Read this blog post to find out:
One lie that the pet food industry is telling you about pet food.
What clean, natural, healthy pet food is.
How you can learn what a real food diet looks like for your pet and how you can transition their diet to one that promotes wellness and longevity.
Don't feel like reading? Watch the video instead!
If there's one thing that annoys me about the pet food industry, it's the lies told by pet food manufacturers to consumers.
Let me give you an example
I recently had a conversation with a pet food company that uses a particular hashtag that implies that their dry pet food is "clean".
The hashtag was brought to my attention by a dear friend and colleague who shares my views on pet nutrition. Not surprisingly when I looked into the food, it was obvious to me that the food they were advertising was not "clean".
Clean food is that which does not contain any preservatives, colours, additives, synthetic ingredients, chemicals etc.
This particular pet food, like so many other pet foods on the market today, is highly processed. Whilst its original ingredients were real, whole foods, the product had been cooked to such an extent that the original fresh ingredients have been converted into a dry (what I would call "unnatural") product. It may not contain preservatives, colours and additives but it does contain synthetic ingredients in the form of added vitamins and minerals.
There's also the case that the ingredients appear to be:
"pet grade" as opposed to "human grade" (which means a low quality product); and
conventionally farmed, not organic or free range.
The relevance of the last point is that the food will contain chemicals due to the processing methods of the original ingredients (eg pesticides used in the production of the fruits and vegetables, and chemicals like antibiotics and hormones used in the production of the meat).
What's in a word?
Now don't get me wrong, this particular food is better than a lot of others on the market but to call it "clean" is just not true.
Other common claims made by pet food manufacturers include that the food they are selling is "natural", "healthy", "high quality", "holistic", "real food" and so on.
To the average consumer, these claims, along with clever marketing tactics employed by the manufacturers, appear to be reliable and convincing. And this is what really annoys me. Consumers trust the marketing and purchase the products with the belief that they are providing their beloved pets with good quality food, when the reality is, that they are not.
Clean, natural, healthy food is not food that comes to you in such a way that no longer resembles the original ingredients. Clean, natural, healthy food is food that is:
as close to its original state as possible;
does not contain synthetic ingredients, additives, chemicals etc; and
has not been cooked to such an extent that the nutritional value of the foods has been drastically diminished.
What can we do?
Luckily, there is a growing market of new pet foods that do honestly satisfy these requirements. It is these types of foods - real, natural, whole, healthy, clean foods - that will provide high nutritional value for your cat and dog, and will support your pet's health to ensure wellness and longevity.
In my animal nutrition practice, the majority of my clients come to me because their pets are suffering from diseases that have arisen due to poor nutrition. This comes as no surprise when we live in a world where we are bombarded with pet food that is nutritionally deficient, and led to believe that this food is nutritionally sound.
However, it is very rare that I will receive an enquiry from a prospective client who wishes to improve their pet's nutrition as a way of preventing disease. And prevention is so much better than cure.
So with all of this in mind, I decided to develop a free program that will support people in transitioning their pet's diet to one that is nutritionally superior to the common pet foods available on the market today.
I have called the program the #RealFood4Pets Challenge. It is a free two-week challenge that includes a real food meal plan, grocery list, prep guide plus access to a pet nutritionist (me) and other challenge participants in a closed Facebook group. You can find out more about the #RealFood4Pets Challenge here.
It is my hope that the #RealFood4Pets Challenge will help people learn about what a real food diet looks like for their cats and dogs, and how to transition their pet's current diet to a real food diet. In turn, this will mean healthier and happier cats, dogs and pet parents.