In 2018, Petfood Industry readers searched for insects, potatoes, CBD, taurine and fish the most number of times using the website’s search function. The five dog, cat and other pet food ingredients are listed in order of number of searches. The article with the most page views about that ingredient is included too.
Although many pet owners have anecdotal stories of dogs and cats eating insects, scientists haven’t fully studied the tiny animals’ nutritional and health effects on dogs and cats. However, basic analysis of many insects, such as black soldier fly larvae and crickets, suggest that the animals as packed with proteins and other nutrients.
The market obsession with grain-free, novel or uncommon ingredients, and limited ingredient pet foods may bear some responsibility for reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy, as opposed to singling out potatoes and legumes, according to one pet food industry consultant and scientist. The United States Food and Drug Administration recently announced reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods, particularly grain-free diets, containing high levels of potatoes or legumes seeds such as peas, lentils or beans.
A newer pet food product category getting a lot of buzz at US pet trade shows the past two years has been pet treats and supplements featuring cannabidiol (CBD). Sorry for the bad pun; this oil derives from the hemp plant, though a different species than ones containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana responsible for the psychoactive reaction, or high (buzz), in people or animals who imbibe it. CBD does not cause the same reaction, say its proponents in the pet industry.
While Golden Retrievers may have a genetic predisposition to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), scientists documented that specific diets were associated with the development of taurine deficiency, which correlates with increased the risk of dilated cardiomyopathy. Specifically, in a study, 23 out of 24 Golden Retrievers diagnosed with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy ate grain-free and/or legume-rich dog food diets. The majority of those dogs’ health improved after diet change and taurine supplementation.
Fish meal from marine sources is a valuable ingredient for pet food. It delivers high-quality amino acids in the protein matrix, has nutritionally available minerals, and the residual fat carries a meaningful load of omega-3 fatty acids.