All animals need food, and for the most part, they’re happy about it. Most pets look forward to their dinner time, but what if their favourite can of dog or cat food happens to contain some red flags? The problem may not be with your pet, but rather the pet food itself.
In an industry that profits from pet food, it’s no surprise that there are so many surprises lurking behind the pet food label. These truths may make you think twice about feeding your furry friend. From artificial ingredients to harmful preservatives and even questionable animal testing, these facts will change your mind about what goes into your pet’s bowl.
Pet food companies use the same tricks as fast food chains.
Sharing your meal with your pet isn’t a new concept, but pet food companies may take it a step too far. Pet food manufacturers purchase meat-flavoured treats from fast food chains and repackage them as dog and cat foods. These chains use the same flavours and spices as fast food chains, so it’s not surprising that pet food companies can reuse them as well.
These ingredients include artificial colours, preservatives and flavours that are toxic to animals. Shockingly, these additives are approved under the guise of being natural. One ingredient that might surprise you is Corn. It’s not the sweet grain you think of. Corn is a common ingredient in pet foods because it’s a cheap filler. It’s also a known allergen, and it’s used as a filler because it’s cheap.
More than 99% of cats are allergic to seafood.
Pet food companies may use seafood, like seafood byproducts and seafood protein, as a protein source for pet foods. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware that seafood can contain allergens like fish-based allergens, so it can cause an allergic reaction in some cats.
There are also a lot of other potential risks and side effects that come with feeding your cat seafood. Fish has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, but they’re not naturally occurring in cats. This can cause issues like increased thirst, higher urination and increased appetite. There are reliable plant-based sources of omega-3s, like flax seeds or walnuts. Unfortunately, fish-based omega-3s cannot be replicated by plants.
Artificial colours in pet foods can cause hyperactivity.
Pet foods are required to contain certain vitamins and minerals, but they’re not required to be natural. It’s easy to understand why you’d want your pet’s food to be all-natural, but it’s hard to understand why leftover colours from your cereal box would be ok for your pet. Preservatives are commonly used in pet foods, but it’s not always clear what kind of preservative they are.
Artificial colours like Red 3 and Blue 2 are known to cause hyperactivity in pets. These additives have been linked to other health issues like insulin resistance and hyperthyroidism, so it’s important to avoid them. There are natural alternatives that can be substituted for artificial colours, like beet juice for red and turmeric for yellow.
Fermented soy proteins may cause gastrointestinal issues in pets.
There are many benefits to feeding your dog or cat a vegetarian diet, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into. You might be surprised to find out that soy protein is a byproduct of fermentation and is used as a filler in vegetarian pet foods. Soy protein is a major allergen that can cause gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation in pets.
Side effects can be intensified if your pet is lactose-intolerant. Soy protein also contains isoflavones, which are estrogen-like compounds that can cause issues like hyperactivity and aggression. Soy is one of the most common protein sources in vegetarian pet foods. Unfortunately, soy is not the best protein source for your pet.
Even though natural preservatives are better, they’re not safe for pets either.
Natural preservatives like nitrates, propylene glycol and benzoate are better than harmful synthetic chemicals, but they’re not necessarily safe for your pet either. These preservatives are often used in vegetarian pet foods, so they can also be found in vegetarian human foods. Unfortunately, soy protein and ferments like yeast can produce these harmful preservatives.
Natural preservatives like these may seem like a better alternative to synthetic chemicals, but they’re not always a safer option. Many natural preservatives have been linked to negative health effects, including allergies and hyperactivity. Pet food manufacturers often try to market these foods as being healthy for your pet, but it’s important to understand that they’re not necessarily safe for your pet either.
Undeniably, meat ingredients are harmful to dogs and cats.
Meat is often used in pet foods because it’s cheap and easy to find, but it’s not the healthiest ingredient for your pet. Meat is high in fat, so it can be dangerous for your pet to eat. Fat is linked to heart disease in humans, so it can also be dangerous for your pet to eat.
Many ingredients used in pet foods are linked to causing health issues like obesity and diabetes, which can be dangerous for your pet. Meat is high in histamines, which can cause an allergic reaction in your pet. Histamines can cause issues like skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Hopefully, these surprising facts will make you think twice about what goes into your pet’s food bowl. With so many options available on the market, it can be difficult to know which brands are best for your pet. Pet food is a $36 billion industry, and you only have to look at the ingredients to see that it’s anything but healthy.
The truth is that most commercially available pet foods are loaded with harmful ingredients that can harm your pet’s health. The only way to ensure your pet is getting the best food is to read the nutrition facts label and compare it to other brands to ensure it’s getting what’s best for them.