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Why chicken meal rather than chicken?

I read the content in your foods and am wondering why chicken meal rather than chicken? I have switched both my cats (3) and dogs (2) from Science Diet to Innova Senior Dry and Can for my dogs, EVO dry for my two older underweight cats, and Chicken Soup Light dry for my overweight 4 year old cat because of the ingredients in Science Diet. Why should I switch to yours? I thought grains and carbs were bad for my pets. Thanks for your response.

Marilyn

Thanks for the great question. In my opinion, if you are going to use meat correctly, use it raw. Add it in addition to a dry kibble formulation. Once meat goes through the extruding machine, etc., it loses all its value as a raw ingredient and becomes no different than the meal type product. A meal type product has a much higher percentage of protein than a raw meat inclusion as it has already been dried. Put the raw meat through the extruder, the machine that makes the kibble, and you lose 70% of the weight, thus making it no different than a protein meal. Many companies use this as a method to confuse and trick the consumer as they advertise that “meat is the number one ingredient.” Again, once through the extruder, you lose all that weight and often that meat listed as the first ingredient based on its wet(raw) weight will actually become 6 or 7th in the list of ingredients in the finished kibble. That is why I use a protein meal. Labels can be very misleading and I have tried very hard to make ours understandable.

As to the cats, those are fine foods available on the market. Personally, I do not believe in senior diets nor reduced calorie diets. I believe both dogs and cats thrive on a food that is weighted heavily in the fat and protein calorie department as that is what their metabolism is geared to handle. Once on those diets, the animals become much more healthy and I see them less as a veterinarian. As to grains and carbs, dogs only need about 10% of their daily requirement of calories to be supplied by carbohydrates and cats even less. Carbs are used to hold the kibble together and lower the cost of the food more than anything else. I am still on the fence that grain free diets are anything extra special other than being a hypoallergenic diet for animals. Haven’t known many tigers to eat tapioca or peas.

Timothy A. Hunt, DVM

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Janis Parks    03.08.11

Your answer got my immediate attention. Years ago my seasoned and respected veterinarian, who was also the veterinarian for a large zoo, told me the same thing that you explained here. I had taken my Shelties to him, concerned over a lack of fur luster and skin flaking. He advised me to change their kibble to a higher-quality, natural blend and include raw meat in their diet at least twice a week.

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