Seven Secrets To Choosing A Safe, Healthy Pet Food

Do you prefer canned food or dry food? What is the best brand? There are so many different brands, of all sizes and shapes of pet food to choose from. Pet owners are given only a few facts to help you make your decision (other the advertising) and it’s very confusing! So, buckle your seatbelt depending on the level of your understanding about the industry of pet food it is a risky journey! You’re about to discover seven secrets that are well-kept secrets about pet food. Sit back, brace yourself and read on. Visit:-

Beneful claims it’s “Premium Dog Food to help you have a happy, healthy Dog’ . It retails for around $18.00 for a 31 lb. bag, Science Diet “promises” ‘precisely balanced nutrition based on ongoing research and the best quality food, backed by the Vets endorsement’ and sells for approximately $21.00 for just a 20 lb bag. Then there are numerous pet foods with the very same statements”Premium Dog Food the highest quality’ that sell for $30.00 to $30.00 for a 20-lb bag. This is also true for cats owners…Do you select Whiskas which states that ‘Everything we do is to make cats happy and content! or do you choose one of those high end cat foods that make the exact same claim of an active, healthy cat, but costs three times as much?

Now with the on-going pet recall of food, pet owners must answer to answer questions such as: “Has this food been recalled? or is this food the next to be recalled?’ ?’… Are my pets safe?’ This is so very confusing! Also, it’s scary! What’s a pet owner to do? How about learning some tricks! With the understanding of a few of the tips on pet food It’s not as confusing.

Secret #1…

Every pet food uses descriptive words like choice and premium, yet only a small percentage of them actually use the best or most expensive substances in their diet. The secret is that per the rules of the pet food industry there is no requirement for pet food to make any claim or mention on their label or advertisements on the quality or quality of ingredients. The word “premium” when it’s referring to pet food doesn’t mean that the ingredients in the food are premium. When it comes to pet foods, premium is not a term used to (can not) refer to the food or is it able to (can it) describe the quality of the food. It’s a term used to market and that’s it. Per the pet food industries own rules and regulations, “There are no references to ingredient quality or grade” (regulation PF5 D 3). Therefore, terms like premium, choice, or quality are merely sales or marketing terms. They should not be taken as describing the quality of the food.

So why should a pet food label be allowed to tell a prospective customer the high-quality of the ingredients they use? Doesn’t a pet owner deserve to know the quality of what they’re purchasing? This brings me to the next secret…


If I could make a comparison between ‘people foods’ with pet food for just the moment, we know there are different qualities of food for people. There’s White Castle (I’m guilty here I love the tiny guys!) as well as Outback Steak House (another favorite). Both restaurants serve meat as well as potatoes. In White Castle for under $3.00 you can get two hamburgers and an order of fries. While at Outback you can buy cooked potatoes and a steak for around $16.00. Both places serve potato and beef but you’re aware that there are significant nutritional differences between a McDonald’s fast-food hamburger and an expensive steak…right?

The problem in the pet food industry – is that the majority of pet owners don’t think in the same way when it comes to food for their pets. They don’t consider how there’s fast food-types of pet food. They don’t think that there are sit-down restaurant more nutritious pet foods. In fact, several years ago, a young man tried this very test with his own diet – eating nothing but fast food for 30 days. After just one month of eating fast food for three meals every day, he gained an enormous amount of weight and cholesterol and blood pressure were soaring. Imagine your pet consuming this kind of food its’ entire lifetime.

OK, so return to our two meals…if an analysis of the chemical composition of the food you ate at White Castle was compared to the chemical analysis of your food at Outback – both would analyze using a percentage of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Whatever you think about it, whether you consider the steak from Outback to be a better quality protein than the burger – it would still analyze as protein. The test doesn’t determine the high-quality protein.

The secret…All pet food products come with the Guaranteed Analyse that reveals the percentage of protein, fat and fiber as well as moisture contained in the food. The REAL secret lies in the quality of the percentages of fat, protein and others.

