Do ingredients really matter to pets?

To most of the pets consuming commercially prepared pet foods... NO! The final nutrient profile of a pet food is most important factor in meeting your pet’s daily nutritional needs. If the food meets your pet’s nutrient profile, it does not matter whether the sources of those nutrients are beef, chicken or soybean. The liver does not care whether it is receiving the necessary essential amino acids for protein synthesis from chicken by product meal, tofu, or a protein hydroslate.

The ingredients do however affect taste. The very best nutrient profile is of no use if the animal will not consume the food. Most pets do not refuse most foods: look at the incidence of obesity in our pet population. Most pet foods are designed to be very palatable because repeat sales of pet food are for the most part dependent upon the owner thinking the pet “likes” the food. This “race” for the most palatable food in the market is in part responsible for the most common nutritional problem in pets... obesity.

Is your pet a little or even a lot overweight (obese)? We can provide a diet plan tailored to your pet's nutritional needs; click on nutrition consultation

Do ingredients really matter to pet owners?

Yes, apparently they do. The pet food marketing teams are playing that card for all it’s worth and in any direction necessary to make a sale, hence the importance of naming the product. Also note the advertising statements that a product “does not contain soy, corn, or wheat”; such statements imply there is something wrong with these ingredients and hence the foods containing them. In fact, there are no problems associated with these ingredients unless your pet demonstrates allergic reactions to them.

When does the ingredient list really matter?

Knowing the ingredient list only really matters when a pet has a food “allergy,” better described as food hypersensitivity. The incidence of true food hypersensitivity in the dog and cat population is not exactly known, but several published studies estimate the incidence to be less than 10%.

If your pet has food allergies and you want to find an acceptable diet for your pet, click on nutrition consultation