If you could make some simple changes now, to help your beloved dog or cat live longer, healthier lives, would you hesitate?
Of course not!
But maybe you were never informed on some of the important facts about what’s going on inside of your beloved pet’s food, and what happens to that “food” before it hits their bowl.
If you're like most pet owners, you’re likely on the search to find the best dog food or best cat food possible. And likely you’ve purchased from at least one of the major “big name” dog or cat food brands in the past.
What you may not have known about these commercial pet brands may surprise you.
But more importantly, these facts may also help you to make wiser, more informed choices for your furbaby’s health.
Fact #1 - The Biggest Food Brands Own The Majority Of The Pet Food Industry
Some of the biggest brands in the world such as Nestle, Mars, Coca-Cola and more, own most of the “big pet food” brands you see promoted in the aisles of your local retail stores such as Pedigree, Purina, IAMS, Whiskas and more.
At first, this doesn’t sound like a problem.
But what do you think a multi-billion dollar brand cares about more?
(A) Their profits.
(B) Your pet’s health?
Remember this when you’re selecting the best dog food or cat food:
In one twelve year span, the sale of commercial pet food doubled to reach over $37 Billion USD annually.
How do you think they keep profits so high?
Well long ago in the big factories for human food brands, the scraps and byproducts which were labeled “unfit” fit for human consumption were thrown away as trash.
But now with those same big brands each purchasing their own smaller pet food brands, is it really “efficient” for them to start from scratch, with quality ingredients for dog and cat food?
Not when you can just take those same “unfit” discarded byproducts, conduct some extra processing and then tada!
Yes it’s true, many of us are guilty of occasionally giving some food off of our plate to our furry loved ones.
But how many of us would take spoiled food out of the trash to feed our dogs and cats?
Likely you would never, but it’s a fact the “big pet food” industry does this everyday.
Fact #2 - Commercial “Big Pet Food” Brands Create Their Own Regulations
This may be a big surprise for you, but there is no governmental regulatory body which “fact checks” the labels and claims made regarding your cat and dog food.
The laws and rules do exist, and there are some pet food associations, however complying to these rules is an option pet food brands can voluntarily follow.
So, if some of them choose to make some sketchy nutritional claims, who’s there to stop them?
In the Philippines, there is a Philippine National Standard For Pet Food Labeling, however one of the only three primary sources for the national standard is:
“Pet Food Rules – Texas Administrative Code – Texas A&M University System”
Meaning all dog and cat food labeling in the Philippines is based on the USA regulatory system.
However, in the USA, the FDA has no proactive system for monitoring dietary claims from pet food brands.
So any regulations are not enforceable, meaning there are zero penalties to saying your furbaby’s food brand contains “real meat”, when it’s truly just a “meat by-product” at best.
In addition, the membership of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) includes the same commercial pet food producers which the organization is supposed to be regulating!
With a system setup to be this non-transparent, this question may be asked when you’re in the middle of choosing the best dog or cat food:
Can you really trust these commercial dog and cat food brands to prioritize what’s best for your cat or dog’s diet and nutrition, over their own corporate interests?
Fact #3 - Most Commercial Pet Food Is Created Through “Rendering”
How exactly do you think big dog and cat food companies create the bags of food for the brands we’re so familiar with?
Remember those animal byproducts “unfit” which for humans we mentioned earlier?
Let’s check out some common myths before you decide what’s really the best cat food or dog food to purchase:
Rendering Myth #1 - Animal By Products = Animal Meat
Unfortunately this is not the case.
Byproducts contain everything from hooves, animal waste, skin, various organs and more…even tumors from farmed animals.
Rendering Myth #2 - Brand Use One Type Of Animal At A Time
You may be assuming they at least only use one type of animal in the same bag of food.
You’d be wrong though.
AAFCO has no rules which require big cat and dog food brands to share which species they throw in the pot before rendering/boiling them all together.
The truth can be hard, but sadly even euthanized ones from shelters are included in these byproduct mixtures we feed to our beloved pets.
Rendering Myth #3 - Vegetable Grains Are Healthy When Included
The largest problem with this fact is genetically modified vegetables (mostly only corn), are often a larger percentage of dog food than meat.
How do we know?
Collectively, major pet food brands allow “splitting” in their factories. This tricks us consumers and we’ll explain how:
If a big dog or cat food brand wants to use filler products such as corn to save money and increase profits, all they have to do is “split” the corn into different types:
Some corn they (a) grind up, some they (b) keep partially whole, others (c) come in a fine meal-like consistency and so on.
Of course you see these are basically just different textures of the same grain!
But the loosely regulated pet food industry doesn’t include them in the same bracket on your door or cat’s food label.
So your pet’s kibble food bag may say:
Regular Grain: 20%
But what they don’t show is the rest:
Grinded Grain: 15%
Grain Meal: 15%
We can do the math here.
GMO Grain (50%) can easily almost double the amount of “meat” (30%) listed on your pet’s food nutritional label!
So while the first “main” ingredient may be meat (of some kind), when the secondary ingredient is listed as grain, it really is quite often the opposite.
Using sneaky tactics such as “splitting” is a great way for these multi-billion dollar brands to increase profits and corporate efficiency.
But it’s not so great for your beloved ones when you’re trying to find them the best dog food or cat food on the market.
Fact #4 - Pet Food Rules Allow Far Lower Standards For Your Furbaby
Because cat and dog food companies are also the ones on the board for regulating bodies like AAFCO, they can get away with including nearly anything they want in your pet’s food.
One real life example of this would be mycotoxins.
This is the name for a certain type of mold which usually is tracked and then reduced to almost untraceable amounts when it appears in human food.
However, for your dog or cat food, those same big brands change the rules and legally permit high amounts of this mold to be included.
This mold commonly appears whenever grains are damp, meaning it can happen in any food processing factory.
One scientific study stated these easy forming toxins can “have chronic effects on the health of companion animals.”
If any pet brand is to take the title as the best cat or dog food, shouldn’t it be held to a higher production standard than this?
Fact #5 - Processed Foods Become Toxic.
There are a few issues with commercial cat and dog food nutrients.
The first is due to the processing methods. For the dry food we’re used to seeing, they’re all produced in very large “extrusion machines.”
These machines cook at extremely high temperatures, robbing your cat and dog of the nutrients their food may have carried before processing.
In addition, once extruded, the dry pet food “is likely to contain at least some acrylamide” according to modern studies.
Acrylamide is a carcinogenic toxin, but since it’s neither a nutrient or ingredient, big pet food brands legally don’t have to include it on your food label!
Once absorbed by your dog or cat, this toxin has been known to cause many issues:
“Studies on laboratory animals [including cats and dogs] have shown that exposure to acrylamide through the diet greatly increased the likelihood of developing gene mutations and tumors in various organs"- European Food Safety Authority
Now You Know!
Your goal of course is to make an informed choice about choosing the best dog food or cat food.
By staying aware of these five facts, you have a chance to make a better decision.
And remember, Paleo Pet offers one of the finest solutions in the Philippines for your beloved animals.
This means no fillers, preservatives or rendered meat!
Only human grade, 100% meat without any of the GMO grains you find in other pet food brands.
In addition, you’ll find we use only produce you can trust.
So keep coming back here for more information on feeding your cat or dog a healthy, balanced diet so they can live longer, happier lives!
- The Paleo Pet Team