So, to continue on the topic of pet nutrition, here are some terms you might find on pet food packaging.

Organic is a legally defined term by the USDA.  To achieve the USDA seal, every ingredient in the product must be harvested from a completely organic environment as certified by the USDA.  If a product says “made with organic” rather than “100% organic”, it is not legally defined as organic and cannot display the USDA organic seal.

Natural is a legally defined term by the USDA.  It is a broad term meaning that a food has minimal processing and may only have natural additives and colors.  Products in this category may still contain additives such as saline or other natural substances.

Holistic is NOT a legally defined term and may be claimed by any manufacturer.

Human Grade is NOT a legally defined term and may be claimed by any manufacturer.

The quality of pet food is not measured by individual ingredients listed, but the nutritional value of each ingredient when blended with the other ingredients to create a balanced product specific for each pet’s age and condition.

A pet food labeled for “all stages of life” is usually actually puppy or kitten food and contains excessive levels of some nutrients making it inappropriate for adult and senior pets.

 

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