Best Practices When Buying Pet Food
Many pet owners are surprised to learn that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides very little oversight of pet food manufacturing and sales. For this reason, it's important to look for food with endorsement by the American Feed Controls Office (AFCO).This ensures that it meets the agency's minimum requirements for ingredients, packaging, quality, and nutrition. Dog food should contain carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water at a minimum. For cat food, look for fiber, fat, and antioxidants. Additional AFCO endorsement requirements include:
- Guaranteed analysis, including the percentage of each main ingredient
- List of ingredients
- Manufacturer's name
- Net quantity statement
- Nutritional adequacy statement
- Product name
As important as these guidelines are, keep in mind that they represent only minimum requirements and may not tell the whole story. If a company other than the original manufacturer adds ingredients, there is no law stating the additions need to be included on the ingredient list. We also encourage you to be a savvy consumer when it comes to marketing tactics used by pet food manufacturing companies. Any company that makes pet food can add words such as all-natural or premium to the packaging without proving why its product is superior to others.
Shop Our Online Store for Specialty Food
Maryland Avenue Pet Hospital carries many different types of specialty food for both dogs and cats in our online store. This includes food for weight control, dental issues, early cardiac problems, high fiber, extra energy, glycobalance, and several others. You can place an online order and have the pet food delivered directly to your home.
Schedule a Nutritional Assessment
If you think your pet needs a special diet, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Stavros as soon as possible. He will assess your pet's health and let you know if a special type of food would be beneficial. Dr. Stavros can also make recommendations for store-bought food if your pet doesn't have special health or dietary concerns. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have additional concerns about your dog or cat's nutritional needs.
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