Have you been pulled in a million different directions when doing your research online for a good pet food? If you have, and most pet parents will say yes, you're not alone! If you've been with us for a while, you've likely heard us say, though the pet food industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world, it is also one of the most deceptive industries worldwide! 😬
Now you might be thinking, why wouldn't they just make it easy for us to choose a healthy food for our pets? Well that's not in the big pet food manufacturers best interest! The less they tell us about what's actually in their pet food, the more likely we are to buy it! Couple that with splashy marketing and heart string tugging commercials and we're all running out to buy the "best food on the market" or that's what they hope we'll believe! 😡
The curtain has been pulled closed, very tightly for far too long when it comes to what goes on within the pet food industry! The mystery of what's in the food is a highly guarded secret that many of the big pet food manufacturers would rather we didn't solve! We made you a promise when our doors opened, that we wanted to draw that curtain back and create transparency in the industry to empower pet parents so you could have all the necessary tools and knowledge to actually make the best choice for your pets! We know that proper nutrition will extend the lives of our pets and unfortunately, the big pet food industry isn't concerned with the health and longevity of our pets, they're only focused on making as much money possible from us at the lowest cost to them. That leads to mystery ingredients, questionable sourcing and dirty manufacturing processes that if revealed, would have pet parents never buying commercially processed pet food again! 😬
There's a fantastic shift happening among pet parents today who are looking to do better for their pets! As pet parents, we are becoming far more educated than we once were and with that knowledge we are empowered to make better choices for our pets! We know diet is key to our own health and it only makes sense that diet is also a huge contributor to the health and endurance of our pets! With the majority of dry pet food on the market today being formulated to "sustain life" or allowing our pets to survive, it is even more important that we know how to choose a food that will allow our pets to thrive! We want them to live their best, healthiest life possible and we know that can't happen if we feed them a highly, ultra-processed, fast food diet! 👍
There are definitely dirty secrets within the pet food industry they don't want us to know! We want you to know! When you know their secrets, you will know how to spot their tricks and the mystery they've created will start to get solved! If you are feeding a dry diet to your pet, you are among the majority of pet parents. Today, 80% of pet parents are serving a dry diet. This number is decreasing and raw feeding is the quickest growing segment of the pet food industry! Dry foods are where many of the mysteries exist! There's a lot of room to hide dirty secrets in dry pet food, so if you choose to feed a dry food, we want you to know what to look for to ensure you are feeding a quality dry food and not a food that will negatively impact the health of your pet! ✅
So let's take a look at 3 Dirty Secrets the Pet Food Industry Doesn't Want Us to Know! 👇
About a month ago, we were invited to one of our local high schools to present on Pet Nutrition. We shared with the students, 3 Dirty Secrets the Pet Food Industry Doesn't Want Us to Know as well as how to choose a quality pet food! The graphic posted above was part of their take away that gave them more information about the 3 Dirty Secrets! 😳
You can scan the QR codes in the graphic to view our TikToks on these Dirty Secrets or next time you're in store, pick up one of our post cards to get all of the secrets plus a few bonus tips! 👍
Dirty Secret Number 1️⃣ Mystery Meats
Do you know what is legally allowed to be put into pet food? Check out this list of "perfectly legal" ingredients that can be used in pet food 👇
☠️ Dead Zoo Animals
☠️ Spoiled Supermarket Meat Including the Styrofoam and Plastic Wrap
☠️ Euthanized Pets
☠️ Diseased Farm Animals
☠️ Slaughterhouse Waste
These are all perfectly legal ingredients that are allowed to be used in pet food. The pet food industry has become a garbage recycling centre for everything we don't know what else to do with and big pet food manufacturers jump on the chance to save money! You know what they say, "one man's trash, is another man's treasure!" The big pet food manufacturers couldn't agree more! The listed "ingredients" get scooped up for pennies! Who else would pay money for any of that? No one! And big pet knows it! 😡
Want to learn how to identify mystery meats in your dry pet food? View our TikTok, the first QR code in the image above or click here!
