There’s a saying that ignorance is bliss, but is that really true? When people aren’t fully aware, things may negatively impact their lives without them knowing why or how, leaving them unable to make a better choice or make a change. That’s why we believe the more you know, the better choices you can make.
Many pet parents aren’t fully aware of what ingredients go into the food they’re feeding their dogs and cats. Additionally, there’s a lack of awareness about the pet food industry, and it’s regulating bodies, which aren’t doing much to ensure your dog and cat gets the most nutritious food possible in their tummies.
Here are 5 facts about the pet food industry that will shock you
1. Labels Don’t Tell The Truth
Nutrition labels and packaging do not represent the contents.
Instead of displaying the nutritional contents of pet food, the pet food industry is only required to include the minimum percentages of contents like fat, fiber, and protein on their labels. The result is the label leaves a lot of information out.
If you were to add up everything on the label, you would come out with about 65% of what’s in the bag. So what’s the remaining 35% made of? The truth is they don’t want you to know because it’s made up of fillers that have no nutritional value like ash, saw dust, various types of flour, powdered cellulose, cellulose fiber, pulps, ground powders, bran, meals, extracts, hulls, starch, flavorings, colorings and more. Most of these ingredients are also on the list of things to avoid .
Many of these ingredients are toxic to your pets, grind down your pets immune system, slow down the digestive process, and take up energy that would normally be used to process food that does have nutritional value. It goes without saying this is not good for your pets health.
Natural Pet Supplements are a great way to help improve your pets gut health and help repair some of the damage caused by corporate pet food.
2. Where Does The Meat Come From?
The pet food industry is very opaque about the provenance of protein sources. Many pet parents are horrified to discover most Big Pet Food brands use a grade of meat which is called 4-D, which is to say diseased, dead, dying, or disabled animals as a protein source.
Shockingly, protein requirements for pet food are only limited to the amount of protein, not it’s source. This means that Big Pet Food Industry is allowed to use protein that’s not fit for human consumption, because it’s cheaper, and profits are more important than the health of your dog or cat.
The system is set up to benefit the big corporations, and there are many loopholes which allow scary products to be used in pets foods.
For example, in 2017 it was revealed that a euthanasia drug, pentobarbital sodium, was detected in one company’s brand of dog food. You’re probably wondering how it’s possible that such a chemical found its way into the food. Look no further than the use of a euthanized animal corpse ground up into meat and sold as pet food. There is no other explanation.
While this is an extreme example, and pentobarbital sodium is not dangerous in trace amounts, the discovery shed a light on protein sources that Big Pet Food Industry deems acceptable for pets.
3. Low Grade Grains
As mentioned above, there’s a long list of ingredients used in pet foods that are fillers; these ingredients hold no nutritional value, are undesirable and should be avoided. Adding to that list are low-grade grains that are contaminated, infested, or heat damaged, all of which find their way into pet food, and hence into your pets stomach.
Manufacturers add low-grade grains not fit for human consumption as fillers because they’re extremely cheap. And it’s all perfectly legal. The problem is that these fillers eventually cause severe illness and even death. The low-grade filler grains have different nutritional compositions than ordinary grains, and hence have no nutritional value for your pet. Some are even laced with toxic enemy’s that will negatively affect your pets immune system.
4. Big Pet Food Is Reactive, Not Proactive
As most industries nowadays, Big Pet Food chases profits. As such, their primary aim is to make the biggest bucks possible, looking out for their bottom line versus looking out for your pets health. For example there was a big crisis in 2007 involving melamine, a contaminated vegetable protein, which led to the recall of many brands of dog and cat food. The FDA eventually recalled the food, but not before it led to thousands of sick and dying pets.
Though this happened many years ago and was arguably one of the biggest pet food crisis ever, it’s important to be aware that pet food recalls are frighteningly common.
Another shocking discovery was that of thyroid hormones in one brand of pet food caused weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing problems in affected dogs. Big Pet Food was not proactive in making sure this didn’t happen, rather they were reactive and waited for pets to get sick before analyzing the food and doing anything about it. The bottom line is rather than doing the right thing, your pets are used as quality control.
And the truth is that the system makes it cheaper for Big Pet Food to allow for a pets to get sick than to analyze every batch that goes out.
5. It’s Not Clear Who Makes The Rules.
The fda website states the industry itself is to be its own watchdog, and requires animal food facilities to create and implement a food safety plan.
Additionally, the FDA website claims the The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is responsible for enforcing state legislation about the production and labeling of pet food. But AAFCO, which is partially responsible for setting guidelines, has no regulatory authority whatsoever. In other words AAFCO has no power to actually regulate the law.
Not every pet food out there is irresponsible, but there are few incentives to compel Big Pet Food to place life over profits. Lack of proper regulation means you’re relying on pet food manufacturers to go above and beyond the bare minimum, put your pets health above profits, and act outside of common business practices of the industry as a whole.
The question remains how much trust do you place in pet food brands versus how much research do you put in to see if that trust is merited. Empower yourself and your pets to make the best decisions and know exactly what’s in your pets food and where it comes from.
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