Sometimes, the best way to know what goes into your food is to check the label! Good brands always have declare what they put in each food they make so make sure you stay informed, no one wants to have a pet that’s got rashes all over only to find out that there’s something he ate!
In the Philippines today, more choices for pet food and treats are available. Sometimes it takes a really keen eye and a reputable company to ensure that you’re giving your pets quality food! Even giants have recalls in the states sometimes, and the best way to combat this is to stay informed!
All you have to do is know a little about the good, the bad and the down right ugly in what your pet is eating. So here are just some things to watch out for when reading your typical pet food label:
1) Preservatives in the form of BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Ethoxyquin (6-ethoxy-1,2-dihydro-2,2,4-trimethylquinoline), Propyl Gallate ( Gallic Acid or Propyl Ester). These have been known to be carcinogenic…so why would you want to feed that to your pet if it can cause cancer? Some of the studies even say that it is okay for the *lifespan* of the animal given certain amounts. But lifespans of pets greatly vary in this day in age, and a lot of diseases have popped up that were unheard of in the last few decades, and why would you ever want to have something that will eventually have effects the longer your pet lives? Ever wonder how kibble can survive the harshest environments like heat and moisture here in the Philippines vs a home baked cookie you made? Yep, you’re right, it’s the preservatives! Harsh chemical preservatives will keep bacteria and yeast from growing but studies show that long term exposure to these preservatives (this also goes for humans) can create all sorts of diseases…this is why even the sickest people go back to nutrition and unprocessed food, because whatever you take in has either positive or negative effects in your body. Our pets are the same way! We’re proud to say that we are never ever going to put these in our products. We are more concerned about the quality and prolonging the life of the animal and not so much about prolonging the life of the food.
2) “Meat Meal”…meat what? This vague declaration of “meat” is something you should watch out for. Technically, meat can stand for anything with meat…from a horse to road kill. Put simply, it’s better to see what kind of “meat” they put in such as beef, chicken, fish or lamb. Meal also stands for anything that is part of the animal’s body that they can grind up, this includes hooves, feathers and hair, stomach and gut contents.. which brings us to…
3) High Protein does not usually mean good quality protein. Did you know that feathers, hair and a pair of leather boots all have high protein content? Check the protein sources! Sometimes they use soy as a protein source which isn’t as beneficial as an animal source protein. Dogs and babies have gotten sick because of melamine poisoning, because melamine raises the protein content of food…but no one ever really puts that in their ingredient list.
After the incident where thousands of dogs around the world died from eating some of the more famous commercial brands of dog food tainted with melamine, you really should be more vigilant about the things that your pet eats. Sometimes a simple change in their meals can have a really big difference in their behavior, look, and even their smell aside from a more positive attitude towards eating their own food. As pet owners, it is our responsibility to give our pets good quality nutrition because they will basically eat anything we give them since they give us their complete trust.
For further reading and research, you need to check out some sites such as:
Dog Food Project, this site is pretty up to date with the latest in dog food and treat news…especially for recalls of food and treats (yes, they actually recall treats!) from the US.
MessyBeast, it is a cat resource archive with articles about everything kitty!
But if your pet seems sick…the best advice would be your vet’s advice. They can also help you choose a good brand of pet food!