Is it safe to feed my cat commercial food made in China?FamilyPet
The effects of the great pet food recall of 2007, where several cats and dogs died as a result of a Chinese import tainted with melamine, still has the Food and Drug Administration, consumers and other government officials reeling.
It’s important to realize, however, that recalls are all around us, many of them involved with products manufactured right here in this country.
While it is nearly impossible to ensure that your pet will never come in contact with recalled pet food or treats, you can help to reduce your pet’s risk. Reading labels thoroughly is a big part of that process.
• Go to the FDA website and study its rules for naming pet food according to the proportion of ingredients.
• Note the manufacturer’s name and address. This is the party responsible for safety and quality of the product, and whom you should call if you have any questions or concerns before or after purchasing its product.
• Verify ingredients for safety concerns and overall product quality. The ingredients are required to be listed by weight in the formula, including inherent water quantity.
• Observe the guaranteed analysis. Most pet foods will at least contain a minimum percentage of protein and fat, but some offer additional information on components like calcium, sodium, ash and taurine.
• Validate the nutritional adequacy. An Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional adequacy statement is the most relevant information on the food label. An AAFCO statement substantiates claims that a product provides complete and balanced nutrition, assuring buyers of the product’s quality
• Check the feeding directions, which should include a manufacturer’s statement to the effect of “feed x cups per x pounds of body weight.” This statement will correlate to the nutritional adequacy statement on how to provide a complete and balanced diet to your pet.