Use Cost to Feed, Not Cost Per Pound. Nutrient Density!
Writer / David Moore
The pet food industry is not anything like human food. The FDA has very strict rules for food for human consumption. Pet food is overseen by AAFCO, The Association of American Feed Control Officials. This organization was put in place many years ago to oversee feed for farm animals, many raised for slaughter and live short lives. The standards for feed should be much different than the standards for food for our furry family members.
We want them to live high-quality long lives with good health. Each state is responsible to see that what is listed on the bag is actually in the bag. In Indiana that is done by the Indiana State Chemist Office. I hope you can see the challenges this arrangement can create.
Many terms are not defined in pet food industry, so you need to ask questions. Examples of undefined terms, small breed, large breed, holistic, weight loss, senior and many more that you often see on pet food packaging. You must ask questions about formulations so you know you are getting the proper nutrition needed for your family pets.
You probably have seen advertising for pet foods that advertise “real meat” as their first ingredient. This is misleading. Manufacturers list ingredients on packaging in order by weight when they source the ingredients. They are not listed on packaging by weight after processing as you buy them and serve to your furry family members. For example, if the first ingredient is whole protein, chicken, beef, venison, duck or any other whole protein it is not the first ingredient when you buy it. The reason is whole protein, chicken vs chicken meal includes high moisture and meal does not. For example, 10lbs of chicken at 80 percent moisture will only be 3lbs of chicken at 10 percent moisture. Ten percent is a typical moisture level for kibble in dry pet food. This is important to understand, so look at your pets food.
Most pet parents purchase pet food by the cost per pound. How big is the bag and how much does it cost? This does not reflect the cost to feed, which is the most important thing to consider. There is a well-known brand of food that the feeding guidelines are 3.5 cups of food for a 50lb dog. We have foods that only require two cups for a 50lb dog. Think of the quality of ingredients and fillers that must be in that food. It will end up in your backyard and your pet must process all those fillers.
We recommend you buy pet food looking at the cost to feed, and we can show you how to do that. Foods that require smaller servings have higher quality ingredients. We call this nutrient density. Fruit and vegetables are more expensive than hot dogs and cookies, but they are much better for you. The same is true for your furry family members.
Paws Stop will provide a free analysis of any pet food with no obligation to purchase anything. We want all Pet Loves to be informed and understand what they are really feeding their family pets.