Pet Food Labeling….Crude Protein?

So what is crude protein?    How much crude protein does my dog or cat need in their diet?  

 

Crude protein is a calculated value based on a laboratory evaluation of the nitrogen level in the food ingredients.   Protein can be derived from any number of animal and/or non-animal sources.    A pet food containing many animal and non-animal by-products can contain more crude protein than one containing pure animal food products.    So the crude protein level alone can be very deceiving.   Protein is of course the single most expensive major ingredient in any food.   Many big box manufacturers will utilize least cost formulation programs and grains and grain by-products to meet the crude protein requirements they have established for their foods.    These will cheapen the cost.    But they will not necessarily provide the appropriate amino acid mix for your pet’s best health.    Pets require amino acids in the right amounts and proportions….not crude protein per se.     Corn gluten meal is 60% protein and heavy use in pet food will raise the crude protein label.   But the amino acid profile is not favorable for growing pets.    So while the crude protein guarantee is an important (and legal) piece of information to have for your pets diet we have to go beyond that % number and look at the ingredient panel to get a better handle on the quality of the food.

 

As to the actual level of crude protein needed by your pet that will vary considerably based on the ingredient composition (ie., amino acid profile) and the activity/growth level of your pet.    We have products ranging from the lower 20’s to the upper 30’s and they are all appropriate levels when fed to the appropriate age/developmental stage/activity level, etc. of your dog or cat.

One other major point….    Canned pet food is labeled on an “as is” basis so the % crude protein will be considerably lower than dry kibble which is calculated at 10% moisture.

More on product labeling later along with specific ingredients to be wary of.    It can be a swamp with some deep holes in it to navigate!

 

Here is a typical Fromm label:

 

A grain-free entrée of duck, turkey, quail, and pheasant with farm-fresh fruits & vegetables

INGREDIENTS

Duck, Duck Meal, Peas, Turkey,Potatoes, Pea Protein, Dried Tomato Pomace, Pea Flour, Dried Whole Egg,Quail, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat,Salmon Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken,Pheasant, Cheese, Flaxseed, Carrots,Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apples, Celery,Parsley, Lettuce, Spinach, Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride,Blueberries, Cranberries, Salt, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract,Alfalfa Sprouts, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Taurine, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals,Probiotics.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

  • Crude Protein 29%MIN
  • Crude Fat 17%MIN
  • Crude Fiber 3.5%MAX
  • Moisture 10%MAX
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids  0.6%MIN
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids  2.7%MIN

 

 

 

Tailwaggin Tailgate Party Saturday, September 19

We will be hosting a tailgate party for our furry friends and their owners on Saturday, September 19th. Lots of taste testing, great deals, games, face-painting, contests and give-a-ways.

Bring the entire family!

Wear your favorite team gear so you can pose for a picture with your furry friends in our photo booth!

It’ll be a great time, you won’t want to miss it!

at 11:00am2:00pm  CDT

Rate Your Dog’s Condition

UNDERWEIGHT

Your dog is not getting enough to eat if you can easily see its ribs, vertebrae, and pelvic bones, feel no fat on the bones, and possibly notice some loss of muscle mass. If chronically underfed, adult dogs may experience impaired ability to nurse young and perform work, and increased susceptibility to bac- terial infections and parasites; puppies may be stunted in their growth; adult dogs may develop osteoporosis.

 

IDEAL

Your dog is at an ideal weight if you can easily feel its ribs. The waist should be easily observed behind the ribs when viewed from above.  An abdominal tuck is evident when viewed from the side.

 

 OVERWEIGHT

Your dog is overweight if you cannot feel its ribs, see fat deposits over its back and the base of its tail, discern no waist behind the ribs when viewed from above, and see no abdominal tuck in profile. Obesity occurs in one out of four dogs in western societies. Its incidence increases with age and is more common in neutered animals. Health risks include dia- betes and osteoarthritis.

So What’s In a Pet Food Label?

So what’s in a pet food label?

 

The Association of American Feed Control Officials stipulate 8 items that must be included on a pet food label.    There’s a lot of fine print regarding what has to go where on the bag and some of the terminology but in essence here are the 8:

 

  1. Brand and Product Name….pretty well self-explanatory
  2. Name of species for which the food is intended
  3. Quantity Statement….net weight or net volume
  4. Guaranteed Analysis…percentage of each of the nutrients in the food
    1. Requires minimum % crude protein, crude fat, maximum crude fiber and maximum moisture
    2. Other guarantees are voluntary or required if connected to a label claim
  5. Ingredient Statement
    1. Listed in order by weight on an “as formulated basis”
    2. Ingredient that makes up the highest percentage of the total weight is listed first
      1. That includes water before cooking….thus the “as formulated basis”
    3. Ingredients must be declared by the correct AAFCO defined name
  6. Nutritional Adequacy Statement
    1. Statement that indicates the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage
  7. Feeding Directions
    1. At a minimum must state “feed (amount of product) per (weight) of dog or cat”
    2. Should include recommended feeding frequency
  8. Name and address of manufacturer or distributor
    1. If someone else makes the product must show that by using “manufactured for” or “distributed by”

It’s common practice to list the caloric content of the food within the area showing the feeding directions.   This is commonly listed as Kcals per cup.

Personal or commercial endorsements are permitted.    So keep in mind they probably mean very little.  Veterinarian recommended, veterinarian formulated and/or developed are easy criteria to meet.

 

From a practical standpoint we mostly focus on three key elements of the above requirements.   The guaranteed analysis, the ingredient statement and the feeding directions (including the caloric content).   It’s these three areas that provide us the most guidance as to the nutritional adequacy, appropriateness and quality of the food for your furry friend.   It does take some work to correctly interpret some of this, however.     While the first ingredient on the ingredient statement may be “duck” it may not be the ingredient providing the most protein in the diet….after the water is cooked out!   But it makes for positive marketing.     We’ll have more on that in future pieces.

Addition of Pork Chomps

We are please to announce the addition of Scott Pet Products Pork Chomps and related items.   Pork chomps are baked pork skin and are highly digestible.   Therefore they do not present the potential danger of an intestinal blockage like beef rawhides.     Dogs love them and the pork skin products do an excellent job cleaning teeth!  You won’t find any slimy rawhides laying around either sticking to your furniture or your carpet.      And they are economical!

From Scott:

The World’s Most Perfect Chew

Pork Chomps are more digestible than rawhide because they are made from skin not hide. Rawhide was just an inexpensive byproduct of the cattle industry, and virtually has no flavor on its own. That is why most rawhide is basted, stuffed or sugarcoated, in order to interest pets. Pork Chomps are also better than rawhide chews for dogs because of Scott Pet’s proprietary, patented expanding process wherein 70% of the pork’s fat is removed, creating a more natural dog chew that is a cleaner product with reduced grease and odor.

Pork Chomps are naturally delicious; that’s why dogs chose them 9 to 1 over ordinary rawhide in an independent taste test.

With a wide variety of shapes, flavors and sizes to choose from, there’s a perfect chew for every dog.

Specifically about Pork Chomps

Scott Pet has been in the pet industry for over 35 years. Our guiding principal has been to provide quality products that enhance a dog’s life. We maintain very strict guidelines in both our US based plants and our overseas plant. Pork Chomps are produced in China because it is the largest pork producing country in the world.

To ease your mind even further, Pork Chomps were a part of a two year study at the University of Illinois, a leading veterinary college. The study was to determine the digestibility of pork skin versus beef rawhide, (click here to view the study), it also reiterates the overall health and safety of our product.

And if you still have even the slightest doubt about feeding your dog Pork Chomps,  dog parents here at Scott Pet want you to know that we give our dogs Pork Chomps on a very regular basis.

 

So do the owners of Wholesome Pet Essentials.