Pet Food Ingredients Make All The Difference

Posted by Merlin on Nov 21, 2007

Pet food labels must contain at least four elements:

  • Clear identification as dog or cat food
  • Brand name not misleading to the consumer
  • Guaranteed chemical analysis
  • Ingredients listed in descending order (from most to least)

Choose foods with a minimum amount of the following preservatives: BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin. Better preservatives include vitamin C, E, oils, rosemary and clover.

  • Vegetarians: not all dogs and cats will be able to successfully live a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, although some swear by it. Be especially careful when trying this out on cats, who need a chemical called taurine that is only derived from muscle meats. Dogs need sufficient levels of B12, also found in meat.

Words like “beef dog/cat food” and “beef dinner” on pet food labels also mean two very different things. In order to describe itself as “beef dog food”, the product must be at least 95 percent beef, chicken, etc. But if it is called “beef dinner”, then it must only contain at least 25 percent beef. The “dog food with beef/cat food with fish” moniker need only contain at least 3 percent beef, so it might contain literally a spritz of beef, or chicken or fish-just enough to make it palatable to the animal.