What Do Purchasers Need
Product labelling should provide purchasers with all necessary information required to make the optimal choice to meet their needs. Mandatory labelling requirements are set out in Regulation 767/2009. The FEDIAF Code of Good Labelling Practice for Pet Food aims to provide user-friendly guidance and interpretation of Reg 767/2009. The main focus is to improve the appropriateness of mandatory and voluntary labelling aspects and claims. The following aspects are considered to be mandatory on labelling:
Regulation No 767/2009 states Scientific substantiation should be the main factor to be taken into account for the purpose of making claims. FBOs should be able to substantiate claims, considering all evidence and scientific data available. Information provided should be clear, coherent, consistent and comprehensible and must not mislead or deceive purchasers. Purchasers do hold the right to bring any claim related doubts and queries to the attention of the competent authorities. If it is concluded that a claim is not sufficiently substantiated, the labelling of the product is deemed misleading.
The Benefits Of Grain
There are some different pros and cons dog owners should consider when looking into grain-free dog food.
If your dog has a grain allergy, of course, you can put him on a grain-free diet, which should address his health issues. Additionally, grain-free pet foods could be beneficial if your dog has digestive issues, since carbohydrates can be difficult for some dogs to digest.
Dog foods with grains may use wheat gluten or corn meal, which are cheap fillers that have little nutritional value and reduce the quality of the kibble or wet food. However, many grain-free dog foods will not use fillers, and instead may use better quality ingredients.
Groundbreaking Study Clears Grain
An ongoing theory touted by academic researchers and investigated by the FDA involving a potential link between canine heart disease, also known as dilated cardiomyopathy , and certain grain-free pet foods have been debunked, according to a far-reaching study recently released by a working group of veterinary professionals and animal nutritionists.
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Does Taurine Deficiency Justify Linking Dcm And Grain
The link between taurine deficiency and DCM is well established, however, it is premature at this time to link DCM and grain-free diets.
In fact, not every dog diagnosed with DCM thought to be linked to grain-free food had low levels of taurine. This may indicate other factors also have a role in DCM development, such as inadequate levels of certain other amino acids.
A study released in 2019 noted one such amino acid, carnitine, which has also been linked to development of DCM. Plant-based proteins do not contain carnitine and thus could contribute to deficiencies. This study also pointed out that various factors can influence taurine synthesis and absorption in dogs, such as sex and size., while nutritional factors can increase dietary requirement for taurine, reduce the supply, or increase excretion.
Diet Information From Reported Cases
Review of the canine reports shows that most reports were for dry dog food formulations, but raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were also represented.
When examining the most commonly reported pet food brands named in DCM reports submitted to the FDA, it is important to note that the graph below is based on reports that included brand information and that some reports named multiple brands. Brands that were named ten or more times are featured below. For a granular, case-by-case breakdown of DCM reports submitted to the FDA, see Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy Complaints Submitted to FDA-CVM Through April 30, 2019. FDA urges pet owners to work with their veterinarians, who may consult a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to obtain the most appropriate dietary advice for their pet’s specific needs prior to making diet changes.
To better characterize diets reported in DCM cases, product labels were examined to determine whether the product was grain-free , and whether the products contained peas, other lentils including chickpeas and beans, or potatoes . Because so many products contained peas and/or lentils, a category was created for peas and/or lentils. More than 90 percent of products were grain-free, and 93 percent of reported products had peas and/or lentils. A far smaller proportion contained potatoes.
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What Are The Safest Foods For My Dog
If you are interested in pursuing a grain-free diet for your dog at this time, make sure you are paying attention to the other ingredients as well. Many dogs also do well on single grain dog foods. Try to avoid a static diet, incorporate treats, multivitamins, and other supplements in order to meet all nutritional needs. A rotation of foods with muscle meat, organ meat, vegetables, and fruits is best to ensure a full spectrum of nutrients.
If you want to use grain-free dog foods, try incorporating them over time by alternating between your current food and your grain-free choice. Some dogs can have issues with abrupt changes so this may help them adjust.
How To Order For Just Food For Dogs
Most fresh pet food companies require you to sign up for a subscription that includes auto-delivery. Not so with Just Food For Dogs. Although autoship is offered, it’s not required.
You can buy food online at JustFoodForDogs.com, , and Petco the company delivers to all 50 states. But if you’re lucky enough to live near one of the company’s eight open-to-the-public kitchens, you can walk in and buy your food. You can also buy food in person at more than 200 pantries located inside veterinary clinics and select Petco and Pet Food Express locations.
