresh as possible, minimally-processed, limited-ingredient, lightly-cooked (or raw), free of gluten, soy and corn, and high in rich, quality protein from safe sources. However, you choose what you want to feed your pet and the food that meets their needs.

Below I have compiled a list of websites that provide very thorough and informative research on deciphering pet food labels. They all contain important and relevant information regarding what you should have your eyes peeled for when shopping for the right pet food for your beloved family member.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=668

http://www.hillspet.com/en/us/pet-care/resources/pet-food-labels-simplified

http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/nutrition-center/determining-best-dog-food-ingredients-label

http://www.dogfoodproject.com/?page=labelinfo101

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/02/03/choosing-a-healthy-dog-food-for-your-pet.aspx

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/ucm047113.htm

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, I strongly suggest you check out my informational guide on pet nutrition as well as my post on how to add health-boosting supplements to your dog’s existing diet to optimize long-term health and wellness.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a pet nutritionist or veterinarian, nor do I claim to be one. All the information contained in this post are of my informed opinion drawn from personal experience and expertise in the subject. 

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15 thoughts on “Don’t Be a Blind Consumer When Buying Pet Food

    1. Thank you very much, Jessica! I am thrilled to hear you learn something new from reading my posts!

      I am by no means a pet nutritionist (although I’d like to be); just a health-conscious pet parent who goes above and beyond to make sure Alaska and Oreo are well-fed and taken care of the best I can. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny how pets makes our lives not only complete, but grounded and centered as well. 🙂

        You’re welcome. It’s true. You’re super kind, really smart, and have an awesome blog. Lucky me! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m blown away by your kind words! As a new blogger, I have never heard such genuine feedback from a reader. This really boosts my motivation to keep doing what I love, and I am so happy to have you join in, though virtually, on our journey! Thank you, Jessica 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great Post! The amount of dog food that is available on the market is intimidating at times but I find feeding on rotation works best for my pups since feel like no food is the one best food. I also home-cook and sometimes feed the pups raw when time permits because minimally processed is best. Thanks for all the info!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am an advocate for raw feeding and home-cooked! No diet or food is the only best, it all depends what we can afford, have time for and what helps our individual pups thrive.

      You’re very welcome, thank you for stopping by and reading! 🙂

      Like

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