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Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique Gives Pet Food Answers

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique Compiled Common Questions Asked of Groomers and Compiled a Study Guide Groomers Should Know

Groomers are faced with a bombardment a questions on pet foods that are not always the easiest questions to answer. Veterinarians are the ones that should be providing the most accurate comments on pet foods, but customers want the opinion of groomers. Knowing how to answer these questions with correct information is ensure good ethics for a caring pet franchise.

What does ‘complete and and balanced’ mean? What ingredients compose a ‘complete and balanced’ pet food?

“Complete and balanced” means that a pet food has all the necessary ingredients for a pet’s diet.

This includes proportion fat, digestible carbs, vitamins, minerals, and water. These are all vary depending on age, breed, and diet. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), defines “complete and balanced” as pet food “formulated to meet or exceed the AAFCO nutrient profiles.” The profiles also contain lists of vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A. Supplementary vitamins and minerals that are not included on lists, but are in pet food, are vitamin C, vitamin K, enzymes, and antioxidants. Human grade pet food is also subjected to higher criteria standards.

Do age category foods really need to be so specific for the age of my pet?

The main difference in age categorization is the level of protein variation. Protein formulas target different life stages. A puppy needs a different amount of protein, than an adult, or senior dog. Pet food companies formulate their food contingent with protein levels that promote healthy growth, maintaining healthy weight, and focus overall health. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommends following age-based diet programs.

If my pet is on a weight loss program, how should I portion or cut their meals?

Weight loss programs for dogs depend upon the initial weight of the dog, and the ending goal weight. A dog’s caloric intake is not dependent on the amount of food, but more the type of food. Any foods with fillers or empty calories are not ideal for weight loss. There are special formulated food regimens that should be selected for weight loss programs.

When a pet food label uses the word ‘natural,’ what does that mean?

When used in a nutrition label “natural” refers to the inclusion of processed foods. The AAFCO defines “natural” as, “a feed of ingredient derived solely from plant, animal, or mined source with no added vitamins or minerals.” Ingredients can remain unprocessed if they are, “subjected to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis, or fermentation.” On the other end of the spectrum is processed foods with have synthetic vitamins, minerals, or other ingredients.

Pet owners must understand that pet food companies usually strive to go all natural, but because of costs can only make the majority of their ingredients all natural. Do your research and read the nutrition label. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommends Blue Buffalo.

Are dogs supposed to be purely carnivores? Are carbohydrates bad for my dog?

Dogs at one time before domestication were carnivorous, but have always possessed the ability to digest plant matter. Wild wolves eat grass for fiber. Helpful carbohydrates give dog’s energy and fiber. Not all forms of carbohydrates are beneficial like feed-grade grains. Some pet companies go grain-free by substituting grains for potatoes and this is the primary ingredient you will find in most pet foods. Other companies use whole grains.

What are the top ingredients I should look for in a nutrition label?

Protein, or meat. This should always be number one. The first five ingredients listed are the most concentrated in the formula.Things to look out for are fillers, meals, and byproducts.Natural ingredients are inherently nutrition rich and short lists have a tendency to be healthier for your dog. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommends Tiki Dog.

What is meat meal?

Meat meal is meat that has been cooked before mixing with kibble mix. This cooking process takes at least 90% of the moisture from the protein. The mix is cooked again and some believe that nutrients are lost during this process, while others believe it concentrates protein. Meat meal is rendered and not fit for human consumption.

How do I read the nutrition label?

The first ingredient is alway the primary ingredient and ingredients that follow are concentrated by descending order so the last ingredient makes up the least of the formula. AAFCO requires nutrition label for fatty acids, protein, fat, fiber, moisture, and amount of calories. Owners should select pet foods with highest amount of protein and least amount of synthetic additives.
Is fat an important ingredient in pet food?
Fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are beneficial ingredients. They are good for coat shine, function of cells, nerves, and muscles, and also help regulate pet body inflammatory response. Fats also make food more tasty and your pet may be more keen to eat foods with high fatty acid content.

What are the best sources of Protein?

Real raw U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-inspected muscle and organ meat is the ideal protein for dogs, but all meat based protein is good. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommends pet owners avoid foods with bean based proteins like soy or pea.
What is the minimum requirement the AAFCO allows in their food?

Pet food companies are subjected to AAFCO nutrient profiles and must submit a statement of nutritional adequacy. The AAFCO ensures that food is complete and balanced and meets nutritional requirements pets need on a daily basis. The FDA also regulates, certifies, tests, and approves all pet food and holds them up the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) which “requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.”