What are you feeding your pet???
We spend a lot of time ensuring we look after ourselves with the best food, exercise and supplements. But have you ever thought about what you are feeding to your pets? Unfortunately, the pet food industry is unregulated and when it comes to quality of ingredients, they can be few and far between. Some pet foods are nutritionally balanced but a lot aren’t. Much of what goes into some dog food is simply what’s left over after the processing of human food — what’s commonly classified as “unfit for human consumption”. Here, we give you the lowdown of what can really be hiding in pet food:
- The majority of processed pet foods are made with feed-grade ingredients. Feed-grade ingredients are lower quality than human-grade and contain toxins from food waste such as mould or chemical preservatives such as Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), and Ethoxyquin which are chemicals added to preserve fats and are which are known to be harmful to humans
- By-products which can be from fat rendering processes from grease and other food wastes from restaurants and stores
- Meat and bone meal which can be from slaughterhouse waste such as organs, heads, hooves, beaks and feet or from diseased and disabled farm animals
- Metal and plastic contaminants. Metal contaminants can be traced to a variety of sources such as ID tags from farm animals whilst plastics can come from out-of-date supermarket meats which are in their original styrofoam trays and shrink wrap which are not removed when the meat is processed
- Bread and cereal rejects such as cobs and stalks from corn
- Food dyes Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6 and caramel colour which have been documented to cause allergic reactions, hypersensitivity (allergic-type) reactions, behavior problems, and even cancer in humans
- Dry or canned food can be cooked at high temperatures to kill bacteria which destroys nutrients
In Australia branding of raw pet meat not fit for human consumption is required in all states and territories but there is no law that requires manufacturers to state the actual ingredients or how the ingredients were processed or sourced. The pet food industry in Australia is self-regulated and there is no mandatory recall system for unsafe pet food or a service to report if your pet has an adverse reaction to commercially produced pet food.
When shopping for pet food look for the following:
- Spend time reading ingredient labels and nutritional panels on pet foods. Ingredients are listed in descending order, from most to least, so look for meat as the first ingredient as some brands will use more grains and animal by-products than actual meat products. If you don't know what an ingredient is just Google!
- Look for pet food and treats with no or only natural preservatives such as Vitamins C and E
- Avoid artificial colours which can be toxic. When it comes down to it, artificially coloring food only appeals to humans and not animals
- To meet your pets nutritional requirements, offer them wholefood based ingredients and human-grade pet food and treats to avoid substandard and potentially toxic ingredients
- Look for brands made by conscientious manufacturers who take pride in producing quality products — those designed to enhance and extend the life of your pet
Mojo's Health & Wholefoods are excited to be expanding our range to include human-grade pet foods, treats and natural products for your best friends! Check out our range