When analyzing the chemical composition of a pet food – chicken feet would analyze as protein, despite the fact that it provides very little nutrition. Also as a cow put to death (put to lay down) due to a condition that rendered it unfit for human consumption – would analyze as protein, though it could be considered dangerous for consumption. Both of these items – chicken feet, and an animal that was euthanized are acceptable ingredients that are commonly employed as pet food ingredients. You see the secret within the industry of pet food is that the manufacturers have access to a WIDE OPEN door to where they get their ingredients. The only strict requirement they must follow is an adult dog food must analyze at least 18% protein, and adult cat food should analyze with 26 percent protein. The sources to obtain those amounts can range from human grade’ animal, to chicken feet, animals killed for their meat, to grains proteins, even human made chemical proteins and many variations between.

Food labels for pets do not need to disclose – and cannot tell – the sources they use for the required 18 percent or 26% protein. To make things worse…quality conscious pet food producers – the companies that use 100% human grade ingredients aren’t allowed to tell customers or potential customers that their food is made from premium, human-grade ingredients.

How do you tell whether the food your pet eats contains chicken feet or euthanized cows or if it is made with human grade ingredients?

Secret #3…

If the words “premium” or choice mean basically nothing with regarding the standard of the food for your pet and, if certain food items contain chicken feet and euthanized animals in their diets, how can a pet owner be sure of what they are getting in their pet’s diet?

This big secret is found in ingredient definitions. Unlike ‘people’ food where you can pretty much take a look at the food and assess the quality however, pet food is different. The food that is marketed to people must meet particular USDA (United United States Department of Agriculture) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines. This is not the case in the case of pet food. Euthanized cows and chickens are not permitted in human food, for obvious reasons: they’re nutritionally insignificant or are dangerous to consume. This is not the case in the case of pet food. The only way of knowing if those chicken feet or cows that were euthanized are included in the food of your pet is to know what ingredients they may be included in.

The popular pet food ingredient ‘Meat and Bone Meal’ is in essence a blend of many different discarded left-overs from the food industry for humans. The ingredients of’meat and bone meal’ may range from cow heads, stomachs, and intestines to (horrifying and true) slaughtered animals like dogs, horses, as well as cats from vet clinics, animal rescue shelters, and even farms. Alongside those pets that have been killed, the food also contains the drug pentabarbitol, which was used to kill animals. “Meat and bones meal” could also contain restaurant leftovers grease and sick (including cancerous) tissue cut off from animals killed. This commonly used ingredient is a mix of highly inferior and potentially hazardous leftovers from the human food industry.

The ingredient in pet food called “Meat By-Product” also known as “Meat By-Product Meal’ does pretty much the same thing as “meat and bones meal”. It’s a very ineffective ingredient for pet food that has almost anything.

Another ingredient that is similar to the above is ‘Animal Digest’.

As to the chicken feet, I have mentioned them earlier. this item can be found in the ingredients ‘Chicken By-Product or ‘Poultry By-Product’ or ‘Chicken Meal By-Product’ or the ‘Poultry Meal’. The leftovers of the poultry or chicken division – which includes but is not restricted to the chicken’s feet, skin including feathers, poultry or chicken heads, and intestines are included in these items. It doesn’t matter to the condition of the bird – sick, healthy, dead, dying…all is included in these ingredients.

This is the thing you need to do…BEFORE you purchase every pet treat, flip the bag over and carefully look over the list of ingredients. The above-mentioned ingredients will be listed in the initial five or ten ingredients. If you notice any of those ingredients – it is my advice to not purchase the food. Remember that chicken feet as well as euthanized animals do analyze as protein. That’s all that’s required in pet food – just the proper analysis.

Another trick that some pet food producers employ in this class is to use grains and chemical additives to grain products to increase protein levels. This is precisely the reason of the recall for pet food that was announced in March of 2007 – chemical proteins. Two different chemical ingredients – which are of no nutritional value for pets, but are analyzed as protein added to the grain product (wheat gluten corn gluten, wheat gluten, or rice gluten) in order to supply low cost protein. Thousands of pets died and many others were ill since no one anticipated the dangers that the combination of the two chemicals that could result in urinary and kidney blockage. Again, their secret is the product must be evaluated to determine if it contains a certain amount of protein . No product is required to supply an adequate meat protein.

