The images on pet food labels make it seem as though gourmet chefs prepare the packaged meals for your pet and it is an absolutely healthy thing to be feeding your pet. But that is rarely the case. Marketing gimmicks run afoul in the pet food industry and you must take a prudent decision on what you feed your pet.
When animals reared for meat are slaughtered, the lean meat is set aside for human consumption. But the leftovers – like beaks, cartilage, organs, etc – are recycled and reused as pet food. These are known as rendered products and are not something we would consume. So there is no reason your pet should be consuming them either. Rendered products are also generated by the human food industry in the form of grease, fat, etc.
While rendered pet foods are struck off the list right at the outset, there are some better options in the market that you can go for.
Natural pet foods
Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO. defines natural pet foods as ones that are entirely comprised of ingredients from animal, plant or mineral sources. According to guidelines, they cannot contain artificial flavouring or additives and/or chemically synthesised ingredients.
Organic pet foods
These are the ones that – according to rules – are made without the use of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They are also devoid of human or industrial waste contamination and are processed without using radiation technologies. Also, there are different levels of organic food depending on the level of purity – 100% organic is as its name suggests, ‘organic’ contains 95% organic ingredients, whereas ‘made with organic ingredients means a product contains at least 70% certified organic ingredients’.
While pet food brand names suggest a lot of fancy ideas, AAFCO has laid down certain rules to ensure the contents of the package match the claims it makes.
Use these basic points to make a more informed purchase decision regarding pet food the next time you go shopping.