Our goal in providing this page of information is to direct you to the best information for choosing food for your pet.
Links that are helpful: The Savvy Cat Owner's Guide: Nutrition on the Internet and The Savvy Dog Owner's Guide: Nutrition on the Internet
Canine and Feline Diets Recommendations - The following considerations should be researched in choosing the best nutrition for your furry friend:
Manufacturer contact information
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) lists these excellent questions to ask of manufacturers:
- Does the company have a veterinary nutritionist or equivalent on staff and available to answer questions?
- Who formulates the diets and what are their credentials?
- Are diets tested using AAFCO feeding trials or formulation tests?
- What is the caloric value (per can or cup)?
- Will you provide nutrient analysis and digestibility of your products?
- Describe your quality control measures to assure consistency and quality?
- Have there been recalls of any of your products?
- Where are your diets produced and manufactured?
- What kinds of research have been conducted on your products? Where is it published?
All pets foods should have a statement indicating if nutritional adequacy has been proven through feeding trials or formulation tests. Trials are preferable to formulation tests.
Life Stage Claim
- Two profile standards are available from AAFCO: Maintenance and Growth/Reproduction.
- If the label states it is appropriate for “all life stages” it must meet the standards for both standards.
- In meeting these standards, excessive amounts of some nutrients may result in overfeeding.
- No standards exist for the senior life stage.
Caloric Content Disclosure
- Caloric disclosure in not required by law and remains optional.
- Companies that report caloric content are preferred.
- Suggested feeding volumes are usually overstated by about 25% because these values are based on sexually intact adult pets.
- Most of our pets have been surgically altered.
Evaluation of ingredients is the most controversial aspect of interpreting pet food labels.
Royal Canin offers Breed Specific Diets formulated to address concerns specific to certain breeds.
Example: My Laborador Retriever eats very fast, swallows air, and tends to be gassy. Possible solution: Labrador Retriever Diet.
Videos showing the difference:
Lab eating regular diet Lab eating RC Lab diet (links to come soon)
Science Based Nutrition: link to Royal Canin's website