Pet Nutrition

Kate CP - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )

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How much do you know about your pet's food? Here is a quick way to grade your food:

Start with a grade of 100:
1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat -not actual protein source stated such as chicken, lamb, turkey etc) reference, subtract 10 points
3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, (all known carcinogens) subtract 10 points for each
4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points
5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (I.e. "ground brown rice", "brewers rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
6) If the meat protein sources are not in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
7) If it contains any artificial colorants or preservatives, subtract 3 points for each
8 ) If it contains corn (ground corn, corn gluten, whole grain corn etc) subtract 3 points
9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10) If the food contains any added non-specific animal fat, subtract 2 points
11) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13) If it contains wheat or a component of wheat such as gluten, subtract 3 points
14) If it contains any "digest" (animal digest) subtract 5 points
15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credits:
Bonus credit-If the food contains NO grains, add 10 points

1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2) If the protein source is meal vs meat, add 5 points
3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
4) If the food contains probiotics or prebiotics (like yogurt and acidophilus) add 3 points
5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points (these may be hard to determine as many manufacturers of natural holistic food use these products without actually printing the information on the bag)
8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2points
10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "lamb meal" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14) If the vegetables are pesticide-free, add 1 point

So, what is...

1) Animal digest
Any portion of an animal that is not normally digestible that is subjected to several chemical baths to break down the item rendering it "edible".

2) "Meal" (chicken meal, lamb meal, etc)
Meat that has had the moisture removed. Think of the quarter pounder: it's 1/4 pound of meat PRE-COOKED, so after it's cooked (had all the moisture removed) it weighs less, but is denser. There is more meat in a pound of chicken meal than a pound of chicken.

3) Chicken By-products
As listed by AAFCO (Association Of American Feed Control Officials): "Chicken by-product meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice."

4) "Meat and bone-meal"
Your guess is as good as mine. Meat and bone meal is purposefully vague so food companies can get away with putting anything (and I mean *ANYTHING*) in pet food. Studies done in 1998 and 2000 (http://www.animalarkshelter.org/animal/A...) found levels of sodium pentobarbitol in pet foods. What is that? It's the drug they use to euthanize pets. Yes, folks, you're feeding Fido to Fluffy if you're not careful.
5) Mixed tocopherols
Are a class of chemical compounds of which many have vitamin E activity. It is a series of organic compounds consisting of various methylated phenols.

So what do you feed and what's your score?

A (90-100+)
B (80-89)
C (70- 79)
D (60-69)
F (0-59)

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