Pet Food Hot Topics

September 27, 2014 / Cat's Meow / Leave a comment

There are several hot button issues out there when it comes to pet foods and it can be very difficult to determine if the information is ‘Myth or Fact’. We welcome the opportunity to discuss several of the more common food MYTHS that we hear from our clients on a regular basis.

  1. 1.Corn & Corn Gluten Meal are poorly digested “fillers” that cause food allergies

    1. FACT – Corn provides a good source of carbohydrates, protein, anti-oxidants  & essential fatty acids

    2. FACT – Corn contains 60-70% protein & is more easily digested than beef or poultry

    3. FACT – Corn gluten meal is easily digestible & contains many essential amino acids

    4. FACT -  The most common food allergies in cats are from beef, dairy products & fish

  2. 2.Animal digest is a low quality ingredient

    1. FACT – The word ‘digest’ in ‘animal digest’ refers to the production process NOT the ingredients. It is a process that starts with muscle and soft tissue (ie. Fat) NOT the unwanted digestive tract contents. This tissue is ‘digested’ and then sprayed onto the kibbles to increase the flavour. 

    2. FACT – It is an excellent source of high quality protein

  3. 3.Gluten free diets are healthier due to less food allergies/celiac disease

    1. FACT – Gluten is the concentrated protein from wheat, rye & barley after all of the starch has been removed & is NOT associated with other grains (including Corn Gluten)

    2. FACT – Celiac disease or Gluten Intolerance is VERY rare in cats

    3. FACT – It provides essential amino acids that form the building blocks for protein

  4. 4.Pet foods should be grain-free

    1. FACT – Grains supply energy & fuel to the body through carbohydrates (ie. Glucose)

    2. FACT – Without grains the body would use protein to make glucose and this would ‘steal’ protein away from its most important function – protein synthesis

    3. FACT – Grains are an excellent source of fibre, fatty acids and other nutrients that provide for a healthy skin, coat and intestinal health

  5. 5.By-products are  low quality ‘fillers’ that include feathers, hooves, hair, intestinal contents, etc

    1. FACT – A by-product is any ingredient that is produced or left over when another product is made. Human food examples include: Soup Broths & Gelatin (ie. Jello)

    2. FACT – By products can come from liver, kidney, lungs & spleen but CANNOT come from things like – feathers, hair, hide, hooves or intestinal contents

    3. FACT – Muscle meat is deficient in many nutrients including important minreals & vitamins. Poultry by-product meal contain 60-70% protein and high levels of taurine – which is an essential amino acid for cats

  6. 6.Natural, Organic and Holistic diets are superior

    1. FACT – The term ‘Holistic’ in pet foods is not regulated by any regulatory body and anybody can label their food with this claim. I could open a pet food company in my garage tomorrow and label my product as “Holistic”!

    2. FACT – Organic & Natural do NOT mean the same thing. Natural means the ingredient is sourced solely from a plant or animal source that has not been produced by a synthetic process. Organic means grown on lands that have been pesticide free for 3 years or animals that have been fed organic feed free of hormones or antibiotics.

    3. FACT – Pet food that is labelled with the Canada Organic Logo is your only proof of a certified organic food. This seal indicates that the food much contain 95% to 100% organic ingredients.

As you can see, there are a lot of mistruths out there about the pet food industry. We would love the opportunity to discuss these and any other myths that you have heard ‘through the grapevine’ about the industry. We strongly believe that the pet foods we recommend in clinic are healthy, nutritious and are a valued addition to your pet’s health.
Written by Dr. Shari Muller 

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