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Dog Nutrition, Cat Nutrition: A Dozen Amazing Facts

  1. There are more than 8 million tons of pet food made every year and more than 15,000 brands of pet foods.
  3. Nutritional standards for pet foods are set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the health claims on the labels are regulated by the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). The CVM is part of the Food and Drug Administration. The CVM measured and found euthanasia solution and animal excreta in many commercial pet foods.
  5. Dry pet foods contain only 50% meat because more than that gums up the manufacturer's machinery.
  7. Too much iodine in commercial pet food has been linked to hyperthyroidism in pets.
  9. Corn can have Vitamin E levels that vary by 100% depending upon the soil, fertilizer, pesticide, storage, and handling.
  11. Plants lose 30-60% of their Vitamin E content during drying.
  13. Dogs and cats-unlike humans, other omnivores and herbivores-are not able to synthesize vitamin D3 in their skin. Thus, dogs and cats require vitamin D3 in their diets as an essential vitamin. Vitamin D can be found in cod and halibut liver oil, and in mackerel, salmon, tuna, and herring.
  15. Some animals reject food because the food doesn't have enough amino acids. Pets have nutrient sensors in their brains that tell them when food is deficient in amino acids. The pet's brain (anterior piriform cortex) sends signals to the nerves controlling food intake, and if there is insufficient protein then the pet isn't stimulated to eat. Thus, pets have evolved with a natural preference for foods with nutritious levels of protein.
  17. The intestines are where grains are digested. Humans have proportionately longer intestines than dogs or cats, which makes humans better digesters of grain than dogs or cats are. Sheep, cattle, and horses have enormous intestines and are anatomically and biochemically designed to digest grains efficiently.
  19. Cats can't taste "sweetness" because their taste receptors don't have the proteins that make sweet receptors on the tongue. Dogs have sweet taste receptors on their tongues, but far fewer than humans have. For dogs to appreciate a sweet flavor, the concentration of sugar must be higher than it is for humans. Some dog food and treat companies overload their products with sugar to stimulate the sweet taste buds in dogs; this is not healthy. Moist packaged foods often contain the most sugar. All the following provide sugar: sucrose, glucose, fructose, and molasses.
  21. Cats eating food from cans with pop-top lids develop hyperthyroid disease more often than cats eating other diets. It appears that a material in the lining of the cans over-stimulates the cat's thyroid gland. When the can contains food with a high fat content, the incidence of hyperthyroid disease is most marked. In fact, hyperthyroid disease is the single most common endocrine disease of cats, and the incidence is increasing. Female cats eating food from pop-top cans had a greater problem with hyperthyroid disease than do male cats. It is treatable.
  23. Dr. Paul Talalay, from the Linus Pauling Institute-famous for research on vitamins, micronutrients, and phytochemicals (compounds in plants)-has proven that broccoli and other vegetables contain sulforaphane, an anti-cancer agent. Your pet can benefit from sulforaphane if you feed it a small amount of broccoli that has been chopped by a food processor or blender so that it is easily absorbed.

          For Pet food recall information, please go to the FDA site

This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.

The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.

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