A casual browsing of your local store’s pet food aisle can reveal a lot more than what’s on sale and the unfounded claims that many manufacturers use to reel in well-meaning pet owners. Sadly, not all healthy pet food is created equally. Take a closer look at the label the next time you’re at the store. What does it mean when pet food is deemed “gourmet,” “premium,” or “natural”? Basically, not a lot.
Just like our human food counterpart, these terms are meant to catch your eye and give you the impression that what you’re buying for yourself or for your four-legged friend is the top of the line.
But that just isn’t the case. Let’s take a look at some of the less-desirable ingredients commonly found in mainstream pet food.
A look at what’s on the shelf
Menadione sodium bisulfite, what? Called MSDS for short, this synthetic variant of Vitamin K isn’t actually recommended for consumption. However, it is allowed in so-called “healthy pet food.” It has been found to cause cancer and is toxic to the kidneys, liver, and lungs, when consumed over a long period of time.
“Animal Digest” is not something you want your pal to digest. More like a soupy stew than identifiable pieces of meat, Animal Digest is a rendered-down mixture of the meat industry’s “Four D’s”. For an animal to be included in this designation, it will either be: 1. dead; 2. diseased; 3. disabled; or 4. dying at the time of slaughter. “FourD” meats don’t meet the standards necessary for human consumption, so these meats are then processed for use in pet food.
Artificial food coloring with a side of cancer? No thanks. Though the FDA has determined that Blue No. 2 and Yellow No. 6 don’t pose a “significant risk” to humans, major studies have linked these artificial colorants to the occurrence of tumors in the brain, adrenal glands and kidneys of animals.
So where does healthy pet food really come from?
We’re glad you asked. At Raised Right, we do things differently. When you read the label of any one of our bags of healthy pet food, you’ll recognize every single ingredient. What you may not know is the nutrition-based science behind each human grade ingredient we source for use in our dog food and cat food.
Here’s what you’ll find inside every bag:
- Human grade meats. Dogs and cats have high protein nutritional needs, which are best met through high-quality meats and organs in verifiable healthy pet food. For this reason, we use chicken thighs, chicken and beef hearts, chicken liver, and ground beef. All meat is sourced within the U.S.
- Veggies. Peas and carrots are nutritionally dense and high in phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is vital to the cellular health of dogs and cats, and is beneficial to their bowel health as well.
- Cranberries. A superfood, cranberries are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, and fiber. These healthful qualities support your pet’s immune system and overall health.
- Canola oil and cod liver oil. Canola is a rich source of Omega 6 fatty acid, a component of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) that support brain health. Cod liver oil is an excellent whole-food source of Vitamins A and D.
- Organic kelp powder and organic spearmint. Iodine is a nutrient lacking in most diets, but is found in rich supply in kelp powder sourced from the coasts of Canada. Spearmint supplies the often overlooked trace minerals, manganese and potassium.
- Zinc, copper, and sea salt. Your pet’s bone health is an important element of your pet’s ability to live an active and pain-free life. The minerals found in these human grade supplements support pets’ bones, skin, collagen, blood and tissue production. Sea salt is vital for growing puppies.
- Eggshell powder. A safe alternative to bone meal, which is often contaminated with heavy metals, eggshell powder lends superior calcium and phosphorus supplementation to your pet’s diet.
If you had to make the decision (which, as a pet owner, you do) between chemicals you can hardly pronounce or whole-food human grade ingredients, what’s the obvious choice for your pet’s mealtime? Clearly, you want what’s best for your furry family member. Healthy pet food can take on a lot of meanings when the designation isn’t controlled or regulated, but with an ingredient list like ours you won’t need to doubt our claim.
Raised Right is a proud manufacturer of stage-of-life specific meals for your family’s cherished pets, made with the highest of safety standards and using only human grade ingredients. Learn more about the difference, here.