The Pet Food Industry
The pet food industry is dominated by a hand full of large corporations and include: Nestle (Purina), Mars (Royal Canin, Iams & Eukunuba), Colgate Palmolive Co. (Hills Science Diet), and Del Monte Foods (Meow Mix, Kibbles and Bits, Milk Bone, 9Lives and Snausages).
These companies are under enormous pressure from share holders to turn profits while staying competitive. Their business model is to spend millions of dollars marketing to entice you to buy their products. These companies also take advantage of weak government pet food regulations. It’s simple arithmetic; It's difficult to spend millions on marketing, sell at a low price and get fresh local quality ingredients. Many of these companies use inexpensive ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy, proteins from by-products which may be the euthanized pet remains or other animals. Chemical preservatives like BHA and BHT no longer allowed for human consumption on the possible risk they cause cancer. Large amounts of sugar, salt and sorbital are also added to improve the taste and are possible causes of obesity, cancer and hypertension. Many of these ingredients are outsourced from overseas including China to keep the cost low and profits high.
They will then sell you on words like “balanced”, "premium" or “all natural” with colourful packaging and flashy TV commercials with the hopes that you will buy their product over their competitors. They also count on you never reading the ingredients list, yet alone truly understand it if you did.
Some simple rules to for pet food nutrition.
1. Corn, Wheat, or Soy should not be in pet food.
2. By-products, animal digest, beef and bone tallow should never in pet food.
3. BHA/BHT, propylene glycol, are chemical preservatives and should not be anywhere on a pet foods label.
4. Grain free is popular today, but whole oats, whole barley and whole rye are acceptable grains that should cause minimal to no health issues.
"I love my pet, but I can’t afford higher priced food!"
We hear this all the time and the answer is simply yes you can. A better food does cost a little bit more at the cash register, but because it isn't packed with unnecessary fillers and dangerous chemicals, you can feed, in some cases, as much as 50% less. You will also have lower vet bills over the life of your pet, not to mention a happier, healthier pet!
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