Beware of buzzwords

You might think it’s best to opt for buying whatever bag of pet food is sporting the most official looking seals like organic, grain-free, and non-GMO. But before you pay top dollar for that super exclusive, fancy cat food brand, you may want to consider if it’s really worth it.

Dr. Heinze said that choosing foods based on certain claims made by the label or online reviewers isn’t an effective way to make the most nutritious selection for your pet.

So what’s with all these words?

Basically, brands like to use terminology like “premium,” “holistic,” or “vet recommended” on pet food labels to catch your attention … so you’ll buy their product over the next one. However these terms actually have no practical value when it comes to assessing the food’s nutritional content, nor are they FDA regulated.

In fact, the FDA website said, “Products labeled as premium or gourmet are not required to contain any different or higher quality ingredients, nor are they held up to any higher nutritional standards than are any other complete and balanced products.”

And as far as “grain free” goes, it turns out food allergies – especially ones to grain and other glutens – aren’t as common in pets as people may think.

In other words, all these terms are just fancy sounding buzzwords.

Heinze also added, “There is actually not much on the label that actually provides useful info on the quality of the food – most of it is marketing. The nutritional adequacy statement and the manufacturer information are typically the two items on the bag that provide a little bit of info on the nutritional quality, but it’s not much.”

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