Table of Contents:
2. Why nutrition matters for your pets
3. Pet food ingredients listed by best to worst (part 1 of 2)
4. Pet food ingredients listed by best to worst (part 2 of 2)
5. Pet food ingredients listed by frequency of use in products (part 1 of 2)
6. Pet food ingredients listed by frequency of use in products (part 2 of 2)
7. Pet food ingredients listed alphabetically (part 1 of 2)
8. Pet food ingredients listed alphabetically (part 2 of 2)
9. Worst pet food ingredients
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Welcome to the pet food ingredient lists created by a cooperative effort between pet food formulator Dr. Lisa Newman, N.D., Ph.D. (www.Azmira.com), Mike Adams (www.HealthRanger.org) and the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (www.ConsumerWellness.org). Mike Adams and the CWC analyzed the ingredients of 448 pet food products, then organized them by frequency. Dr. Newman then provided a nutritional analysis for each ingredient.
Why nutrition matters for your pets
As you view these lists, keep in mind that most popular pet food products are made with extremely poor quality ingredients. As recent pet food scares have clearly demonstrated, pet food is a dumping ground for meat byproducts unfit for human consumption. Even many so-called "natural" or "premium" pet food products are made with ingredients of dubious quality. The pet food industry, by and large, is driven solely by profit, and most pet food manufacturers source the cheapest possible ingredients to put into their products, regardless of the detrimental health consequences on pets. The huge rise in diabetes and cancer in dogs and cats over the last two decades, for example, is almost entirely due to the toxic ingredients commonly used in pet food and pet treats.
Our purpose in sharing this information with the public is to help consumers choose better-quality pet food products and avoid low-quality products. We do this because we care about the welfare of animals, and we believe that nutrition plays a predominant role in determining the health outcome of any pet (or human, for that matter). Here are some action steps you can take to protect the health of your pets:
Action steps1) Use these lists to analyze the quality of the ingredients in the pet food you're currently feeding your pets. The first five ingredients listed on any pet food product make up the bulk of the product, so check those first. If you find that these first five ingredients are not high quality ingredients, consider switching to a higer-quality brand of pet food.
2) When shopping for pet food, read ingredients labels and cross-reference them with the lists presented here so that you know which ingredients are truly high-quality vs. those that aren't.
3) Do not be fooled by claims of "natural" or "wholesome" on pet food product packaging. Virtually any pet food product can claim to be "natural," even ones that use synthetic petrochemicals that cause cancer. There is virtually no effective regulation of pet food health claims, and pet food manufacturers have learned that making "natural" claims sells more food, even if the food is largely made from dubious ingredients and chemical additives.
4) Watch out for artificial coloring and chemical additives in pet treats. Virtually all pet treats use petrochemical coloring to enhance the visual appeal of their products in order to make them more attractive to the humans who buy them. Such colors, however, are potentially carcinogenic to pets and should always be avoided (read labels and avoid artificial colors like Red 40 or Yellow 2).
5) Never buy pet food in a big-box store, grocery store or convenience stores. These retail outlets typically offer the worst pet food products available today. Only health food stores, natural stores and online retailers offer healthy pet food. (Even pet specialty stores typically only sell junk pet food. Don't trust the health claims on popular pet food products.)
6) Finally, always augment packaged pet food with real food that you make in your kitchen. The best pet food is the food that you make, using fresh, quality ingredients. Even the best pet food in the world is not a substitute for home-prepared meals for your pets. Avoid feeding your pets refined grains, sugars or other high-glycemic index foods. Stick with fresh meats, vegetables and superfood supplements like kelp or microalgae (spirulina, blue-green algae, etc.)
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