pet food label

What Do The Terms on Pet Food Labels Really Mean?

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I’ve written extensively about feline nutrition and my recommendations based on what our obligate carnivores need for optimal health. Generally speaking, the progression from most desirable to least desirable is a raw food diet (either commercial or homemade), a home cooked whole food diet, or grain-free canned food. I do not recommend any dry food for cats. But even within these parameters, the available options can be overwhelming.  Pet food labels should be a useful tool to help cat parents decide which foods to select. Unfortunately, food labels are more about marketing than providing information.Continue Reading

Balanced Blends Guide to Raw Feeding: De-Mystifying Pet Food Labels

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This post is sponsored by Balanced Blends

This article is part of a series sponsored by Balanced Blends, a raw pet food company, answering some of the most common questions around feeding a raw food diet to your cats.

Buying pet food can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Pet food labels are supposed to provide information to consumers, but unless you know how to interpret the information on the labels, they may only add to the confusion.Continue Reading

Report Sheds Light On Serious Problems in the Pet Food Industry

cat-eating

I’m passionate about species-appropriate feline nutrition, and have written extensively about the topic. I maintain a small list of brands of raw or grain-free canned food that I’m comfortable recommending after doing thorough research. These are brands that I either currently feed Allegra and Ruby, or have fed them in the past.

The pet food industry, like the food industry in general, is not known for its transparency, so it can be difficult to obtain accurate and current information. This is why I’m so appreciative of organizations like the Cornucopia Institute, whose mission is to provide information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement. While their focus is on promoting justice for family scale farming, the work they do benefits the health of all living beings, from humans to animals to plants.Continue Reading

Natural Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy When it Comes to Cat Food

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Recently, a major pet food company announced a complete reformulation of one of its core product lines. The new formulas are to contain more natural ingredients, no by-products and no artificial colors or flavors. After looking at the list of ingredients, the new formulas don’t look much better to me than the old ones did, and still contain fillers such as wheat gluten, corn meal and powdered cellulose. While they may not contain by-products anymore, the non-specific proteins listed, such as “ocean fish” or “poultry” or “meat,” don’t provide enough information as to what the source of the protein is.

The intent of this article is not to point fingers at any one cat food manufacturer. Selling cat food is a business, and you can’t blame manufacturers for trying to position their products in the best possible light. This is why it’s up to each cat guardian to look past the marketing hype and educate themselves about what is really in their cat’s food. And that means understanding how to read the label.

One of the most misleading words on cat food labels (or any food label, for that matter) is probably the world “natural.”Continue Reading