Warning: US Pet Food Products are Often Mislabeled

Warning: US Pet Food Products are Often Mislabeled

Cats Dog Nutrition
Warning: US Pet Food Products are Often Mislabeled Unfortunately, you can't always believe the labels. Pet owners care about giving their animals the best food they can. That’s one reason the gourmet/high-quality dog food market has seen such a massive surge over the last decade. More than ever, pet owners are paying close attention to the ingredients on the bag. Unfortunately, it seems as though reading the ingredients might not even be a reliable method for understanding what’s in your pet’s food. In recent study, researchers discovered that out of 52 products tested, 20 were mislabeled. That’s around 40% — nearly half! Co-author Rosalee Hellberg had this to say: “Although regulations exist for pet foods, increase in international trade and globalization of the food supply have amplified the potential for food fraud to occur. With the recent discovery of horsemeat in ground meat products sold for human consumption in several European countries, finding horsemeat in U.S. consumer food and pet food products is a concern, which is one of the reasons we wanted to do this study.” Researchers used DNA testing techniques to examine 52 different products. Chicken was discovered to be the most common meat species in the food, followed by pork, then beef, turkey, and lamb. None of the products showed signs of including horsemeat. The problems existed mostly with dog food; 13 tested samples were dog food and 7 were cat food. 16 of these 20 samples included meats that were not on the label, most commonly pork. It’s unclear if the companies labeled their foods incorrectly on purpose (to hide their ingredients) or accidentally (by putting too much faith in the food manufacturer’s word). Either way, the abundance of mislabeling should be enough to cause pet owners doubt in regard to the quality of their food options. No brand names were made available in the public explanations of the study. The best course of action, then, is to rely on healthy food from vendors you trust. Talk to your vet if you need help picking a food.

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*Results may vary based on factors such as age, size and physical condition of your pet.