Mum has been looking to introduce some raw food into our diet. Now that we are in Sydney, we have a lot more to chose from, which is nice. She was doing some research online to try and find out about the differences in brands, things to look for and things to look out for, and came across a series of articles from Urban Animal magazine. This is a magazine that is published in Sydney, and often has quite good articles in it. The articles are a guide to figuring out what all the labels on pet food actually mean.
It is pretty heavy going in some parts, and thoroughly mind boggling in others, but we learned quite a bit from them. Although, we will need to send mum off with an instruction list and note book when she goes to get our food next time! Some of the articles are a couple of years old, so some of the links within the articles don't work, but the principles behind it still stand. There are also a lot of ads to wade through on the page, as they are screen shots of the actual magazine page. The information on the recall and what was behind it was interesting for us.
We did like that this seems to be an unbiased look at food. So much of what we read or hear about pet food seems to be sponsored by specific companies. As a rule, Urban Animal refuses to do editorials for companies, and they would not allow companies to pre-read anything in the food analysis. While they don't recommend specific foods, they make it a lot easier to see what is good when looking at a label.
Treats (includes recipes for a K9 Cooler and Kitty Kookies!).
Raw Foods (fresh cuts, rather than pre-packaged).
Would You Feed it to a Dog? Part 1 (dry food).
Would You Feed it to a Dog? Part 2 (understanding the recall).
How Do You Choose What Your Pet Chews Part 1 (understanding ingredients).
How Do You Choose What Your Pet Chews Part 2 (understanding ingredients).
How Do You Choose The Wet Food Your Pet Chews Part 1 (about the preservatives in raw and wet foods).
How Do You Choose The Wet Food Your Pet Chews Part 2 (understanding ingredients and labelling).
How Do You Choose The Canned Food Your Pet Chews Part 1 (ingredients and minimum standards).
How Do You Choose The Canned Food Your Pet Chews Part 2 (nutrients and guaranteed analysis).
The part in the articles that we saw as key are these two lists. We finally understand what a meat by-product actually us! We also understand now that there are different kinds of by-product, and different grades within those different types!
This was also really informative for us. We didn't know that there would be such a big difference between 'Salmon cat food' and 'Salmon flavoured cat food'.
We hope we haven't addled your brains too much:)