With so many different options available, choosing a pet food can be confusing and overwhelming. Below are explanations for some common myths about pet foods.
MYTH #1: By-products are bad
FACT: When people think of by-products, they often think of feathers and hooves. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! A by-product is what is left over after the intended product has been made1. This includes meat by-products such as organ meats and plant by-products such as beet pulp. These ingredients can provide an excellent source of nutrients, protein and fibre in pet foods. By-products CANNOT include hair, feathers, teeth, horns and hooves. The best way to know that you are buying a good quality food is to buy from a reputable company. Even if they have by-products in their ingredients list!
MYTH #2: Corn is only used as a cheap filler in pet foods.
FACT: Not true! Many people think that whole corn is used in pet foods, which is undigestible. In reality, corn used in pet food is ground down to make it more digestible. Think of it like popcorn – have you ever eaten popcorn, and have it come out whole at the other end? I didn’t think so. Corn is also a good source of fibre, folate, vitamin C, and phosphorus making it nutritiously valuable. Therefore, next time you are looking for a pet food, don’t toss it to the side just because it has corn in it!
MYTH #3: “Natural” pet food is better for my pet
FACT: Natural is a very broad term that includes more ingredients than it excludes. It refers to any ingredient that comes solely from plant, animal or mined sources2. This includes a lot of ingredients in most pet foods. Natural ingredients can be processed in certain ways and still be considered natural. Ingredients that are chemically synthesized, such as vitamins and minerals, are not considered natural. Therefore, natural pet food will either not be nutritionally complete and balanced, or they will say “natural with added vitamins and minerals” – which is true of many pet foods without a “natural” claim on the label. While “natural” is a term that sounds appealing, it does not necessarily mean it is healthier for your pet.
Talk to your veterinarian to help you choose which food is best for your pet!
Written By: Dr. April Crump