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Old 05-30-2010, 05:09 AM
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Default How to choose food for your dog/cat.

I've done a whole lot of research into pet food, so I thought I'd share here.

Firstly, if you want more in depth info, please go to or to find out what constitutes a GOOD food and what's generally BAD.

1. Look at the ingredients list at the back of the bag of food. Always, always check what's in your pet's food! Make sure that the first few ingredients are named meats.

- Good: chicken meal, lamb, lamb meal, chicken, etc. (Chicken, for example, is fresh meat with water weight included, "meal" is fresh meat that has been dehydrated, so there's no water in it)

- BAD: chicken by products (anything by products is lower grade and is what's "leftover" from processing the meat for human consumption), meat (RED FLAG. every time you see an unnamed meat, stay away!! Many companies use rendered meat from roadkill, shelter kills, and random animals that are too unhealthy for human consumption. Do you really want your dog or cat eating the meat of other dead dogs and cats?)

What I look for: I prefer to feed foods that have at least 2 meats as the first ingredient (the more a certain ingredient in a kibble, the higher it is placed on the list). Something like chicken meal, rice etc. is MUCH better than something which says "chicken, corn, rice". That's because if it says "chicken", it's the meat WITH water weight. Once the kibble is dehydrated into dry kibble, the meat will weigh much LESS. So the "chicken" will actually not be the first ingredient anymore. Chicken meal, on the other hand, is already dehydrated before cooking, so you know there is more chicken in there.

2. Cats and dogs are carnivores (well, cats more than dogs), they cannot digest grains like CORN. The reason why corn is in so many dog and cat foods is because corn is CHEAP. And the corn that they use in the food is what's called a "filler". It's in there to "fill up the food". It doesn't give your pet any energy. For example, a food that has more corn in it (like Iams, Pedigree etc.) you will have to feed MORE to keep your pet healthy. Good foods like Orijen, Acana, EVO, Innova, California Natural, etc. never, EVER have corn in it. Good brands of food use high-grade grains like rice, brown rice, oats, etc. Anything to do with corn is bad. Yellow corn, ground corn, corn gluten meal, etc.

3. Many dogs and cats are allergic to grains. (My dog is allergic to brown rice) If you see your pet losing fur, itching, and having ear infections, it's probably because it is allergic to something in the food. (OK, make sure that your pet doesn't have any fleas or anything first!) Most of the time, dogs and cats are allergic to grains like wheat, corn, etc. Sometimes even chicken, beef, and lamb. If your dog or cat has a grain allergy, please look into raw feeding or grain-free foods. Some very good grain-free brands are Orijen and EVO.

4. Other by-products and fillers: beet pulp is another form of filler. It's there in the food to make it heavier, but it's not nutritious for your pet. There are several other fillers that you can find in those two websites I mentioned. Brewers rice is another type of filler. By products are basically the parts of animals that are not used to feed humans. Like chicken feet, beaks, feathers, organs, etc. It's tonnes cheaper than chicken MEAT, which is why producers use it to make petfood.

5. Check the percentages of protein and fat in the food. Good foods will have a high % of protein. Cats need higher protein levels than dogs, so make sure you check the levels! Good foods will always have a protein % of 30% or more. Bad foods have very little protein. In bad foods, most of the calories comes from carbs. And, well, too much carbs and too little protein is bad for carnivores!

6. Check the amount of food the bag recommends. If you look at bad foods, you'll notice that they will recommend you feed MORE of the food for your pet. That's because the food is not nutritious, therefore your pet has to eat more of it to stay healthy.

- For example, my pup used to be on Eukanuba (bad, I know. That was before I did my research). He was eating 1 cup of food per day. He's now on EVO, and only eats 1/2 cup of food. See the difference? Good foods might look expensive, but it's actually CHEAPER in the long run because you feed LESS!

7. I know that lots of you have been led to believe that popular brands like Royal Canin, Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba, etc. are "Premium". It's NOT true. These companies are large, multinational companies that are more interested in making money than anything else. P&G, which owns Iams and Eukanuba does disgusting animal testing. PETA found out that they were using dogs and cats as test animals. They would cut out their meat for "testing", while the animals were ALIVE! I no longer buy anything from P&G.

Do lots and lots of research. Don't believe ads on TV. Learn about what's good and what's bad. A lot of GOOD pet food companies don't make enough $$ to advertise their products like Iams and Pedigree.

For example, Orijen is made in Canada. ALL their ingredients are 100% Canadian and they make their food in their own facility. They guarantee that all their ingredients are human-grade. You can eat Orijen kibble and not fall sick!

Many bad companies import their ingredients from China because it's cheaper. That's what happened in 2007 when so many pets died from eating their own FOOD. China has very lax security when it comes to food manufacturing. Even babies died from eating melamine tainted milk. After the 2007 scandal, I now refuse to feed my pets anything that has ingredients coming from China.

Anyway, sorry this is so long. I care about animals and really want the BEST for them! Please feel free to ask questions if you have any.
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