Photo
Staff photo

Our pets are no different then we are when it comes to eating -- what goes in the mouth and down the little esophagus is pretty important. This occurred to me when I noticed that one of my dogs has become wider than I think she should be.

Just like humans it crept up on us like weeds after a rainfall. One day I saw her waddling around and decided right then and there -- no more dog cookies we are moving in the carrot direction.

There are numerous choices when it comes to food for furry friends. Everybody has a bone to pick about which is the best but in the end, it's always about the ingredients. The first few ingredients on the label tell you what you and your dog are about to embark upon. This assumes, of course, that the label is accurate.

Someone did a recent study of just this question. It's is called "Identification of Meat Species in Pet Foods Using a Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Assay." It means what's in the bag and how did it get there? What the study found is that there's a possibility the ingredients in pet food could be mislabeled.

“Although regulations exist for pet foods, increases in international trade and globalization of the food supply have amplified the potential for food fraud to occur,” said Rosalee Hellberg, Ph.D., who co-authored the study.

Ground horsemeat

In Europe they are using ground horsemeat for human consumption and Hellberg is worried we are going to see it coming into our pet food as well as human food in the U.S. Horsemeat was not found in any of the products they tested, however.

Not so comforting is the fact that 40% of the foods that were tested were mislabeled -- 13 were dog food and 7 were cat food. Pork got the raw end of the deal as it was the most undeclared ingredient; 16 that were tested were mystery meat -- yep just like the school cafeteria. They weren't on the product label.

Chicken was the most common meat found in pet food. Pork, beef, turkey and lamb followed goose brought up the rear. 

More studies are needed to see how much of a problem mislabeling actually is and at what point it happens, Hellberg said.


Share your Comments