Made with Fresh, Whole Food
100% Balanced & Complete
100% Nutritional Disclosure
"Your food shall be your remedy and your remedy shall be your food."
- Hippocrates, 5th century, BC.
We've heard that fresh, whole food is better than packaged processed food, and it is just as true for our pets. The more a food is processed, the less digestible and nutritious it is for our pets. Many pet food ingredients have been processed multiple times before even arriving at the commercial pet food plant to begin the processing for pet food. Every processing step introduced the risk of introducing contaminants and substances that are harder to digest and even potentially toxic in the pet's system, as well as lowering the nutritional quality. While some pets may be able to tolerate these substances in their system for some time, exposure over long periods of time lead to health issues that can frequently be traced back to diet.
Fresh costs more, and while lower prices may seem attractive, the price of pet food is only one component of the overall cost of pet care. Healthier diet choices today can lead to a healthier, longer life and reduced health related expenses in the future.
While many pet food companies claim that meat meals are more digestible and nutritious for pets, the fact is that some meat meals are primarily the ground carcasses of the animals after they have been processed for other cuts and uses. Bones are not as easily digested as the flesh meats, and may contain higher than recommended levels of fluoride and other minerals that are stored in the bones and end up in the pet food. Current laws do not require these additional minerals or other substances to be included in the guaranteed analysis, and so the pet owner is unaware that there is a problem until it shows up as a health issue in their pet.
Pets are family and depend on us to make the healthiest choices we can for them. Choosing fresher, healthier food will not only improve your pet's health, but also helps to protect the entire family from health risks associated with pet foods. Better for choices for the entire family will contribute to overall to a healthier and longer life with your pet. After all, they're family.
How a food is prepared is as important as the quality of the ingredient itself. While cooking some foods at low temperatures can actually improve their digestibility and allow the nutrients to be more easily released in the dog's system, subjecting them to high temperatures during processing can destroy essential nutrients. Most ingredients in commercial pet foods have been subjected to high heat during rendering and other processing of the ingredients. Most kibble is then sprayed with highly preserved animal fat mixed with vitamin supplements to replace nutrients destroyed during processing.
The FDA has established minimum temperatures to which certain foods should be heated to destroy harmful bacteria, and nutritional data is published by the FDA and USDA for both cooked and raw foods (See the USDA Fact Sheet or the FDA Food Code for more details). All My Perfect Pet foods are cooked to the minimum temperatures established for safe food handling by the FDA/USDA, and all nutrient profiles are based on the ingredients as prepared in the food.
The FDA has established minimum temperatures to which certain foods should be heated to destroy harmful bacteria, and publishes nutritional data for both cooked and raw foods (www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Keep_Food_Safe_Food_Safety_Basics/index.asp
or the FDA Food Code.
My Perfect Pet meats are lightly baked to the minimum temperatures recommended by the FDA, making the food safe to store and handle, and also making it more digestible in the dog's system. Think about the texture of a fresh, raw filet. It is soft and moist, but you probably can't cut it with a fork. Lightly cooked to the recommended temperature, you can easily cut it or bite into it. (Now if you cook it at high heat for another few hours, it will be almost impossible to chew or digest, and this is what happens to foods during rendering or extrusion into dry food.)
Lightly baking also enhances the flavor and aroma for the dog. Think about the smell of the raw turkey as you put it into the oven, compared to the delicious aroma as you pull it out of the oven baked. It is irresistible for dogs!
Many dog owners subscribe to the raw food products, and we commend their decision to choose fresh real food for their dogs. Feeding a raw diet requires strict discipline in handling, serving and cleanup to avoid cross contamination with their own food or family members. My Perfect Pet offers a fresh alternative to raw, with the added convenience and safety for the entire family.
Dehydrated foods are becoming more popular as a convenient alternative to fresh, but made with higher quality real ingredients than canned or dry. Most dehydrated foods use low heat to dehydrate the ingredients, and may also meet the FDA requirements for food handling and safety.
The canning process requires foods to be heated to higher temperatures, and many ingredients have already been subjected to higher heat during rendering and other processing.
Dry kibble is the most highly processed and preserved of the pet food choices - making it also the lowest cost. Many pet owners add fresh food to the dry - the dogs enjoy it more and even a little fresh food is better than none.
Fresh, whole foods are subject to more stringent regulation therefore more likely to be safer and healthier. Standards for pet food manufacturing are much more lenient except in cases where contaminants in the pet food have been identified and are putting pets and other family members are risk.
Does your pet food company invite you to come and observe their operation while they make your pet's food? Would they be willing to eat a meal of their own company's pet food? At My Perfect Pet, we invite you to come to our Poway facility and observe our entire operation as we prepare pet food made from the highest FDA/USDA quality fresh, whole foods, according to standards we expect for our own food.
