Pet food is a pet feed meant for pets to eat. Typically sold at pet blogs and pet stores, it’s typically specific to the kind of pet, like cat food or dog food. Most commercial pet food is produced from byproducts of the pet food business and isn’t considered “real” pet food because it’s not made with pet ingredients. Because of this, you need to be careful about what you buy and how much you spend on pet supplements.
One thing to watch out for is pet food that contains byproducts. This can include euthanized animals (castrated, dead, diseased, etc. ), meal scraps, or other byproducts. These can contain a variety of toxins that can be harmful to dogs, especially when mixed with plain old water. The kind of high protein dog food that contains euthanized animals isn’t regulated, so the byproducts listed above are allowed to be present.
Another thing to watch out for is feeding trials – especially pet food companies in other countries. Some companies sell pet foods under the pretense of feeding trials – for example, by selling you their “Human Performance Enhancing Formula” for $ Economy of Evil. They call this their “aceutical-grade” food, and the ingredient list includes but is not limited to “BHA, Ethoxyquin, Lactic, Maracuja extract, BHT, and Catuaba bark”. If you read the label of any food that has this type of listing, and it’s not approved for human consumption in your country, it’s probably best not to buy it.
The pet food forum tells us that ingredients that are approved for human consumption can still be dangerous to dogs. One example is the BHA fat. It’s supposed to be good for your canine joints, but studies show that dogs fed BHA fat develop kidney problems and kidney failure. So pet owners who want to increase the amount of BHA in their dogs should be careful about what they feed their pets.
If you have questions about the ingredients mentioned above, or you’re concerned about the quality of some pet foods, don’t be afraid to post them on a pet food forums or to ask a question on a national pet food forum. Most pet food companies answer questions promptly, but some won’t even answer questions if you’re asking via email. You can also check out your local pet store, where you’ll likely find all the information you need. But the biggest tip of all: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Pet food companies should make more effort to be transparent with their customers. In the U.S., we’re used to seeing pet food company ads on television that promise big savings from using their pet food and that all the ingredients were carefully chosen. But the truth is that just because you see the ingredients mentioned on the bag, it doesn’t mean they were picked perfectly (you may be able to tell because some contain more meat than others). And pet food companies that are transparent with their customers (or at least try very hard to be), will likely find that their global sourcing practices will result in lower prices and better animal welfare standards. If you have questions about the ingredients in your dog food, ask your vet, or go global and see how your pet gets the best care!