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What's Really in Pet Food: The Animal Protection Institute (API)

What's Really In Pet Food?

This article is reprinted with permission from the Animal Protection Institute.

Continued from Page 2

What Consumers Can Do

  • Write or call pet food companies and the Pet Food Institute and express your concerns about commercial pet foods. Demand that manufacturers improve the quality of ingredients in their products.
  • Call API with any information about the pet food industry, specific manufacturers, or specific products.
  • Print out a copy of this report for your veterinarian to further his or her knowledge about commercial pet food.
  • Direct your family and friends with companion animals to the API website, to alert them of the dangers of commercial pet food. Or request copies of API's Fact Sheet on Selecting a Good Commercial Food.
  • Stop buying commercial pet food. Or if that is not possible, reduce the quantity of commercial pet food and supplement with fresh foods. Purchase one or more of the many books available on pet nutrition and make your own food. Be sure that a veterinarian or a nutritionist has checked the recipes to ensure that they are balanced and complete.
  • Please be aware that API is not a veterinary hospital, clinic, or service. API does not and will not offer any medical advice. If you have concerns about your companion animal's health or nutritional requirements, please consult your veterinarian.

Note: Because pet food manufacturers frequently change the formulations of their products and API would not have conducted the necessary testing, we are unable to offer endorsements for particular brands of pet food. Many of our staff choose to make their own pet food or to purchase natural or organic products found in most feed and specialist stores but we cannot recommend brands that would be right for your companion animal or animals.


For Further Reading about Animal Nutrition

The Animal Protection Institute recommends the following books, many of which include recipes for home-prepared diets:

  • Rudy Edalati. Barker's Grub: Easy, Wholesome Home Cooking for Your Dog. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80442-1.
  • Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Rodale Press, Inc. ISBN 0-87596-243-2.
  • Kate Solisti-Mattelon and Patrice Mattelon. The Holistic Animal Handbook: A Guidebook to Nutrition, Health, and Communication. Beyond Words Publishing Co. ISBN 1-5827-0023-0.
  • Donald R. Strombeck. Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: The Healthful Alternative. Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0-8138-2149-5.
  • Celeste Yarnall. Natural Cat Care. Journey Editions. ISBN 1-8852-0363-2.
  • Celeste Yarnall. Natural Dog Care. Journey Editions. ISBN 0-7858-1123-0.

The books listed above are a fraction of all the titles currently available, and the omission of a title does not necessarily mean it is not useful for further reading about animal nutrition.

Please note: The Animal Protection Institute is not a bookseller, and cannot sell or send these books to you. Please contact your local book retailer or an online bookstore, who can supply these books based on the ISBN provided for each title.


What API is Doing

  • API is a liaison to the AAFCO Pet Food and Ingredient Definitions Committees. By attending AAFCO meetings, we hope to learn more about the industry itself and about potential avenues for bringing about change.
  • An API representative attends other petfood industry meetings to give voice to our and the consumers' concerns about pet food.
  • API is involved in lobbying for the federal regulation of pet food and the development of more stringent standards for the quality of ingredients used.
  • API will continue to provide information to the public about the pet food industry and the products it promotes.
  • API is preparing a detailed scientific paper documenting the numerous problems associated with commercial pet food, for presentation to veterinarians.

Who to Write

AAFCO Pet Food Committee
Dr. Rodney Noel — Chair
Office of Indiana State Chemist
Purdue University
1154 Biochemistry Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1154
www.aafco.org

FDA — Center for Veterinary Medicine
Sharon Benz
7500 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855
301-594-1728
www.cvm.fda.gov

Pet Food Institute
2025 M Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
202-367-1120
Fax 202-367-2120


References

Association of American Feed Control Officials Incorporated. Official Publication 2001. Atlanta: AAFCO, 2001.

Barfield, Carol. FDA Petition, Docket Number 93P0081/CP1, accepted February 25, 1993.

Becker, Ross. "Is your dog's food safe?" Good Dog!, November/December 1995, 7.

Cargill, James, MA, MBA, MS, and Susan Thorpe-Vargas, MS. "Feed that dog! Part VI." DOGworld, December 1993, 36.

Case, Linda P., M.S., Daniel P. Carey, D.V.M., and Diane A. Hirakawa, Ph.D. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. St. Louis: Mosby, 1995.

Coffman, Howard D. The Dry Dog Food Reference. Nashua: PigDog Press, 1995.

Corbin, Jim. "Pet Foods and Feeding." Feedstuffs, July 17, 1996, 80-85.

Knight-Ridder News Syndicate. "Nature's Recipe Recalls Dog Food That Contains Vomitoxin." August 28, 1995.

Morris, James G., and Quinton R. Rogers. "Assessment of the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Foods Through the Life Cycle." Journal of Nutrition, 124 (1994): 2520S-2533S.

Newman, Lisa. What's in your pet's food? Tucson & Phoenix: Holistic Animal Care, 1994.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. 1994 Commercial Feed Analysis Annual Report. Albany: Division of Food Inspection Services, 1995.

Parker, J. Michael. "Tainted dog food blamed on corn." San Antonio Express News, April 1, 1999.

"Petfood activist." Petfood Industry, September/October 1991, 4.

Pet Food Institute. Fact Sheet 1994. Washington: Pet Food Institute, 1994.

Phillips, Tim, DVM. "Rendered Products Guide." Petfood Industry, January/February 1994, 12-17, 21.

Pitcairn, Richard H., D.V.M., Ph.D., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. Emmaus: Rodale, 1995.

Plechner, Alfred J., DVM, and Martin Zucker. Pet Allergies: Remedies for an Epidemic. Inglewood: Wilshire Book Co., 1986.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture. 1994 Report of the Inspection and Analysis of Commercial Feeds, Fertilizers and Liming Materials. Providence: Division of Agriculture, 1995.

Roudebush, Philip, DVM. "Pet food additives." JAVMA, 203 (1993): 1667-1670.

Rouse, Raymond H. "Feed Fats." Petfood Industry, March/April 1987, 7.

Sellers, Richard. "Regulating petfood with an open mind." Petfood Industry, November/December 1990, 41-44.

Smith, Carin A. "Research Roundup: Changes and challenges in feline nutrition." JAVMA 203 (1993), 1395-1400.

Strombeck, Donald. R. Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Foods: The Healthful Alternative. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1999.

Winters, Ruth, M.S. A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives. New York: Crown, 1994.

Wysong, R. L. "The 'complete' myth." Petfood Industry, September/October 1990, 24-28.

[Wysong, R. L.] Fresh and Whole: Getting Involved in Your Pet's Diet. Midland: Wysong Corporation, 1990.

Wysong, R. L. Rationale for Animal Nutrition. Midland: Inquiry Press, 1993.

Notes

1. Pet Food Institute, 2.
2. Morris, 2520S.
3. Corbin, 81.
4. Cargill, 36.
5. The conversion is: ingredient percentage divided by (100 minus moisture percentage).
6. Official Publication, Regulation PE3, 114-115.
7. Wysong, Rationale, 40-41.
8. Strombeck, 50-52.
9. Smith, 1397.


(Revised 08/04/04)

Copyright © 1997-2004 Animal Protection Institute.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Animal Protection Institute

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