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Natural / Organic Pet Food
On July 16, 2014

Natural diets and their impact on canine and feline physiology

Opportunities exist to better understand the effect of natural petfood diets on pets’ health and nutrition outcomes.

The purpose of the review is to clarify the definition of “natural” as it pertains to commercial petfood, and summarize the scientific findings related to natural ingredients in petfoods and natural diets on the impact of pet health and physiology.

The term “natural”, when used to market commercial petfoods or petfood ingredients in the US, has been defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials and requires, at minimum, that the petfood be preserved with natural preservatives. However, pet owners may consider natural as something different than the regulatory definition.

Domestic cats select a macronutrient profile (52% of metabolizable energy from protein) similar to the diet of wild cats. Dogs have evolved much differently in their ability to metabolize carbohydrates, and select a diet lower in protein (30% of metabolizable energy from protein) than the diet of wild wolves. The inclusion of whole food ingredients in natural petfoods as opposed to fractionated ingredients may result in higher nutrient concentrations, including phytonutrients. Additionally, the processing of commercial petfood can impact digestibility, nutrient bioavailability. Future opportunities exist to better understand the effect of natural diets on health and nutrition outcomes, and to better integrate sustainable practices in the production of natural petfoods.

Source:  P.R. Buff et al., 2014. Natural pet food: A review of natural diets and their impact on canine and feline physiology. J Anim Sci online, July 2014. doi: 10.2527/jas.2014-7789.

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Read the April issue of Petfood Industry!

April 2015

The April 2015 issue of Petfood Industry looks at different pet food markets around the world. Read about Sojos, a US company which aims to transform the lives of pets through raw pet food. As these specialized diets become increasingly popular in the dog and cat food markets, learn how such trends are carrying over into bird and small animal food. Plus, see how pet food companies in Russia are reacting and reconsidering production strategies in the wake of rising prices due to exchange rate fluctuations.

READ MORE in Petfood Industry magazine

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