HEAD: Reading Between the Lines of Pet Food Ingredient Lists
Choosing diets for our pets can be a daunting task. There are so many options available, and reading ingredient lists can feel like reading a different language! Here are some explanations for common terms you may encounter on bags or cans of pet food:
- By-products: Meat by-products are cleaned, uncooked parts of an animal, like internal organs, that don’t actually include the meat itself. By-products do not include hair, feathers, hooves or teeth.
- Meal: Meal consists of by-products that have been cooked and turned into dried solids.
- Grain-free: Grain-free pet foods do not include any grains whatsoever. Contrary to popular belief, a grain-free diet is not necessarily always healthier for your pet. It’s most important for a food to provide a balanced diet that’s full of nutrients.
- Natural: Foods labeled as “natural” must only have ingredients from animal, plant and mined sources, meaning they cannot contain synthetic ingredients like artificial flavorings, colors or preservatives.
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