4 Thanksgiving foods used in pet food formulations
Turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes and tree nuts can provide pets with protein and other nutrients.
Classic Thanksgiving ingredients sometimes appear in dog and cat food formulations. Ingredients such as turkey and cranberries can provide companion animals with protein, antioxidants and other nutrients. Here, we examine four Thanksgiving-themed ingredients and their merits in pet food formulations.
Pet food buyers tend to project their own perceptions of turkey as a healthy meat onto pet foods that contain this lean protein source, said Aldrich. The turkey meat used as a pet food ingredient is virtually identical to that used in hot dog production, so the nutrient information is relatively similar.
Another human health food trend that has moved into pet food is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes became the "darling carb" of human health food, and subsequently have become increasingly popular in specialty pet foods, wrote Aldrich. For example, sweet potatoes can now be found in elimination diets for the treatment of pet food allergies, as an ingredient in no-grain and raw formulas, and as a novelty in boutique and ultra-premium pet foods. Sweet potatoes provide beta-carotene, vitamins, dietary fiber and haven't been associated with any known allergic reactions in dogs and cats.
Cranberries contain antioxidants and have been used to fortify pet foods with those chemicals, an in pet foods that appeal to owners looking for added fruits and vegetables, said Aldrich. Cranberries have also been used in pet foods marketed with urinary tract health claims. However, little published research backs-up or refutes the claim that cranberries fight urinary tract in infections in…