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Top 10 pet food label facts

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Pet owners are often confused by the scientific jargon that is on the pet food labels. In this presentation,Ken Lambrecht, an AAHA veterinarian from Madison, Wisconsin helps make it easier to pick the good foods from the not as good (and sometimes the bad!)

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Top 10 pet food label facts

  1. 1. Ken Lambrecht DVM Medical Director Westside Family Pet Clinic Presented March 24th, 20124th Annual Pets Reducing for Rescues Contest 2nd Annual Preventive Nutrition Fair www.slideshare.net
  2. 2.  FDA & AAFCO regulated Is a legal document
  3. 3. • 3 most concerning to pet owners• 3 most important to board certified veterinary nutritionists• 4 potentially helpful & interesting areas• 3 Supplements (Probiotics, Fish oils & joint supplements)
  4. 4.  Melamine disaster of 2007? Distrust of “big box” companies Human food issues (salmonella, e coli etc) We want our pets to live a long and healthy life! Reading pet food & supplement labels is TOUGH work!
  5. 5. Bug LANCE
  6. 6. 1. Trusted advisors/scientists2. Prevent interactions/side effects3. Above all do no harm4. Preventive5. 70% of pet owners consult their veterinarian about pet food
  7. 7. 1. Are grains bad?2. What is best protein source?3. Are “byproducts” safe?
  8. 8.  Omnivorous Not apex predators like wolf (more like foxes) Very adaptable as species Variation in breeds (over 268!) Has eaten what man has given him/her since domestication
  9. 9.  True or obligate carnivores Natural diet mice birds & lizards, crickets etc Almost 58% protein Evolutionarily have not changed in over 9000 years! Have always eaten what they want! (what they can kill)
  10. 10.  Quality How allergic are they? Processing needs to be defined
  11. 11. opponents proponentsCORN filler corn meal is poor protein good source of source protein poorly digestible causes allergiesSOY cheap source of Fine if used w/ inferior protein complementary grainsWHEAT allergenic not allergenic
  12. 12.  Poultryby product meal 65 to 70% Chicken meal 63 to 67% Fish meal 60 to 65% Corn gluten meal 60 to 64% Meat & bone meal 50 to 55% Soybean meal 46 to 50%
  13. 13. Reference: Verlinden A, Hesta M, Millet S et al Food allergy in cats & dogs a review Crit Review Food Sci Nutrtion 2006;46:259-273 Dogs (n= 198) Cats (n=89) 1. Beef (36%) 1. Beef (20%) 2. Dairy (28%) 2. Dairy (14.6%) 3. Wheat (15%) 3. Fish (13%) 4. Egg (10%) 4. Lamb (6.7%) 5. Chicken (9.6%) 6. Lamb (6.6%) 5. Poultry (4.5%) 7. Soy (6%) 6. Barley/wheat (4.5%)
  14. 14.  Corn meal Polenta Whole corn High fructose corn syrup
  15. 15.  American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement (Feeding trial or meets profile at minimum) Appropriate life stage (growth/location, maintenance) Amount to feed (calories/cup & calculations)
  16. 16.  AAFCO “Feeding study or trial done” = BEST “Meets established AAFCO levels” = GOOD No statement = BEWARE No statement but “To be used under supervision of a veterinarian” = RX FOODS
  17. 17.  At least 8 dogs At least 6 months Blood work, weights, stool quality Only way to tell protein quality (digestibility)
  18. 18.  Feeding charts not accurate Calories not always listed on bag Only crude protein levels listed
  19. 19.  Growth/lactation Maintenance Light formulas (less than 320 Cal/cup) Senior, others?
  20. 20. 7. Ingredients (major & minor)8. Manufacturer details9. Natural/Organic/Human Grade claims10. Preventive value (fish oils, joint supplements, protein level, anti tartar etc)
  21. 21.  Inorder by weight Meat source in first three Salt divider Beware of Ingredient “splitting”
  22. 22.  Salt divider
  23. 23.  Phone number Ability to track & recall Does internal controls & quality checks Has Board certified veterinary nutritionist on staff Answers your questions to you & your veterinarian’s satisfaction!
  24. 24.  Thereis currently no FDA definition for Organic, holistic or human grade for pet food
  25. 25.  Fishoils Glucosamine, Perna Green lipped mussel etc Probiotics Correct caloric density /Protein level
  26. 26.  Overweight dogs (even 10% is not Ideal!) Dental disease Arthritis Cancer Immune system challenges
  27. 27.  Needto know dose to be anti-inflammatory 20mg/lb of EPA per day 60lb dog will need 1200 mg typical human capsule is 180mg will need to give 7 daily or feed Rx diet Sources: Can get at Wal-Mart, Costco etc or in Rx foods Note: flax does not = fish oil (EPA & DHA)
  28. 28.  Consumerlab.com Glucosamine (not enough in food by law) Perna Green lipped Mussel (not regulated) Chondroitin sulfate (expensive) Use veterinary label products only
  29. 29.  LIVE organisms (need to know which ones) Killed by heat Dose very important 5 billion CFU/capsule best Human products up to 450 billion!
  30. 30.  Feed Your Pet Right Marion Nestle Chow Hounds Dr Ernie Ward Pub Med/peer reviewed Consumerlab.com Pet label 101 website
  31. 31. Or… Worryas much about ideal weight as ingredients! Idealweight pets live a 15% longer life, have less pet food expense & fewer health problems
  32. 32.  57 participants in 2011 (37 dogs & 20 cats) DCHS, FOF & Grey Muzzle Bad Dog Frida & Mad Cat WFPC will donate $1 per pound lost Form Dog Packs & Cat prides until 3/31/12! Clover
  33. 33. Thank you for your attention! Questions? www.slideshare.net

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