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A Great Commercial Dog Food
While at my favorite local pet store, Petsmart, I once again browsed the dog food isles. Everyone always says that knowledge is power but with all I have learned about the commercial dog food industry, I feel crippled. Specific brands that my dog, Daisy, has eaten and enjoyed turned out to have that one ingredient on the list that I now refuse to feed her. I speak of the 'by-product meal' which you will see attached to different proteins like chicken, beef, salmon, and lamb.
It is easy to get confused when reading ingredient labels. Most everyone knows that the ingredients are listed by the quantity of the ingredients, most to least. So many of us, myself included, will scan the list of ingredients, see beef or chicken in the first items listed and think...Cool, this one must be a good one. The truth of the matter is that if the protein is listed alone on the ingredients list, it refers to 'muscle', fit for human consumption, meat. Chicken meal or any other protein combined with meal is made from proteins, cooked to remove water and fat. The result is a highly concentrated source of high quality protein from meat and minerals such as calcium from bone. This is a great thing to appear on a label. This is a protein source, fit for human consumption and concentrated for maximum nutritional value. It is also important to mention that if the protein meal if found a little further down on the list of ingredients, that is fine. Just think of a can of orange juice concentrate. That one little can make a full gallon of juice. Where in a whole chicken is great, it is also of greater mass and weight that the meal concentrate. Meal has a greater quality of protein and minerals than the actual muscle mass of the same protein. Chicken by-product meal is made with all of the other parts that are unfit for human consumption. Most commercial dog food companies are connected to the human food companies. Once the human food companies use everything that is fit for human consumption from the protein source, they sell the left overs to dog food companies. I am talking about entrails, beaks, feet, and all sorts of things that are not fit for human consumption. Probably not very high in nutritional value either. If your label says bi-product, it is time to look for another dog food. Another thing to look for on food labels is the nutritional adequacy statement which specifies canine life stages appropriate for the food being sold. The difference between the two is really just that of preference. Verbiage like 'formulated to meet nutritional profiles' simply means that laboratory experiments were performed on the food to determine it's make up and nutritional value. Verbiage or phrases like 'animal feeding tests have confirmed the nutritional value' means exactly as it sounds. One was tested by science and the other on living animals. You should also be warned that packaging that is full of statistics, percentages of nutritional content, guarantees of any kind are required by law to be substantiated, while the plain packaging with little to no additional information could have just about anything in it.
While at Petsmart, agonizing over the things I was finding while reading labels, I was approached by a representative from the Nutro Natural Pet Food Company. This is what I learned from her and followed up with some additional research at home.
The Nutro Company has been making natural pet foods with added vitamins and minerals since 1929. They are located in Franklin, Tennessee near Nashville. They do not have any connection to the human food industry and only uses farm raised, or grain bred animals to make their product. They also only use natural ingredients that are naturally preserved with Vitamin E. No chemical preservatives are ever used. They hold themselves to a higher standard of quality and their Company Philosophy is Pets First. They hold the standard of delivering healthy, superior nutrition with no compromises. They also offer a 100% guarantee of satisfaction or your money back.
The Nutro Company safety and quality standards:
Production of all dry pet foods in their own facilities right here in the United States.
All industry food safety and quality standards are met and exceeded through regularly on-site audits at the ingredient suppliers.
Testing of all fey ingredients before they are used.
Testing for mycotoxins in grains before they are even unloaded from the delivery trucks.
Testing on each and every batch of finished product to confirm microbiological safety, nutritional compliance and shelf stability through oxidation before it is shipped for sale. (they even reduced production during the last year due to difficulty obtaining key ingredients which met their strict quality and safety standards)
Every seven days, an in depth cleaning and sanitation break of production occurs.
Daisy is currently starting her second bag of Nutro Ultra Dog Food, A Holistic Super food for small breed adults. Along with this second bag, I am treating Daisy with the Nutro Ultra Pate three times a week to help with her immune system and healthy skin and coat. I have already noticed that her coat and skin have improved and her eyes are brighter. She has stopped random scratching which had been increasing prior to starting the Nutro Ultra dog food. With summer approaching, heat can cause itch dry skin and I am hoping to find that Daisy won't have that problem now the she is getting a much more nutritionally balanced diet. I don't think I will ever need to use the 100% refund guarantee.
I was very skeptical at first but am now a believer after just one bag. Try a one bag challenge. Let me know what you think.