Everything You Need to Know About Pet Food

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Pet food manufacturers carefully select the highest quality ingredients for their products. They also make sure to follow strict regulations set by various agencies.

All pet foods must contain sufficient nutrition to meet the nutritional needs of pets. Ideally, this includes a variety of meats to avoid the protein sensitivities seen in some dogs and cats.

Nutrition

Pet food like Try Dr. Marty Pet Food is formulated to be complete and balanced, providing the essential nutrients for a healthy dog. These nutrients support growth, body structure, and metabolism.

Nutrients in pet foods are usually listed by order of weight on the label. This is because fresh ingredients, such as meat, contain much water lost during processing. Therefore, an ingredient that appears first on the label may contribute a much lower percentage of nutrients to the food than one that appears further down the list.

Canned pet foods typically contain more moisture than dry pet foods, requiring more fresh meat products and animal by-products that give them flavour and nutrition. Many canned diets contain textured proteins from grains such as wheat or soy that function as meat analogues.

Most pet foods are formulated with a high protein concentration because it is an excellent energy source. However, too much protein can cause metabolic problems in dogs and cats, including excess nitrogen loss through urine (protein oxidation).

Ingredients

The images of luscious cuts of meat on pet food packaging may evoke visions of a culinary chef preparing delicious meals for your companion animal. But the reality is that pet foods are made from lean meat and other ingredients. The most essential ingredient in any pet food is a source of protein. Protein is found in various sources, including chicken, beef, fish, lamb, and poultry meal. Meat meals, which are highly concentrated protein sources, are commonly used in dry pet foods and appear early in the ingredient list.

When selecting a pet food, looking for specified ingredients is a good idea. This is especially true for “meat” ingredients, such as duck, since the specific animal species needs to be identified. In addition, avoid ingredients that use broad, non-specific terms such as “digest” or “hydrolysate.”

Most pet foods contain some form of preservative. However, choosing a pet food that uses natural preservatives rather than chemical alternatives like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and ethoxyquin is essential.

Affordability

Pet food is costly, whether made from whole plump chickens, cut of beef, or fresh grains. Pricing can be inflated, with a few significant corporations owning most of the brands we see in stores.

Many experts believe the cost of pet foods has outpaced inflation, which has some owners worried about being able to afford it. If you’re concerned, check if your pet insurance will cover the costs of diet food.

To keep prices low, the food industry often uses cheaper meat products considered “unfit for human consumption,” such as slaughterhouse waste or parts like intestines, udders, and esophagi. To make it more palatable, they add flavouring agents and preservatives. The latter are typically FDA-approved and can be found in everything from guar gum to lower alkyl mercaptans, disulfides, and salts. Semi-moist foods require binders, including gels, cereal flours, soybean flakes, and bran flakes. They may also include soluble carbohydrates and emulsifiers.

Sustainability

Despite its wholesomeness, pet food significantly impacts the environment and leaves a large “carbon pawprint.” Production activities release carbon dioxide and other pollutants, leading to air pollution and global warming. Many companies rely on fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat for pet food processing.

Thankfully, various approaches exist to lessen the ecological footprint of pet food. One example is turning commercial and residential human food waste into pet food, which can be made from various sources, including meat, fish, and dairy.

Another option is to use recycled materials in packaging. Lastly, the e-commerce industry can help reduce GHGs by encouraging consumers to cluster their purchases to avoid split shipments.

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