With the pet food recall list growing every day, it is important to ensure that the food we feed our pets is not only safe for them, but safe for our entire family feeding and playing with them. The basic principles of food safety apply to all family members, including pets, and are especially important in homes with children, elderly, or people with weakened immune systems. Contaminants in pet food can easily be passed along to family members handling their food and playing with the pet, and can easily be tracked into the home from the yard or play areas.
Alerts and recalls are posted only when the threat is real and widespread enough to warrant broad public awareness. In some cases the symptoms are apparent to the pet owner but in some cases the damage is being done to internal organs long before external symptoms are apparent, such as was the case with the Melamine poisoning in 2006, which was not recognized until early 2007 after it had sickened and killed thousands of pets.
A quick check on the FDA recall list will tell you which companies have been affected by product recalls, and how they responded to the situation.
Unfortunately, the quest for lower cost has led to industry acceptance of lower quality ingredients in our petís food. Unless specifically stated on the label, ingredients in pet food are "feed grade" meaning they are suitable only for pet food. The main suppliers of feed grade products are also the main suppliers of human food products who sell the unusable or leftover waste portions to the pet food manufacturers. And there are companies who purchase contaminated or expired foods to be reprocessed and sold as "new" ingredients to pet food companies - these same ingredients may be recycled multiple times. Even "human grade" products are frequently the leftovers from processing for more valuable food products. Restaurants routinely sell used grease and oils to local pet food companies as "human grade" ingredients - after all, they're from restaurants. And this practice is perfectly legal.
Look for these terms on pet food labels. (Where possible, definitions used are taken directly from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) 2010 Official Publication.)
Animal By-Products: Produced from whatever remains of the carcass, other than meat, such as heads, brain, feet, bones, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, kidneys, livers, ligaments, partially defatted fatty tissue, stomachs, and intestines freed of their contents.
Animal Fat: All fats are not the same! Animal/poultry fat is sprayed onto the dried pellets along with vitamin and mineral supplements to make the food smell and taste better to the dog. It must be preserved to prevent it from becoming rancid while on the shelf. While some high quality fat is good, the preservatives in animal fats are extremely difficult to digest and can lead to a variety of health problems. Sensitive stomachs, diarrhea, gas, and bad breath, are commonly linked to the animal/poultry fats used in pet foods.
Artificial Color: These produce carcinogenic substances known as nitrosamines that may increase dog's sensitivity to certain viruses, and have been linked to numerous cancers.
Beet Pulp: Dried residue from processed sugar beets. These can interfere with the dog's ability to absorb proteins, calcium and other minerals, and also inhibit growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
BHA & BHT: Preservatives used to stabilize the product and increase shelf life. Known carcinogens, these have been linked to immune deficiencies and numerous cancers.
Ethoxyquin: Preservative used to stabilize the product and increase shelf life - See Preservatives.
Flavor: Use of the word "flavor" means there is none of the actual food product, only that the dog will perceive a comparable taste.
Poultry Fat: See Animal Fat.
Preservatives: Added to allow food to stay on the shelves for longer periods of time without refrigeration. Inhibits growth of all bacteria in the dog's system, including those required to digest and process nutrients. They decrease the moisture in the digestive tract which can lead to intestinal blockage and other serious problems.
Propylene Glycol: Preservative added to maintain texture and moisture, and prohibit the growth of bacteria.
Rendering: To process pvestock carcasses for industrial use by melting to extract oil from fat and blubber. Animal products are boiled for hours to separate fat, remove water, and kill bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms.
Sodium Nitrite: Used as a coloring and preservative – See Preservatives.
Brewer's Rice: Small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from larger kernels during processing.
Brown Rice: Unpolished rice with kernels removed – Read Whole Grain Brown Rice.
Chicken or Poultry: May include bones, and other parts of the carcass, and may exclude the muscle meat unless specifically stated otherwise on the label.
Meat: Flesh derived from slaughtered mammals limited to the striate muscle which is skeletal or found in the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus; may include overlying fat and portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood veins.
Meats called out by specific parts (Turkey Breast, Chicken Breast, Beef Brisket, etc.) must be at least 95% pure.
Natural: Derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, not subject to chemically synthetic process, and without additives.
Organic: Plants grown without use of non-organic pesticides, insecticides or herbicides, and animals reared without the routine use of antibiotics or growth hormones, and not genetically modified.
Whole Grain: Unmilled grains containing the bran and germ as well as the endosperm, like whole brown rice. Whole grains can generally be sprouted while processed grains generally cannot.
Whole Eggs: Whole eggs are one of the most digestible foods available, with a good balance of protein and fat. (Caution, dried eggs are supplemented and frequently contain preservatives.)