Premium Dog and Cat Food Claims Examined

Premium dog and cat food purchased at a store is supposed to be the best of the best, right? While there are many good items on the market for pets, some of the claims on the food labels may not really as good as the companies claim.

A Closer Look at Ingredients

A bag of dog or cat food may claim to be flavored with a pet's favorite food: beef, fish, chicken and other meat products. But one should always have a closer look at the thin, small print on the back of the package. If the food is beef-flavored, is the manufacturer really using beef? Pet food labels always list the ingredient with the must abundance on the package first. If one is hoping to purchase a beef-flavored product, but sees corn, corn meal, by-products, bone meal and preservatives listed first, the chances that one will find any actual edible beef in the package is slim.

Some of the ingredients in the top 5 to 10 listed are sometimes worded nicely. Any meat that has the words "by-product" after it is not something a human would want to eat. A meat by-product consists of the leftovers found on a carcass when all of the edible meat has been used: feet, the heads of poultry, hooves, snouts, etc. Meat and bone meal is even worse.

Foods that Are Especially Designed for Your Pet

The aisles of dog and cat food in the grocery store are abundant with foods for indoor pets, small pets, active pets, older pets and so on. Personalizing pet food is many times a marketing strategy to make one feel they are doing right by their pet. However, the standards set for pet nutrition are few: food for adult pets and food for pets that are pregnant, nursing or growing.

Natural and Organic

Consumer have taken to eating foods that are whole, organic, or all-natural. The definition for "natural" in the pet food world can mean a lot of things, including ingredients that have been processed. "Organic" has a more strict definition that requires more compliance. Do not let the words "natural" or "from nature" be misleading and let the list of ingredients do the talking.

The Picture Does All the Talking

It is hard for a pet owner to resist the pet food in the pretty pastel package that has a cute picture of a cat or dog. The pet portrayed has big, baby-animal eyes and looks fluffy, playful and cuddly. The pet on the package looks so shiny and healthy, almost as if he was glowing. How could this pet not be healthy? Pictures may say a lot of words, but those words may be lies. Appealing designs are used as a marketing strategy to lure one's eye away from what the pet food really consists of so one thinks: if this picture looks good, the food must also be good.

Premium dog and cat foods are not always everything they claim to be. Consumers need to take a closer look at the fine print to make sure they are getting what they pay for.