Just Food For Dogs makes all its food in its USDA-inspected kitchens, which are in California, New York, and Washington, and are staffed by full-time food safety experts and nutrition consultants who can help you choose the best food for your dog. Remote consultations are also available.
Before choosing my samples, I had a nutrition consultation over the phone. My consult was helpful and quite thorough, but it took some time to go over the many different meal options. With Fresh Frozen meals, you can choose from six recipes.
Pantry Fresh meals are available in eight recipes. Each Fresh Frozen recipe contains just one protein source. Grain-free and gluten-free options like Fish and Sweet Potato and Venison and Squash are also available. My consultant set up my account and placed my first order. Now I can log in and reorder food anytime.
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Can Puppies Eat Grain Free Dog Food
As puppies have lots of growing to do, feeding them the right diet is vital for their development. The most important thing is that your puppy gets all the nutrients they need to grow into a healthy dog. Puppies can eat grain free dog food, so long as it contains the right balance of nutrients. Further, puppies who show signs of intolerances from eating traditional dog food may benefit from a change to a grain-free diet.
Energy Requirements Of Puppies
Currently, the equation below, as set out in the National Research Council , is widely used for estimating the energy requirements of puppies:
MER = 130 x actual BW0.75 x 3.2 x 0.1)
where BW = body weight and e = base natural log .
However, over recent years a number of studies, outlined below, have found that the energy requirements calculated using this equation did not reflect the actual energy intakes of puppies fed to maintain an ideal body condition score during growth. The studies indicate that puppies of different breeds have different energy requirements and this is not accounted for in the above equation.
Dobenecker and colleagues2 first reported a difference in the energy intakes of beagle puppies compared to Foxhound-Boxer-Ingelheim-Labrador cross-breed puppies required for the puppies to grow in accordance with the recommended weight curve for each breed. In addition, the energy intakes of both breeds were considerably lower than that calculated by the NRC equation.
Further differences in energy requirements between puppies of different sized breeds have been reported. The energy intakes of both miniature schnauzer and Yorkshire terrier puppies were significantly lower than Labrador puppies in the period up to 29 weeks old3.
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Taurine & Amino Acids
Nutritional research indicates that taurine is generally not considered an essential amino acid for dogs, because these animals can synthesize taurine from cysteine and methionine. Nearly all the grain-free products had methionine-cystine values above the minimum nutritional requirement of 0.65 percent for adult maintenance food for dogs published in the AAFCO Official Publication .
The FDA is still gathering information to better understand if taurine metabolism may have a role in these reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
Help From The Experts
The food we give our dogs makes a huge difference in their health and well-being. So it makes sense to let the experts help us determine what is best.
Ollies veterinary nutritionists use the latest advancements in research to develop the best recipes for your dog recipes that include fresh ingredients to keep your pups brain function healthy, address allergies and gastrointestinal sensitivities, are proportioned for ideal weight, and use Omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation. All that delivered right to your door, for free.
Ollie has received rave reviews from both customers and industry leaders. Ollies customers have reported better weight management, shinier coats, and more. Ollie has received a 5-star rating from Dog Food Advisor and has named one of the best dog food brands by Forbes, and Readers Digest.
Starting at just $2 a day, Ollie is offering 50% off your first trial box for AKC readers, plus it always ships free. .
AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.
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Who Are We And Why Did We Write This
First and foremost, we’re loving dog parents who want the best for our scruffy family. We’re also a husband-wife team of a practicing veterinarian and an engineer who have spent the past 2 years developing a new dog food. We’ve worked with some of the world’s leading animal nutritionists, food scientists, and veterinarians, and at this crucial moment we want to share what we’ve learned about dog food with our fellow dog parents.
The Link Between Grain
Apr 22, 2021 | Pet Health
Like people, dogs are omnivores. They require a nutritious blend of meats, vegetables, and grains in their diet for optimum health. Yet, there are many people who feed their four-legged family members grain-free diets, citing healthier skin, coat and digestion as a result. But in 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration investigated the potential link between canine heart disease and grain-free dog foods, which sparked a debate among dog food manufacturers, veterinarians, and owners alike. The FDA cited the increased potential of heart disease in dogs subsisting solely on grain-free diets, turning back to the basics of dietary needs for omnivores.
So, whos right and whos wrong? Heres what you need to know about grain-free diets and heart disease in pets.