When looking through the ingredients list – you should also take note of the amount of grains (corn, wheat, rice) or how many products (corn gluten, whole ground corn entire wheat, whole grain wheat gluten, rice, brown rice, brewers ‘ rice as well as soy and on) are listed within the initial five or so ingredients. If you find more than one of the grains listed among the five first ingredients – that’s a sign that the pet food is acquiring some proteins from the grains.

Why is protein obtained from grains vital to know? Several reasons – first off science proves that dogs and cats require and thrive off meat protein. If a pet food is obtaining proteins from grain sources, the animal isn’t getting the meat that it needs to be healthy. If the grain products are wheat gluten, corn gluten or rice gluten, there is a risk of chemicals such as melamime that are added in order to increase an analysis of protein. Melamime is one of the ingredients discovered to be the root cause in the march 2007 recall on pet food. And there is one more concern with grains – aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a deadly mold that is common to wheat, corn as well as soy. It’s responsible for numerous other recalls of pet food that you’ve never heard of. The food recall was announced in December of 2005. Diamond Pet Food contained moldy grains that killed over 100 animals before the food was pulled from shelves because of aflatoxin.

It is my advice to beware of pet foods that contains corn, wheat, or soy in ANY variations. The risk is too high.

Secret #4…

I’ve got a few more suggestions for you to look to in your ingredient listings…chemical preservatives. A very well kept secret of the pet food industry is their application of chemicals as preservatives. BHA/BHT are a plethora of chemical preservatives used in pet food, and research has linked them with tumors and cancer. Another commonly used preservative is ethoxyquin with known dangers for cancer. Ethoxyquin is only permitted in human food in some spices due to the tiny amounts. It is however allowed in much greater amounts in pet food.

If you scan the ingredient lists, you will be looking for BHA/BHT as well as ethoxyquin everywhere. Typically, BHA/BHT is used to help preserve fat in food , and is typically found higher up on the list. And also look for any of these ingredients in the last section of the ingredient listing. Personally, I wouldn’t touch any pet food that contains chemical preservatives. You need a food for your pet which is naturally preserved – typical natural preservatives are ‘natural mixed tocopherols’, or vitamin E’.

Secret #5…

The most nutritious food to offer your pet is a carefully made food using human grade ingredients. It should be easy enough…How do you know that? We all know that pet food producers are NOT allowed to provide any information regarding the quality or purity of their ingredients The only way you can find out the grade or quality of your pets’ food is to call the manufacturer and inquire.

Let’s suppose you contact the ABC pet food business and ask the “Is your Premium dog food and Premium cat food made using human grade ingredients?” You might get the response yes, we use human grade ingredients – when actually only a couple of the ingredients are of human grade. This is the way to go about asking…ask the supplier if they’re APHIS European accredited.

Pet food producers that are APHIS European certified assures you that all the ingredients used included in their pet food are human-grade. APHIS – Animal Plant Health Inspection Services is a division within the USDA. APHIS European certification offers the pet food company with the option of shipping their food and treats to Europe. If they import pet food that are made in America, US, European countries demand that all ingredients be human-grade and therefore need this certification. Many pet food manufacturers who have APHIS European certification do not ship their product to Europe but instead use this to assure their clients of the quality of their ingredients.

Also, you won’t find this listed on the label. It’s just not allowed. Contact the manufacturer to inquire. Most of the time, the representative for the pet food won’t even be aware of what you’re asking about APHIS certification. If this is the case, you may assume they are not APHIS European recognized. APHIS European certification can be a huge benefit for pet owners. It is not required or even recommended that any pet food producer make the extra effort to get this. This is an extra effort some pet foods take to inform their customers that they really care regarding the high-quality of their products. Personally, I’d not purchase a pet food that does not contain it.

Also If you are unable to reach the pet food manufacturer or they don’t respond to your calls within a brief time then you must cut off their phone number! If a company doesn’t prioritise answering customer questions isn’t worthy of your business!

Secret #6…

Minerals are an essential component in the human diet as well as diets for our pets. For example, Copper Iron and Zinc are frequently that are found in pet food. Just as they are – iron, copper and zinc are, in essence, minerals, and are difficult for humans or pet to consume. Scientists have come up with a variety of ways for introducing minerals to the human body (human and pet) to improve absorption, thus benefiting the individual far more. This scientific development is called chelating or proteinating and it’s been in the making for many years. Through the chelating process, minerals are absorbed around 60% more effectively than the minerals on their own.

