SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 15, 2013

Vet Connection: How to choose a good pet food

(Continued)

4. What kind of quality-assurance testing is done on the food?

We recommend only those brands that meet the most rigorous quality standards. The companies we are impressed with operate their own on-site, in-house labs. In the best plants, samples are taken before the ingredients are even received, checking for toxins and contaminants, thus keeping the food safe for your pet. In-line testing makes sure that the food is meeting formulation standards at every step of the manufacturing process. After the food is made and packaged, storage testing ensures that the product meets all of your pet’s requirements the day you buy it, as it did when it was made.

5. What is below salt on the ingredient list?

In pet food, ingredients are listed in order of weight. Salt (NaCl or sodium chloride) is typically 1 percent of a pet food diet. Anything lower than salt on the ingredient list makes up less than 1 percent of diet. If you see things that you recognize like blueberries, carrots, acacia root, etc., ask if there is a nutritional benefit of blueberries at less than 1 percent of diet? If not, why is that company putting such a small amount in but making big claims about it on the front of the bag. Ask yourself, what are the ethics of that company? Which do they value more highly: marketing or science?

6. Does the food claim “natural, human-grade or holistic”?

These three terms are marketing terms that have no definition in pet food. No pet food can be 100 percent natural. Thiamine, for example, is an important supplement, as it is hard to meet AAFCO’s requirements from natural sources. The thiamine supply is a synthesized vitamin just like that found in human multivitamins. The term human-grade is not an accepted or defined or legal term on pet food labels. Holistic is a term that has a lot of inferred meanings but also is not defined. If the terms are undefined, a statement using these terms by one company can mean something very different when used by another company. What are pet foods companies claiming and what are they really telling you when they use these labels? We think it says that they put marketing ahead of science and nutrition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker