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.    

Meet Our Newest Pet Stylist!

Meet our newest pet stylist Andrea!

I discovered my passion for pet grooming in 2010 when I started bathing dogs that had boarded at a veterinary clinic that I was working part time for. From there I moved on to PetSmart as a professional bather then I went through their Grooming Academy in 2011. l have been grooming for 4 ½ years, and have loved every minute of it. I not only specialize in the typical all over haircut, but I am also trained in breed standard patterns and creative grooming. I have also been grooming cats for a little over 2 years. I absolutely enjoy helping pets look their absolute best, and see the smiles on their parents faces. I want grooming for any pet to be as fun and relaxing as possible. I am very excited to continue my grooming journey at Wholesome Pet Essentials!

Wholesome Pet Essentials's photo.
Many of you have already met Anabelle who has been styling pets for us for several weeks already!

Tired of Big Box Grooming?

Wholesome Pet Essentials is very pleased to announce that we now have two top pet groomer/stylists with years of experience.     Anabelle Dunbar and Andrea Nosko have 9 1/2 years of combined grooming experience and will  offer first rate service on a 7 day schedule without interruption.   Both are solid professional stylists and we are very excited to have them on board to service your furry friends grooming needs and make you beam with pride.    We will have more biographical information for you in the near future.

Call today for an appointment, and let them pamper your pets under their constant watchful eye.     We will not place your pet in some back room!  

And yes, we do CATS!

Proud to be a Fromm Dealer! Still Family Owned and Operated

We are proud of all the brands we carry.   However, with the recent disappointing acquisition of Merrick by Purina I thought it worth highlighting one company in particular that we are especially proud to be associated with since they are still a family owned and managed operation.    The following Q&A is from the Fromm website which is a particularly useful website with a plethora of information!  We’ll provide more info on other suppliers as time goes by:

Who is Fromm Family Foods owned by?

Fourth generation family member Tom Nieman is the president, owner, and head chef. Fromm Family Foods was inherited by Tom Nieman in 1983 from his Grandmother Erna Fromm. The Company, as it was originally named, has been privately owned and family operated since it was started in 1904. Tom has a chemical engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and formulates all of our dry pet food at our plant in Wisconsin. He was an understudy to the late Dr. Willard Roberts, Ph.D., who is recognized as the pioneer of dry pet food.

Where is Fromm Family pet food produced?

All of our dry pet foods and low-fat treats are made in the USA at our own USDA-inspected plants in Wisconsin. Our grain-free treats are made in Wisconsin at a USDA-inspected, partner plant, and our canned recipes are made in the USA at a USDA-inspected plant in South Dakota.

What is the reason for your different kibble shapes and sizes?

We offer many different shapes and sizes of kibble depending upon the recipe. Our goal is to determine and apply the most efficient and effective cooking method for each of our unique recipes, in order to achieve maximum quality. The shape and size of the kibble are chosen, in part, to ensure the food is cooked just right for maximum palatability, digestibility, and performance.

What is the difference between product lines?

We currently have three product lines for canines — Fromm Family ClassicsGold Nutritionals®, and Four-Star Nutritionals® — and two product lines for felines — Gold Nutritionals® and Four-Star Nutritionals®. All of our dry products for dogs and cats utilize USDA certified ingredients with added prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
Our Fromm Family Classics line is primarily formulated with chicken and includes products designed for adult dogs, senior dogs, and dogs looking to lose weight.
Our Gold Nutritionals® line is formulated with multiple protein sources including duck, chicken, fish, and lamb. The recipes in this line are life-stage specific. For canines, we offer different recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, with more specific recipes for large breed puppies and adults, small breed adults, and canines needing to lose weight. For felines, we offer specific recipes for kittens, adult cats, and mature cats.
Our Four-Star Nutritionals® line is all about variety. Each canine and feline recipe is formulated for all life stages.  This means that the canine foods are suitable for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs, and the feline foods are suitable for kittens and adult cats, as well as senior cats. In addition, every recipe in this line — with grain and grain-free— has been formulated with the intention of allowing the pet parent to feed a different recipe at each meal for unique variety.

With so many Fromm choices, which one is the right one for my pet?

This is probably the most often asked question, and it really has no simple answer. The reality is that finding the best food for your pet is sometimes a process of trial and adjustment. The benefit to feeding Fromm is that once your pet has transitioned to our brand, you can easily switch from recipe to recipe within the Fromm brand without digestive upset.

What does “All Life Stages” mean?

In order for a food to be classified for “all life stages”, it must pass a certain protocol used by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to determine if the food has the nutrient content necessary to fully support four stages of life. These are gestation, lactation, growth, and maintenance. A food with this classification may be used for a pet in any of these life stages so long as the correct amount is fed. However, certain specific life stage foods may be more appropriate in meeting the nutritional needs of puppies, large breed dogs, small breed dogs, and those needing to control or lose weight. For these specific needs, we highly recommend using Fromm Puppy GoldLarge Breed Puppy GoldLarge Breed Adult GoldSmall Breed Adult Gold, and Weight Management Gold.

Can I rotate foods?

We created the Four-Star Nutritionals line of products specifically to provide variety and encourage rotation. Each recipe is designed to be complimentary, and after transitioning to Fromm, many customers have success rotating between Four-Star recipes and even our other lines including Fromm Gold and Fromm Classic.

Finding the right food for your pet is sometimes trial and error. One of the benefits of Fromm’s interchangeable lines is the ability to switch seamlessly to new recipes should you or your pet become unsatisfied with a particular entrée. However, all pets are different, and some pets have more sensitive stomachs which may prevent them from enjoying a particular recipe or a rotational diet. Other pets are more robust and require no transition period between recipes. It’s really up to you and your pet how much rotation you would like to incorporate into their diet.

What is the difference between kitten and cat recipes?

The main differences are the digestibility and nutrient concentration. Kittens need a food that is more nutrient dense than a typical cat food in order to meet their accelerated growth needs.

Does Fromm use any ingredients from China?

No, all of our ingredients are sourced in the USA, and all of our products are made in the USA.

Grain-free: what does this really mean?

At Fromm, grain-free means the pet food has been produced with no grains in the formula. Our grain-free varieties contain no wheat, rice, rye, barley, or triticale and thus do not present the gluten associated with these grains.

Do you offer a “chicken-free” dry dog food?

We currently offer the following canine recipes that are completely chicken-free: Four-Star Beef Frittata VegFour-Star Lamb & LentilFour-Star Pork & Peas RecipeFour-Star Shredded Beef canned dog food, and Four-Star Shredded Pork canned dog food.
In addition, the following recipes do not contain chicken as a protein source: Four-Star Duck and Sweet PotatoFour-Star Salmon A La Veg, and Four-Star Whitefish and Potato.  These products contain chicken fat and/or chicken cartilage which, in comparison to chicken protein, generally will not lead to an allergic reaction.

Can Fromm’s products be used for pets in need of a special diet caused by a medical condition?

Our foods must be formulated to meet the AAFCO Dog and Cat Nutrient Profiles. These requirements are based on data obtained from studies involving normal, healthy dogs and cats. Because of this, we cannot recommend the use of our products for a situation where a medical condition requires a special diet. However, Fromm can supply technical information to you or your veterinarian to help determine if a specific recipe will be suitable for your pet’s special condition.

I heard Fromm is good for pets with allergies– why?

The first thing to determine is whether the animal has a dietary intolerance or an allergy. An allergy involves the pet’s immune system, while a dietary intolerance is an abnormal physiological response that does not involve the immune system. We have many customers who believe that their pet has an allergy to a certain ingredient, but they are surprised to find that their pet does quite well after switching to Fromm, even if the recipe they feed their pet contains the suspected allergen. This success can largely be attributed to the quality of our food as well as our blend of ingredients which follows the “Multi-Ingredient Principle”.

Fromm is unique in that we use a variety of ingredients including diverse protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates. This presents two distinct advantages. First, this combination provides a better balance of what each ingredient has to offer, giving a better nutritional balance to the food. Second, by using a combination of ingredients, Fromm is able to avoid being solely dependent on any single ingredient. This may provide an advantage to an animal that has a dietary intolerance (not a true dietary allergy) to any one ingredient. The “offending” ingredient will still be present in the diet, but at a level that the animal’s system can tolerate.

A good metaphor would be a person eating spicy food. A little spice might bring out the flavor in a dish and agree with a person’s sensitive stomach; however, a meal with twice as much spice might wreak havoc on the same person’s digestive system: everything in moderation. Finding food for your pet can often be a process of trial and error before you find a Fromm recipe that works well for your animal if he or she is sensitive; however, we feed a number of pets with food intolerances, and they do wonderfully once their owner finds a formula that works for them.

 

More questions and answers can be found at :   http://frommfamily.com/about/question-and-answer/

Grain Free Diets-Should you Make the Switch

The following is from a recently posted blog entry by Holistic Select….

Grain-Free Diets – Should You Make the Switch?

07.27.2015 | 10:50 am

What is a grain-free diet and is it right for your pet? Well, that’s what we are here to talk about. With so many different brands and recipes out there for pet food, it can be overwhelming to try and find the perfect one for your pet. Our pets are just like us in the sense that no diet is perfect for everyone, so a grain-free diet isn’t necessarily the right fit for all pets. However, for some pets it can prove to be very beneficial to their overall health. Let’s break it down and find out what this grain-free diet is really all about.

What are the Benefits of a Grain-Free Diet?

It is always important to talk to your veterinarian to figure out what type of diet is recommended for your pet. If a grain-free diet is something that both you and your veterinarian agree is the right choice for your pet, it can benefit your pet in many ways.

  • Less is more. With a grain-free diet, your pet is likely to thrive on a smaller amount of food than with their previous diet. Grain-free pet food contains a lot of proteins and nutrient-dense ingredients that will leave your pet feeling energetic and satisfied and less likely to want to ‘graze’ all day long around the food bowl.
  • Improve the condition of your pet’s skin and coat. Pets that may have intolerances or allergies to grains can benefit from a grain free diet. A grain free diet can help to decrease the itching and scratching that can be associated with allergies and intolerance’s.
  • Improve digestion. For pets with sensitive stomachs, grain free diets can help support digestive health. The absence of grains and rice can help improve overall digestibility.

Is a Grain-Free Diet Right for my Pet?

There are some pets that can benefit from a grain-free diet more than others. Some of those pets include –

  • Pets with high energy levels. Grain-free diets are especially beneficial to pets and breeds that are known to have high energy levels due to the higher protein and fat levels along with additional nutrient-dense ingredients. Combined, these cater to a dog or cat that require enhanced energy sources.
  • Pets with allergies. It is common for some pets to develop an allergy to grains in their food, causing symptoms such as vomiting, bloating, stomach distress and itching and scratching. Your veterinarian can help to diagnose these allergies and a grain-free diet could be the answer to your pet’s problems.

Making the Switch

If after consulting with your veterinarian, it is decided that a grain-free diet is the right choice for your pet, be sure to transition into a new diet properly. Transitioning your pet into a new diet is a slow process. New foods should be introduced in small amounts at first and increasing those amounts over the course of a full week at least.

Now that you have the low-down on what a grain-free diet is all about, talk to your veterinarian and decide if you should make the switch. Holistic Select offers a high-quality grain-free recipes for both cats and dogs that could be the perfect fit for your pet.

Fireworks or Thunderstorm Anxiety?

What to do about your dog’s anxiety over fireworks?     Thundershirt has a patented design that applies a gentle constant pressure on a dog or cat’s torso.   Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years.  There are several studies under controlled conditions that show not only better behavior during thunderstorm like conditions but also measureable reductions in heart rate.    The manufacturer estimates the garment is effective in 80% of pets.   The Thundershirt comes with a money back guarantee.       Many users report a comforting effect from the Thundershirt during other stressful times for pets such as travel.

 

We also carry a line of Thundershirt holistic calming pheromone spray containing both lavender and chamomile and other holistic calming products as well.    Useful alternatives to drugging up your pet for those stressful times.

TShirt

 

Brachycephalic Dogs….and Heat!

Most people are not familiar with the term “Brachycephalic,” but if you own a Pug, Boston Terrier, Pekingese, Boxer, Bulldog, Shih tzu or any one of the other breeds with “pushed in” faces, you should become familiar with this word. The word comes from Greek roots “Brachy,” meaning short and “cephalic,” meaning head.

Brachycephalic dogs have been bred so as to possess a normal lower jaw, that is, one in proportion to their body size, and a compressed upper jaw.

HEAT STRESS – Because of all these upper respiratory obstructions, the brachycephalic dog is an inefficient panter. A dog with a more conventional face and throat is able to pass air quickly over the tongue through panting. Saliva evaporates from the tongue as air is passed across and the blood circulating through the tongue is efficiently cooled and circulated back to the rest of the body.

In the brachycephalic dog, so much extra work is required to move the same amount of air that the airways become inflamed and swollen. This leads to a more severe obstruction, distress, and further over-heating.

BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS ARE THE MOST
LIKELY CANDIDATES FOR HEAT STROKE.

Altogether, the upper airways of the brachycephalic dog compromises his or her ability to take in air. Under normal conditions the compromise is not great enough to cause a problem; however, an owner should take care not to let the dog become grossly overweight or get too hot in the summer months. Be aware of what degree of snorting and sputtering is usual for your individual pet plus, should your pet require general anesthesia or sedation, your vet may want to take extra precautions or take radiographs prior to assess the severity of the syndrome.

 

Thanks to marvistavet.com for the above information!