Raw vs. Kibble: There have been over 140 pet food recalls in the last few years. In response to the recent concerns behind the recalls,  many pet owners are turing to raw or homemade diets.

According to Tuft University’s Veterinary Medical Center, these raw and homemade recipes may not actually be a safer alternatives; they have found dogs on these diets also have issues related to some of the most recent recalls and may increase your dog’s risk for many other health issues. Home-cooked diets are not tested for safety and nutritional adequacy \and deficiencies could still develop.. In order to  balance the nutrition in these diets supplementation is necessary for a more complete and balanced diet. Tuft University suggest foregoing the raw and home-cooked diets and sticking with commercial pet foods made by a well established manufacturer like pawTree with recipes that contain common ingredients when choosing food for your pet.  There are many grain free foods available but don’t overlook recipes with healthy grains such as oatmeal, barley or rice.

A well established manufacturer is one of the most important factors in choosing a diet for your pet. The American Pet Product Association regulates the quality control of the pet industry and oversees manufacturing regulations for safe ingredients involved in all areas of the manufacturing process. Unlike  the larger pet food companies, smaller pet food labels like pawTree are able to maintain greater quality control over the sourcing and manufacturing process. These recipes are nutritionally dense and customized to each pet’s specific nutritional needs.  Although they may cost a little more the benefit is that the pet eats less of a nutrient dense recipe resulting in a is a healthier pet and fewer vet bills over it’s lifetime.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a voluntary association charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and drug remedies made in the US. Not all brands that claim their food is “balanced and complete” meet this criteria.  When choosing a food for your pet look for the AAFCO statement on the label.  It assures you that the food actually meets the minimum requirements to be labeled “balanced and complete”.

In light of the recalls many pet owners are turing to food rating sites.  According to Tuft University these sites are generally useless because they rank food by opinion rather than scientific research. Some of the brands that have been recalled remain on their lists.

The Cummings Veterinary Medical Center recommends that if you feel strongly about feeding a raw or home-cooked diet using supplements is a great way to give your pet the additional nutritional support he/she needs. A great way to boost your pet’s nutrition is with a quality superfood supplement like pawTree’s Superfood Seasoning byproviding  additional vitamins, minerals and antioxidant support. Without changing your pet’s diet you can add a boost of nutrition at every meal. 

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