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Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food
Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult is an example of one of the 10 dry recipes included in our review of the Nutro Ultra product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
- Type: With grain
- Other recipes: Large breed, puppy, weight management, senior and more
- Price: $$
- See all 10 available recipes
Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult derives the lions share of its meat protein from both fresh chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 17% fat and 46% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
A reasonably priced, nutritionally-balanced containing a healthy mix of healthy cereal grains. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewWe have three Maltese mix dogs ranging from 5 years to 7 months. Our 5 year old was starting to gain weight and moving slow like he was stiff and sore on the food we were using . After doing some research we came across the Nutro Ultra. We have used the Nutro hard dog treats for years and the dogs love them so we decided to give the food a try. The dogs love it and our oldest has started to slim down and be more active. No fillers and a great mix of meat and veggies. Enough calories and protein for small dogs without loading them down with a bunch of junk.
What Is Fresh Pet Food Exactly
Fresh pet food brands like Freshpetfound in the fridge in your local pet storehelped commercialize fresh options for pet owners. Today, there are dozens of brands out there, and many are available as subscription services that function the same way: You create a dog profile, complete a questionnaire, customize your delivery frequency, and voilà! Next thing you know, freshly made pet food arrives at your door packed in dry ice.
In my research, I found more than a dozen companies that market fresh pet food diets for cats and dogs, and their cooking methodologies, ingredients, and storage recommendations vary widely. According to Bullen, the term fresh pet food doesnt really have a specific definitionit just refers to pet food thats made with fewer or no preservatives. It could be made at home with boiled chicken and cooked plain rice, or it could be produced with recognizable ingredients in a facility, packaged without preservatives, and then frozen. For the brands we list here, we researched those that offer food thats commercially produced and thoroughly cooked at a low temperature, and that contain some combination of meats, grains, fruits, and vegetablesit tends to look like you took a humans Thanksgiving dinner plate and mixed it all together.
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Why Are Claims Important
Labels are the main form of communication between purchasers, feed business operators and enforcement authorities. The prime purpose of labels is to provide clear, accurate and honest information about a product that may facilitate the buying act of the purchaser. Product labels help communicate the products characteristics and allow consumers to make informed choices on product suitability. This can be supported by claims, which allow for differentiation between pet food products. Not only can they be a useful marketing tool for FBOs, they can also be informative for consumers, to help them in choosing a product from the many options available . A study into dog owner purchasing habits suggested that claims relating to targeted nutrition resonated with a majority of dog owners .
Ingredient and product attributes have become key focal points among consumers . This correlates positively to a growing trend of humanisation in the pet industry. Consumers increasingly see their pets as family members and are prepared to spend more on pet food and pet-related products . Most pet owners reported giving equal or more priority to buying healthy food for their pets compared to themselves . This suggests that the presence of health or functional ingredient-related claims are an important factor in the decision-making process. Due to their strong influence, it is imperative that claims comply with regulation.
Purina One Smartblend True Instinct With Real Turkey & Venison Adult Dry
Protein 30% | Fat 17% | Fiber 3% | Moisture 12%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1.Turkey, 2. Corn Gluten Meal, 3. Soy Flour, 4. Beef Fat, 5. Chicken Meal
Rich in novel proteins such as turkey and venison, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct is another favorite of Boxers. It has everything your grown-up Boxer needs to stay healthy and happy. From minerals to vitamins to antioxidants, these tasty meaty morsels will take care of your dogs body, mind, and behavior. It is a highly digestible formula made only of the finest ingredients. Whats more: it has plenty of glucosamine for healthy joint function as well.
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What Impact Has This Had
More people purchasing pets than ever has inevitably increased pet food purchasing. In particular, during the first lockdown, this saw huge sales spikes because people were stockpiling food in case of any future shortages. As the pandemic has progressed, many people have been careful with their day to day spending, although this has not affected how much they spend on their pets. 37% of owners say they have redirected money saved onto their pets . In particular, pet treats saw an increase in sales of 9% and the same is expected for 2021. The UK pet food industry is valued at £3.2 billion, and globally it is estimated to be $75.29 billion .
Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed is one of 18 dry recipes included in our review of the Purina Pro Plan Focus product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn
- Type: With grain
- Other recipes: Puppy, sensitive stomach, weight management, small breed, giant breed, toy breed, senior and more
- Price: $
Purina Focus Adult Large Breed derives the largest share of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 14% fat and 49% estimated carbs resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.
A top-rated, grain-inclusive dog food formulated by a team of professional, board-certified veterinary nutritionists. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewMy black lab loves this food. Her coat is beautiful, her energy is high, and she digests it easily. My vet recommended this food and I couldnt be happier. I saw a noticeable difference within days of feeding this to her. My dog eats the dry food with a little bit of the PPP wet focus for large breeds. Do not hesitate to feed this to your pups.. its a game-changer!
This Ollie formula derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh lamb. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 38% protein, 27% fat and 27% estimated carbs with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.
A top, grain-inclusive option. Recommended with confidence.
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