Pets are Eating Higher as Humans Develop into More Health Conscious


“Dogs are omnivores, which suggests they eat more like humans,” said Sullivan.

After we eat healthier, pets eat healthier, say those within the pet care industry. Purina Chief Growth Officer Andrea Faccio says that as people have redefined wellness for themselves, also they are doing so for his or her pets. “We don’t see this as a trend a lot as an evolution that may ultimately profit pets and the bond they share with their owners.”

Thus, she says, greater than ever, pet parents are doing their research to assist create the most effective lives for his or her pets. “This translates to an increased interest in every little thing from pet foods with functional ingredients like probiotics, to dietary supplements and technology that will help them track pet health, train their pet or spend more quality time together.”

Consequently, Purina has experienced record growth across several brands up to now 12 months, including Purina Pro Plan, ProPlan Veterinary Diets prescription products and Purina ONE pet foods. The Purina Pro Plan and Purina ONE pet foods are made within the Flagstaff factory, which has been in operation since 1975.

Veterinarians like Jen Sullivan, DVM, cVMA, at Canyon Pet Hospital in Flagstaff say step one with good nutrition for a pet is to ask many questions on the age or life stage of the pet, the activity of the pet and the breed of the pet. “Is the pet a perfect weight or is the pet underweight or obese? These are only a couple of inquiries to assess the most effective brand of food for the actual need of the pet.”

The organization that regulates and standardizes the pet food industry is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) It provides ingredient definitions, label standards and laboratory guidance for state, federal and international feed regulators.

“Technically, the most effective brands are those who perform feeding trials,” said Sullivan. “These corporations have taken their food through a selected AAFCO protocol and from this they’re scientifically reporting the standard of the ingredients of their formula. A feeding trial can be the one technique to accurately assess the standard of the protein in a eating regimen, as that is the one valid technique to determine the digestibility of a protein, and due to this fact its quality.”

There are also special health needs to contemplate for pets, says Prescott Olsen’s Grain Manager Ryan Baynes. “Considered one of those is special circumstances for the pet itself, like allergies or other medical conditions that require avoidance of certain ingredients or lower or higher macro nutrients, like less carbohydrates for dogs with diabetes or less protein as a requirement for dogs with pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.”

“Dogs are omnivores, which suggests they eat more like humans,” said Sullivan. “There are particular foods that we eat which can be toxic to dogs, so when feeding dogs human foods, be sure that you simply aren’t feeding them those things. The ASPCA has a great list of foods which can be toxic to dogs.”

Generally, she says, whether it is healthful for us, it’s healthful for them, like carrots, green beans, apples, bananas, potatoes, hard boiled eggs and lean meats which can be boiled.

“Cats are obligate carnivores, which suggests that they do need high protein diets. Cat foods are formulated much in another way than dog foods because of this,” said Sullivan.

Growing puppies and kittens require a better caloric requirement, and since of growing bones, in addition they require different calcium-to-phosphorus ratios than adult dogs and cats need.

Baynes says bioavailability is very important to contemplate for pet food. “For instance, each vegetable and meat contain protein. However the dog’s digestive system didn’t evolve to interrupt down numerous vegetable matter. Within the wild, many of the fruit and veggies dogs would eat they got from eating the stomachs of prey animals, those animals who’ve digestive systems geared to breaking down that form of food.”

He advised pet owners to generally search for brands which have higher meat content, but “still contain fruit and veggies which can be more bioavailable to the dog and serve a dietary purpose of their inclusion.“

Sullivan said pet owners are well advised to avoid ash as a pet food ingredient. “Generally, a eating regimen with a better ash content is of lower quality.”

She also warns about common myths. “For instance, meat byproducts [organ meats] will not be bad, they are only a special source of protein than meat from a muscle. A lot of these ingredients even have a better dietary value and have a better digestibility when put next to muscle meat, which suggests that they supply higher nutrient levels.”

And grain-free diets will not be really helpful for the healthy pet, she says. “Dogs have been eating grains from the start of time and the overwhelming majority of dogs shouldn’t have a grain allergy. We reserve grain-free foods for those which can be suspected to have food allergies that result in GI upset and/or skin related issues. For diarrhea [in dogs], we generally recommend a bland eating regimen, like boiled chicken and rice – consider chicken noodle soup for humans and probiotic support If vomiting accompanies diarrhea, we frequently recommend a 12-24 hour fast [for dogs only].”

Constipation is usually a cat problem, she says. “Wet food to maintain pets hydrated is useful, together with fiber [green beans, canned pumpkin for dogs, Metamucil for cats].”

Faccio said it is vital to contemplate every dimension of pet health – physical, emotional and mental. Purina has greater than 500 pet behaviorists, nutritionists and vets on staff who’re focused on total pet health. “This holistic view of pet wellness is core to who we’re and more relevant than ever to the way in which pet owners are viewing their pets’ health.” FBN

By Betsey Bruner, FBN