Pet food companies are surveying consumers to get a better understanding of their preferences for food for their pets. Diamond Pet foods recently released a survey with the following findings:
- Nine out of ten pet owners said “it’s important to feed their pets food as healthy or healthier than the foods they feed themselves”.
- Pet owners want their pets to enjoy the food. They also think it’s important that pet food companies offer a variety of food options.
- That food must be of high quality: Of the people who said in the survey that they “spoil” their pets, 78 percent are most concerned with the specific nutritional qualities of the food and 73 percent are concerned with how healthy the food appears to be.
- 61 percent of respondents evaluate the source of protein (80 percent of those with "spoiled pets")
- 42 percent evaluate the amount of protein in the food (55 percent of those with "spoiled pets")
Unfortunately, while the big companies are asking questions, they are not always providing high quality solutions for pet owners. While the label may state a meat source as the first ingredient, it is impossible to know the quality of the meat source. Just a few months ago we saw a pet food company making label and website claims that all meat was human grade, USDA inspected, when in reality the meat was supplied by an animal carcass removal facility, allowing pentobarbital-laden meat into the food supply for our pets.
FDA does not enforce it's own laws stating that animals that have died other than by slaughter are not suitable for consumption. Pet food companies will continue to use 4-D (decayed, dead, diseased, disabled) meat as a less expensive protein source.
Pet food companies also deceive consumers by using ingredient-splitting on the labels. Peas, which are high in protein, may be listed as pea protein, pea starch, pea flour, pea hull fiber, and more. Because ingredient percentages are not listed, it is impossible to know how much of the protein is coming from the pea sources versus the meat sources.
Don't be fooled by deceptive pet food labeling practices. Personally, I have spoiled pets and I am very concerned about the source, quality, variety, and amount of protein in my pets' food. These are the exact reasons I prepare food for my pets with ingredients I purchase from reputable suppliers.
Don't risk your pet's health with inferior pet foods. If you can't prepare food for them, be sure to investigate the products you purchase. Ask questions, call the company. Ask about sourcing of ingredients, whether the vitamins and minerals are natural or synthetic, and whether the ingredients are human grade.