This trick is identifying the minerals in your pet’s food to determine if they’re proteinated or chelated. Look for the minerals on your pet food’s label, and look down on your list of ingredient. You’re looking for minerals that say ‘copper proteinate’ or ‘chelated copper’. If you are only seeing the mineral mentioned and your pet’s name is not listed, then it’s sort of like Charlie Brown at Halloween saying “I’ve got a stone”. If you wish for your pet to have the best, chelated or proteinated minerals make up a large portion of the top foods!

Secret #7…

The reason for this is ‘friendly bacteria’. While the term “friendly bacteria” sounds like a bit frightening, the real reason behind it is in your pet’s’ intestinal system. A large portion of your pet’s immune system is located in the intestinal system. Maintaining a healthy immune system helps to keep the animal itself healthy. The friendly bacteria are identical to that present in yogurt, but in pet food it’s created in a manner that the cooking process doesn’t damage it. If you examine the small print on your pet food label and this time, you’re looking for lengthy, scientific words like Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Thermophilum. If you do NOT see these or other words similar ones, your pet food is not addressing the needs of your pet’s immune system. And again, if you want your pet to be the best, you want “friendly bacteria” to be present in their food.

There are your seven very secrets to help you find the best and healthiest pet food for your furry friend. Armed with these tips, you are now able to provide your pet with the very best food! Pet food can extend their lifespan and avoid premature aging and diseases. If you don’t want bother doing the homework involved I recommend you subscribe to my monthly publication, Petsumer Report(TM). Through Petsumer Report(TM) I’ve completed all the work for you – each month I go through and evaluate over 40 different food items for pets snacks, toys, treats and other pet products. This is the only publication of its’ type providing pet owners with the essential information they need be aware of their pet’s product purchases.

I’d like to share a couple more things…

It is recommended to feed a mature pet or adult cat 2 meals a day. The nutrition they consume with two meals is better used in comparison to eating one meal in a day. If you currently feed your pet just one meal a day, you can divide that amount into two meals and feed in the AM and pm.

It is important to know that every canned or moist pet foods contain anywhere from 70%-85 percent moisture. That means that 70% to 85percent of that container or pouch of food contains unimportant nutrition – it’s just water. Granted our pets need water. Cats are the most likely to not consume enough fluids. But because the majority of canned or moist food items contain water which is why they are not adequate nutrition when fed strictly a canned or moist diet. Use a canned or moist product to enrich your pet’s food intake, but not the sole food source.

The most delicious pet food options are preserved naturally (secret #4) There is a risk with naturally preserved pet foods…freshness. Make sure you are aware of the expiration date on the label for your pet’s food usually with naturally preserved dry pet foods (not as significant as soft food items due to canned food – no requirement to use preservatives) the expiration date ranges from 1 year to 18 months after the date it was created. Let’s say that the pet food you are considering to buy 1st July 2007, has an expiration date of ‘Best Used By 1 January 1, 2008. This means that this particular bag of pet food is now 6 months old. While it is still ‘good’ a fresher food – a bag that is just 2 or 3 months old – is more beneficial. Naturally preserved pet food loses nutritional value over time. Always try to find a very fresh bag.

If you’re thinking of making changes to your pet’s food make sure you consult your Veterinarian first. Keep your vet informed of any changes you make with your pet. Don’t risk it. And if you do switch pet food, do the transition gradually. I always recommend to pet owners 1/4 new food with their old foods for 4 to 7 days, 1/2 and 1/2 after another 4 to 7 days and then on and so forth. Fast food changes can cause intestinal disorders! It’s not long-term, but we don’t want an intestinal disorder! !

Another thing to note As you are aware, cats and dogs are far more sensitive of smell than human beings. Their food bowl can be an array of smells – both good and bad. Sometimes, pets will refuse to eat food because the smell of a previous food in their bowl. Food and water bowls made of plastic retain odors the worst. Incredibly, so do stainless-steel bowls. The best food and water bowl is one made of ceramic. They have the lowest odor retention.

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