NEW FOODS AT HCAH!
Do you know what is in your pet’s food? Unfortunately, many of the well-known and available diets have low-quality ingredients. Just like in humans, poor diets affect pet health. How can you tell if your pet’s food is top-notch? Be an educated consumer-don’t let TV commercials and advertising claims influence your selection. Look at the ingredients list first. Of course, human-grade ingredients and organic foods are best, especially for pets with cancer and immune system disorders. There are many other things to consider when comparing foods.
High-quality ingredients to look for:
- A whole meat source as one of the FIRST two ingredients -like chicken, fish, or lamb meal. Better yet, two meat sources in the top two ingredients. By law, ingredients are listed in order by the total weight they contribute to the food.
- Whole, unprocessed grains and vegetables- Unprocessed food has the best chance of surviving the food-making process with some the nutrients intact. Example: “rice” is much better than “rice flour or rice bran”. Cats are true carnivores and do not require grains in their diet.
- Natural preservatives and additives- Examples include: Di-alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) and carageenan gum (a stabilizer and emulsifier from irish moss)
AVOID foods containing:
- By-products- These are leftovers from another food manufacturing process.
Examples: meat or poultry by-products and brewer’s rice, which is a waste
product of the alcohol industry. Found in Iams, Cesar, Ol’Roy, Purina Dog Chow
- Generic fats or proteins- Example: “animal fat” can be anything from recycled grease from restaurants to a mixture of mystery fats. Proteins and fats that describe their source, like “beef fat” or “chicken protein” are superior to “animal protein” or “poultry fat”. Found in Science Diet, Pedigree, Purina One…
- Artificial preservatives and colors- BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin
- Propylene Glycol- chemical that keeps some foods moist
- Sweeteners- corn syrup, sucrose, and ammoniated glycyrrhizin are added to low-quality foods to add palatability
- Wheat- in all forms as it is a common allergen
- Animal Digest- “a material which results from the chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue”- YUCK!! Found in Purina Beneful, Cycle, Gravy Train, Kibbles’n Bits, Nature’s Recipe, and others
Because organic and human-grade pet foods can be difficult to locate, Henry County Animal Hospital will have these foods and healthy, natural treats for purchase. We will cease to carry ALL foods with any low-quality ingredients. We will also have Royal Canin prescription diets available for pets with special dietary needs. Of all the prescription foods, Royal Canin uses higher-quality ingredients and natural preservatives. If you have questions regarding which food to select for your pet, please ask our staff. We are happy to help! Another great resource for information on top dog foods is The Whole Dog Journal –a monthly guide to natural dog care and training.