The prevalence of pet food recalls in recent times has consumers, or shall we say “petsumers”, questioning what we are feeding our pets. Even some of the more expensive brands were involved in these recalls, causing grave concern among dog and cat owners.
As Americans, we have the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and US Department of Agriculture, but these agencies don’t make it a priority to question what is in the best interests of our fur kids. In fact, AAFCO standards allow even the poorest quality of ingredients to make it both into the food and onto the market. And, according to FDA compliance policies, pet food ingredients can include meat from diseased, dying, disabled, and dead animals, which often contain bacteria, carcinogens and other harmful chemicals. None of these things are required to appear on package labels. This knowledge alone should give us all pause. What are we feeding our pets?
Sadly, some of the most common and popular by-products and ingredients found in pet food have been linked to liver disease and kidney failure, and even death.
Meanwhile, our neighbors in Europe have the right idea, and they may be doing us all a huge favor. American pet food that is approved for sale domestically doesn’t guarantee its approval in Europe, quite possibly providing another layer of regulation stateside.
Pet foods that are manufactured and sold in the United States must pass stringent criterion to be classified as consumable in Europe. Enter European Union (EU) Certification, which was developed by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). EU Certification requires that all animal ingredients used in pet food be derived from animals that have been declared fit for human consumption. It is this certification that a pet food manufacturer must have before its products can be shipped to Europe.
Unfortunately, some pet food companies have found their way around import/export laws, as well as additional costs incurred in guaranteeing that their products are human grade. Opening plants in Europe is more cost effective than improving products deemed worthy of our pets in the US. It is important to note that, whether you live in the US or Europe, a pet food that has APHIS EU certification provides a guarantee that meat ingredients are sourced from animals fit for human consumption, or human grade.
Whereas there are a number of pet food manufacturers that have APHIS EU certification, not all US companies have it. It would behoove us to do a little research about what we are feeding our pets. Some companies include EU Certification on their packaging, while others do not. Perhaps a phone call is in order. After all, our pets rely on good judgement on our part to ensure that what we are feeding them is safe. That is what we are about at Stately Pet Supply. We are here to answer any questions you might have about the best pet food options on the market today