For more information on nutrition and pet food recalls please visit:  


https://www.avma.org/News/Issues/recalls-alerts/Pages/pet-food-safety-recalls-alerts.aspx


Nutritional Consulting

 

King's Crossing Animal Hospital offers nutritional consulting for your pet. Our goal is to create nutritional plans that are realistic and based on your individual pets needs. Whether it's a 6 week old puppy or a 14 year kitty, our doctors can ensure your pet's nutritional needs are met. Veterinarians are trained in nutrition and in digestive physiology and can help you sort through what is nutritional hype and what is real. 


Are grains unhealthy for dogs and cats?

Answer:
No, whole grains contribute valuable nutrients including minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and fiber to pet food.1
Grains help to keep calories and fat at lower levels in pet foods.
Most dogs and cats are efficient at digesting and utilizing nutrients from grains.
Some dogs are allergic to specific grains, but these allergies are not any more common than allergies to animal proteins (i.e. beef, dairy).2,3

More supporting facts:
"Grain-free" diets are an example of some manufacturers’ marketing strategy. According to Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine: “Many ‘grain-free’ diets will substitute highly refined starches (i.e. potatoes, cassava) in place of grains. These ingredients often provide fewer nutrients and less fiber than whole grains, while costing more.”4
Grains provide a good source of fiber, which promotes normal bowel function, maintains the health of the GI tract, and helps in the management of certain diseases.

Citations:
Crane SW et al. Commercial Pet Foods. In: Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, Roudebush P, Novotny BJ, eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 5th ed. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute; 2010: 173.
Walker JA, Harmon DL, Gross KL et al. Evaluation of nutrient utilization in the canine using the ileal cannulation technique. J Nutr. 1994; 124: 2672S-2676S.
Roudebush P. Ingredients associated with adverse food reactions in dogs and cats. Adv Sm Anim Med Surg. 2002;15(9): 1-3.
Frequently Asked Questions About General Pet Nutrition. Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Website.http://vet.tufts.edu/nutrition/faq/general_pet_nutrition.html#4. Accessed April 26, 2013.
Copyright ©2014 Pet Nutrition Alliance. All rights reserved. | Terms of Use | Site Map | Site last updated July 16, 2014

What exactly are the differences between pet foods labeled natural, organic, or holistic? Are they better for my pet?

Answer:
Pet foods labeled with these terms are not necessarily better for a pet.
For example, the term "organic" refers to the processing of a product, not the quality of the product.
The term “organic” may only be applied to pet food labels that follow the USDA rules.  “Organic” is defined as food grown with only animal or vegetable fertilizers, i.e. manure, bone meal, or compost.
“Natural” is defined as pet food that contains no chemically synthesized ingredients except for vitamins, trace nutrients, and minerals.
“Organic” and “natural” are legally defined terms. “Holistic” is not.
“Holistic” is a term used for marketing but it has no legal definition under laws devoted to pet foods. “Holistic” can be used on labels regardless of the ingredients.
More supporting facts:
The USDA created four categories for the term “organic.” If the product displays:
“100% Organic”: it can carry the USDA Organic Seal.
“Organic”: at least 95 % of the content is organic by weight (excluding water and salt). It can carry the USDA Organic Seal.
“Made With Organic”: at least 70% of the content is organic. The phrase can be followed by up to three specific ingredients. It cannot display the USDA Organic Seal.
If less than 70% of the food is organic, it can list only those ingredients that are organic in the ingredient list. No mention of organic can be made on the front display panel. The USDA Organic Seal cannot be used.
Citations:
The Business of Pet Food. Association of American Feed Control Officials Website. http://www.petfood.aafco.org/Organic.aspx. Accessed April 26, 2013.
Organic Production: Organic Food. United States Department of Agriculture Website. http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml. Accessed April 26, 2013.
Association of American Feed Control Officials. 2011 Official Publication. Association of American Feed Control Officials, Inc. 2011: 145.
Crane SW et al. Commercial Pet Foods. In: Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, Roudebush P, Novotny BJ, eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 5th ed. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute; 2010: 173.
National Organic Program. United States Department of Agriculture Website. http://www.ams.usda.gov/. Accessed April 26, 2013.