Buying good petfood isn’t as difficult as all those labels and bags make it seem. The first and most basic rule is NEVER feed your pet any food or treat bought at the grocery store or one of the big box stores (Petsmart or Petco). Find an independant high-end pet supply store with staff that knows the products AND has real world pet knowledge. (If you are in the Greeley, CO area the one store to patronize is J&T Feeds.)
Knowing what to avoid is more important than knowing what should be in the food. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use any food with any kind of by-product meal. It is made of old, out-of-date meats from the grocery stores (usually the wrappers aren’t removed before processing) and it gets much worse from there. NEVER use a food with canola oil. 100% of America’s rapeseed crop is Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Franken food and every day more evidence comes out that GMO “food” is very bad for us and our pets. The oil is then processed so it is palatable but so overprocessed the body recognizes it as more a toxin than a nutrient. I am also an advocate of grain-free. Cats have ZERO need for carbs and the only time a dog need carbs is the last 3 weeks of pregnancy and the first 3 weeks of whelping. Grains are cheap fillers. If you get a food with grain, avoid at all costs wheat and corn. The gluten in those grains can cause digestive problems.
The protein should be a high-quality “single source”,i.e., chicken or salmon or duck but not a blend. The #1 allergen for dogs is beef, so it should be avoided. I like to see at least 30% protein in the food. Our pets also need a lot of high quality fats. Some petfoods are down to 10-12% fat which is WAY too low for a normally active dog or cat.I get the fat percentage up to approx. 20% by supplementing with olive oil. If your pet is a couch potato, a normal level of fat may contribute to pancreatitis, so get out there and have a good walk! All ingredients should be “human grade” or “fit for human consumption”. If it is not stated on the label, you must assume the worst-they are using “4D” carcasses, carcasses the FDA declared unfit for human consumption at the slaughterhouse. They arrived Dead, Dying, Diseased or Disabled, were slaughtered and taken out of the human food processing chain and things like refrigeration come to an end.
As a reference, I feed mostly Nature’s Logic. Nothing in this food was made in China (don’t forget the melamine poisonings a few years ago) and it has been processed at the lowest possible temperature. EVO is another good food. Both are grain-free. Fromm Family makes very good foods, albeit with brown rice. All kibbles should be rehydrated for 60 minutes with an equal amount of water-it maked digestability MUCH better.
Now we come to my favorite part of the petfood debate-RAW! I feed my one Doberman and 3 cats what I have come to call the “1/2 raw” diet. They get 1/2 rehydrated kibble and 1/2 raw chicken necks, a very good, inexpensive source of good protein (the necks are pounded down to about 1/4″ with a kitchen mallet). The rules for raw chicken are: 1) Young birds, no old roasting chickens 2) NO weight-bearing bones-NO legs or thighs 3) embarrassing as this is to state: KEEP IT RAW at no point do the necks get cooked. That will harden the bones. I have been feeding this diet for over 4 years and have had no problems at all. It was a pain in the butt for the first few days, got better slowly and now is an ingrained habit-stick with it and your pets will love you all the more.
Special Thanks to Doug Richardson, Synergy Pet Wellness Center, LLC for submitting this informative article. Synergy offers a variety of alternative/complimentary healing arts chosen to restore and maintain the vitality of our four-footed family members. They offer: Cold Laser Acupuncture, Massage, Shiatsu, Chinese and Western herbs, Reiki, Bach’s Flower Remedies and Radionics. You can contact Doug at 970-576-0278 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org