Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Truth About Pet Food

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 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.

(includes recipes for a K9 Cooler and Kitty Kookies!).
(fresh cuts, rather than pre-packaged).
(dry food).
(understanding the recall).
(understanding ingredients).
(understanding ingredients).
(about the preservatives in raw and wet foods).
(understanding ingredients and labelling).
(ingredients and minimum standards).
(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:)


Cheyenne -Millie said...

Those are a lot of interesting facts about pet food!

PS:My mommie's brain is very easily addled!

Tracey and Huffle said...

Mum says her head is spinning. I hope she doesn't fall over from dizzyness.

Huffle Mawson

Poppy Q said...

Mum has bought a book called "Natural Nutrition for Cats" by Kymythy R. Schulze. Of course she hasn't read it yet, but will sometime, as she is worried too about what I get given.

Especially after her old cat Puss died of renal failure. I think that Beau and Angie are now on a natural food diet, and Miss Daisy and Harley too.

I don't like meat though, but mum might try me on some at the weekend, as I am ignoring my fancy feast and my biscuits at the moment and being a bit fussy.

Tom, Tama-Chan and Sei-Chan said...

# says she will read this carefully when she is feeling less tired (brain is not working at maximum capacity at the moment), but we get a lot of chicken (Tama-Chan likes hers raw) and tip-top other food, plus the very best dried food, so we consider ourselves very lucky.

Tama-Chan and Sei-Chan

PS: Tommy gets very good dried food plus home-cooked meals!

Cory said...

Mom's head starting spinning and she started freaking out when the pet food scare happened awhile ago. So she not only looks at what's in the food, she wonders who is making it and where in the world to the ingreadients come from. It's enough to make her crazy...well crazier than she already is.

Cory said...

Pee Ess....yes Ginger really did fall in the toilet...it's true!

xoxo Cory

Aniemother said...

We're particularly fond of the "with" thingy - since brands selling different varieties of their food (with chicken, with beef and so on) literally can sell the same thing in different bags if there's 3% of each..

Mom knows pretty well what she wants to feed us - but doesn't have the freezer storage to give us her preferred, raw food, so for now we're stuck with kibble. But Virus get canned food with no grains every day and usually I get some of it, too. ;)


The Island Cats said...

This was interesting! Ever since the pet food scare awhile ago, our mom has been more aware of what we eat. She won't feed us anything with by-products and tries real hard to stay away from grains. She hasn't gone "raw" yet, but she tries to feed us good healthy foods. She says we eat better than she does.

Daisy said...

When Harley got EGC, my Mommeh started learning more about pet nutrition. It is enough to make your head spin! We have a couple of thick books that she hasn't gotten through yet. She would love to feed us fresh raw foods, but for now we're happy with the Nature's Variety prepared raw frozen medallions. The fruits and veggies make up less than 5% of the formula. Here are the ingredients in our foods:

Chicken, Raw Ground Chicken Bone, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, Apples, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseed, Chicken Eggs, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Dried Kelp, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Salmon Oil, Olive Oil, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Persimmons, Duck Eggs, Pheasant Eggs, Quail Eggs, Inulin, Rosemary, Sage, Clove

Apparently the bone is important, and also so is the organ meats.

Angel and Kirby said...

That is all very interesting. Thanks for sharing

Thoughts said...

Wow, this is really good info for us, thanks for doing all this research. Mom is in the process of moving us over to healthier stuff, both dry and wet, and has had success with Nature's Variety Instinct dry food.

Theodore and Sasha

Amy said...

Wow that is a lot of information. We try to give our kitties the grain free crunchy foods - they like that. The canned they more likely not to eat the grain free and since we need Floyd to gain some weight we try and get what he likes because he will at least eat it. But I try to mix the grain free in when I can and I cross my fingers. I have been thinking about adding some of the frozen raw diet food to see if they will eat it - they all have such different taste in food it is tough!

Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

Great post!!!!! Mom saw a program on TV about pet food and found it disconcerting!! It really does mean you have to be careful and check what is in the foods we eat!! Here is a bit about the show.
Purrs Mickey,Georgia & Tillie

PDX pride said...

Mommy used to do demos for Blue Buffalo, and so she knows how the pet food industry works. :P

The general rule that the industry uses to tell "premium" foods is if there are at least two GOOD sources of protein in the first five ingredients.

Note: that means most Science Diet dry food is NOT premium food!

Mommy's written an article about all of this at
and a friend of hers on HubPages is doing brand-by-brand analyses of dog foods (and might for cat foods) at

PDX pride said...

Oh, forgot to mention that all cat foods NEED meat in them or taurine supplement, because us cats cannot be vegetarians. Our bodies rely on taurine, which is found only in meat (all kinds, even poultry and fish).