How do we distinguish what is natural vs what is processed. Isn’t anything that has been changed considered processed? You are what you eat does have some truth. Not only for us and our pets, but also if we take it one step back, the diet ingested by cattle or how produce is grown is also important.
Let’s face it, we live in an amazing world where we have many choices of what we consume. It is also big business to know what our likes and dislikes are and create products that we crave or find palatable. For example, why is it that many cats love low cost canned cat food that can be easily purchased from a grocery or large pet store. Is it because it is full of nutrients or there have been flavors added that are known to be very palatable for felines. Have you ever wondered how pet food manufacturers develop processed diets to have the same color as ingredients in a less processed form? Is beef really red when it is fully cooked? Do cooked vegetables keep all their color? Would you believe that many of these products have added food dye to look like that. You may ask what would be the purpose of doing that. Do you think dogs and cats really care if their food is colored? The answer is NO. In the wild, a pet would be driven by color. Manufacturers are appealing to the pet parent and not the pet.
So why do most dog food manufacturers put fillers in their pet foods? Most fillers aren’t dangerous to your pet, but and little to no nutritional value to the food either. Products like corn, cereal, flour, gluten soy or hulls are typical fillers that are added because they are inexpensive fillers or act as low grade fiber. Fillers can help decrease the overall cost of food as manufacturers try to keep a certain price point despite increasing manufacturing, product, marketing and advertising costs.
Common sense tells us that less processed is better. As ingredient costs increase, pet food costs will increase as well. The trick is to find a food that is affordable for your budget and uses quality ingredients. Ask lots of questions and do research. A cheap product most likely will have little nutrition. However, an expensive product is not necessarily the best for quality. Look beyond the advertising and marketing and search out products that focus on quality ingredients, integrity and superior manufacturing processes.
Nadine Joli-Coeur is the owner of Natural Pawz and a featured monthly columnist for pet nutrition.
About Natural Pawz:
With 7 stores in the greater-Houston area, Natural Pawz continues to set the standard in the market for 100%-natural pet food, treats and holistic health solutions supplies, all of which are sourced from the USA and Canada. The Natural Pawz team can help navigate you through choosing the healthiest food for your companion cats and dogs, while showing you how easy and affordable it is to provide the proper nutrition to your beloved animal. Natural Pawz is not like traditional boutiques or national retailers. We are a locally owned natural pet food store that also carries a wide variety of wellness products, collars and leads, bedding and special rewards for your cat and dog. Each location is managed and staffed by a team of customer-friendly knowledgeable associates that are involved in the community and truly get to know you and your animal. Natural Pawz has been voted Best Pet Supply Store in Houston in Click2Houston’s Best of Houston for two consecutive years and was voted as “Best Pet Services, Supplies or Boutique” by the Houston Press, Fort Bend Herald, Woodlands Online and, most recently, named “Best Pet Product Company” in H-Texas Magazine’s Best of the Best list.