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New Pet Food Information Resource

New Pet Food Information Resource

by Dr. Carla Case-... on Mon, 10/17/2011 - 9:56am

New Pet Food Information Resource

Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM, PHR

 

A few weeks ago, I did a blog on a new pet food from Science Diet that helps with weight, dental health, and joints.  I also confessed to my ongoing quest to keep my own weight in check.  My busy life, like so many others, does not leave a lot of time to plan meals and to exercise as I should.  I give myself credit for trying to watch what I eat and for reading labels and calorie information at restaurants and on food products I buy.  I even have an “app” for that! 

I have found that there is a lot of misleading information on the labels.  One that I am on the alert for is the number of serving sizes.  A can of soup for example would seem appropriate at 130 calories but then you find that it is two servings, not one.  And then there are the misleading words like “low salt, natural, organic, no fat, etc...   

Pet owners and veterinarians now have a new resource when they have questions about pet foods similar to my questions about my own dietary products.  The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has announced the launch of a new website, “The Business of Pet Food”. (www.petfood.aafco.org)

The site features explanations and links to resources in the states and U.S.government with information that individuals will need to know about ingredient listing and labeling requirements. 

“Many people are surprised by how many regulations apply to the pet food industry. “Says Liz Higgins, Chair of AAFCO’s Pet Food Committee.  

I found the site to be a bit scientific and not exactly every day, user- friendly.  I do like the fact that there is a reputable, non-biased group that produces a website where I can look up information that doesn’t have marketing “hype”.  It is too easy to be lulled into buying at a farmer’s market and thinking I am being good buying “organic” food and “all natural” dog biscuit treats for my pet.  I am a lot less naïve than I use to be and I seek guidance from my aunt who is a dietician and from my primary physician here in Savannah.  Most veterinarians are happy to make a food recommendation for your pet as well.  All the variety and marketing can get overwhelming.  Let them help you with decisions about your pet’s nutritional needs.  I sometimes will judge my diet by how my hair, skin, and weight are doing as well as how good I feel.  All these are covered when your pet gets a physical exam, and your veterinarian can give you a lot of insight on how well the current diet is working just by examining your pet.   

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