The world of pet food regulation is crazy-making!

The more you learn about the lack of regulation and the willful cheapening of source ingredients, the more dismaying it is.  

 

We are part of the pet food supply chain and do our best to ensure that we’re offering our customers the healthiest options available in several formats, but we still want to empower our customers to make their own informed decisions about what they feed their pets.

The first thing that’s important to understand is the much of what you see on (and in) the bag is decided on by the pet food companies themselves. AAFCO is a business organization, not a governmental agency. Multinational companies with investments in other parts of the supply chain are influencing what is allowed to go into that bag (let’s be honest, we’re mainly talking about dry food here).

Many companies try to make  health claims about their products, and that’s where the FDA comes in. Just as in products for people, health claims are closely regulated, so there are labeling restrictions that come from the FDA. When it comes to regulating what goes into pet food the FDA considers pet food to be “feed,” an agricultural term, which unfortunately opens the door to the use of ingredients that, in some cases, would turn your stomach. They sort of care about pet food safety (randomly testing for pathogenic bacteria, but not testing at all for pentobarbital, the euthansia drug), but disregard the use of diseased animals as ingredients, just to give you an idea of the flaws in the system.

There is a voluntary certification program with the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (the same folks who inspect ingredients and processing for people food) but it’s in danger of being discontinued. This means the only inspection process that could ensure wholesome ingredients are used may go away. The tragic thing is, companies don’t pursue this certification simply because the USDA and FDA can’t agree on labeling, and since the FDA labeling is required by states and the USDA labels aren’t, the USDA loses out.

It’s a power struggle where the pets end up the real losers.

Don’t even get us started on how raw food companies are treated in this system! The companies that are doing the best job at creating healthy, responsibly sourced food are the ones getting no support from these agencies.

Pet FooledWe recommend the documentary PET FOOLED to get an insider’s view of pet food production. The film also introduces you to other options for feeding your pet, and here’s where it gets interesting…

 


THIS IS WHAT’S IMPORTANT

Learn about what you’re feeding.

Take ownership of your pet’s food bowl, starting with this downloadable guide.

Learn about how to feed your pet for OPTIMAL health… we’re here to help you with that. 

Explore our supplement section – no matter what food format you’re feeding this is where you can do great things to improve your pet’s diet.

A new book. The Forever Dog, arriving in our store October 12th will be an invaluable guide for pet owners, so mark that date and come in to get your copy.