Pet Food Facts

Posted by on Mar 1, 2010 in Health & Wellness, Paws for Thought | 0 comments

Feeding a nutritionally sound diet to your pet will promote overall health.  Benefits can include:
  1. Longevity
  2. Weight Management
  3. Healthy Skin & Coat
  4. Disease Prevention
  5. Proper Bone and Joint Development

Dogs and Cats are carnivores and therefore should have high quality meat and meat meal as the majority of their food.

What is a Carnivore?  A carnivore, meaning ‘meat eater’ (Latin carne meaning ‘flesh’ and vorare meaning ‘to devour’), is an animal that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of vertebrate and/or invertebrate animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging. …

Read your pet food ingredient labels!  This will give you a clear picture of what your pet is eating.  The first FIVE ingredients are the most important and the first TEN ingredients will tell you everything you need to know.  Ingredients are weighed prior to being cooked and the heaviest ingredients are listed first.

Good Ingredients include:

Chicken, Beef, Salmon, Herring, Duck, Turkey, or any other whole protein source

Chicken Meal, Beef Meal, Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, Duck Meal, Turkey Meal or other high quality meal source

Brown Rice, Barley, Oats, Oatmeal, Quinoa or other whole grain

Fruits, Vegetables, Vitamins and Supplements such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Bad Ingredients include:





Meat (unspecified)


By-product Meal

Animal Fat (unspecified)



Artificial Colors and Flavors

*Corn, Wheat and Soy are common causes of pet allergies. 

The first two to three ingredients in a pet food should be whole meats or high quality meat meals.  Whole meat followed by a meat meal is the best situation.  Since a whole fresh meat will lose most of its water weight after being cooked, a meat meal will ensure that a good portion of the final weight is derived from meat.

Corn and Corn Gluten Meal have high protein counts.  Many commercial pet foods use corn products to bump up the protein count in pet food to inexpensively meet AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Standards.  As carnivores, dogs and cats do not need corn for protein but high quality MEAT!

So, what do all of these terms mean? 

Click here for AAFCO definitions of pet food ingredients:

Interested in knowing how your pet’s food stacks up?  Visit and find out!




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