Dirty Secret Number 2️⃣ Ingredient Splitting
Big Pet knows pet parents are becoming more empowered and want to make better choices for their furry family, so they've come up with a little trick called Ingredient Splitting. When they split their ingredients, it allows them to make their food look better than it actually is! 😡
So here's how it works! Ingredients are listed in order of size on a pet food label, from biggest to smallest. When big pet food manufacturers split their ingredients, they can push "filler ingredients" farther down the ingredient panel which pushes the little amount of protein sources they're putting in the food higher up the list making pet parents believe they are feeding a better food than they really are.
Here's an example! If the ingredient label actually listed percentages of ingredients, which they never would, we could see more easily what they were doing! So as an example let's say this was an ingredient panel:
"Lamb 9%, Lamb Meal 8%, White Rice 7%, Brown Rice 6%, Rice Bran 5%..."
Do you see what they did? White Rice, Brown Rice and Rice Bran are all RICE! By splitting them, they can now say each of them makes up less than the percentage of "protein" in the bag and they would call this a Lamb & Rice formula. In reality, if we put all of the rice back together and not split it, we get this ingredient panel:
"Rice 18% Lamb 9%, Lamb Meal 8%..."
This is actually a Rice & Lamb formula, which is not a good choice for a carnivore who needs meat! So the second dirty little secret is ingredient splitting! When you look at a bag of pet food and see one ingredient called a variety of different ingredients, it's all the same thing! Another example is peas! Pea flour, pea protein, pea fibre, peas, it's all peas! They've just split it to push it farther down the panel so their food looks better than it is!
Want more details on this dirty secret? View our TikTok with the second QR code or click here!
Dirty Secret Number 3️⃣ How Many Carbs
Pet food manufacturers will never list the amount of carbs in their food! They will never tell us for two reasons! If we knew 50-70% of the bag was carbs, we'd never buy the food! The second reason is because dogs and cats have no biological requirement for carbs so "there's no need to list them!" That's their rational, but in reality it's because of how high the carbs are in most traditional kibble. 😬
Want more details on this dirty secret? View our TikTok with the third QR code or click here
As we know, dogs and cats have no biological requirement for carbs, when they eat carbs, carbs turn to sugar and sugar feeds disease. The problem is, we can't avoid carbs in a dry food. In order to make kibble hold its shape, starch is needed. Starch makes up the carbs in pet food. So even though they don't list the carbs, we know how to calculate the carbs with the information they do provide on the Guaranteed Analysis.
All pet food must have a Guaranteed Analysis. This is where we are able to see the percentage of macronutrients and in some cases, some manufacturers will list some other key ingredients but there's always going to be three of the four pieces of information we need to calculate carbs. The fourth piece of information usually isn't listed but we know what percentage of the bag it makes up so we can still calculate the carbs! 👍
To calculate our carb count, we need to find the percentage of 👇
We add this up and subtract from 100 and that tells us the percentage of carbs in the food! Remember most traditional dry food ranges from 50-70% carbs! That's a whole lot of sugar we're feeding our pets and you're cleaning up in the litter box or backyard! Their bodies don't use carbs, so half or up to 70% of everything we put in the bowl when we're feeding a high carb food is just getting picked up on your walks while we risk a host of other problems by feeding a sugary food! 😬
We can always assess our kibble to ensure we're feeding a protein rich, nutrient dense, low carb food! We have created an easy to use tool that will allow you to grade your kibble or any kibble you may consider feeding to ensure you're feeding a quality meal to your pets! 👍
If we're feeding a dry diet, we want to serve a Grade A kibble! Period! Anything less than a Grade A kibble could contain mystery meats, controversial or harmful ingredients and we can almost be certain will not be positively impacting the health of our pets to allow them to thrive! Big pet food manufacturers are tricky! Remember, when they split their ingredients, their food always look better than it is! A good guideline to keep in mind when choosing a dry food is if you see any ingredient splitting to avoid the food! They are essentially lying to us and hoping we won't notice. We need to be able to trust the people who make our pet food, our pet's lives depend on it! if they're going to lie and split their ingredients to make their food look better, rather than just make a better food, what else are they hiding? 😳
There are five key things to look for in your pet's food, six if you're also looking for ingredient splitting! If you want to grade your kibble or a kibble you're considering serving, access our kibble grading tool by clicking here! It's worth the time it takes to research our pet's food and know without a doubt that we are feeding a quality diet that will positively impact the health of our pets! Take the mystery out of pet food by continuing to be an informed, empowered pet parent who is confident they're doing the best for their pets! 💙