The “Complete and Balanced” Pet Food Myth

“Why does your label read ‘This product is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only.’?”

Commercial (registered and legal) pet foods have very specific label requirements, as determined by AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials). One of the requirements is a designation as “Complete and Balanced” or “Intended for Intermittent or Supplemental Feeding Only”. A “Complete feed” is defined as “A nutritionally adequate feed for animals other than man, by specific formula is compounded to be fed as the sole ration and is capable of maintaining life and/or promoting production without any additional substance being consumed except water”. Note the words “adequate” and “sole ration”.

Although, indeed, there are foods that are fed as sole rations and the non-human animal can “maintain” life on them we prefer to see animals actually thriving in a state of health and not dis-ease. It is simple, common sense that no ONE food in ONE package can provide everything a non-human (or human) animal needs for life. It would be the equivalent of a box of cereal, fortified with the recommended daily allowance of synthetic vitamins and minerals, being our sole ration – meal after meal, day after day. Yes, most of us could survive. But not in optimal health and condition.

The majority of pet food companies succumb to the labeling requirements and then tout their foods as the be all, end all, for your companion animal’s health and longevity. They would love for you to believe that their products are the only ones you should ever feed (we would rather suggest other whole foods that complement our formulas – please see our website FAQ’s for recommendations). Synthetic vitamins and minerals are added in, oftentimes in detrimental amounts – as evidenced by recent recalls for over supplementation of vitamin D. You’ll find odd, “novel” ingredients that are contraindicated for cats and dogs but help the manufacturers to reach those numbers – nature and species appropriateness be damned. Completely different animal proteins will be mixed within a formula, which is a huge issue for animals with allergies – if they have an allergy/intolerance to one meat protein, they can then develop an allergy to every other protein (and ingredient, for that matter) in that formula. Too high ratios of organs to muscle/tissue meat occur, also leading to dangerous over supplementation of nutrients.

There are many examples of when this method of “doctoring” food has gone awry, but perhaps one of the most tragic was in the not so distant past when recommendations for taurine were incorrect. This led to blindness, heart disease, nervous system disorders and death of many cats due to insufficient taurine intake.

We prefer to provide a whole foods based formula. We carefully balanced our formulations to include all the known necessary nutrients for cats and dogs, in proper proportion. Further, we achieve this through the use of whole foods, as nature taught us. The organs are derived from the same animal that provides the meat and bones. Instead of substituting inferior bone meal or synthetic calcium, we grind the bones and achieve the correct balance of calcium to phosphorus. We follow nature’s course by not mixing animals within a formulation. Adhering to the dictates of what the natural world has provided has proven, time and again, to be the best and safest course.

At Pawgevity, we strongly believe the true natural path to nutrition is the straightest path to achieving health, vitality and longevity. Plain and simple. The proof is in the food and your animals, not the label.

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