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Study finds nutrient deficiencies in 94% of processed pet foods. They are not Complete, or Balanced.

Published Title:Mineral analysis of complete dog and cat foods in the UK and compliance with European guidelines. Where and When:Faculty of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and School of Medicine, University of Nottingham. Published Dec 2017Authors/Researchers: M. Davies, R. Alborough, L. Jones, C. Davis, C. Williams & D. S. Gardner. Question in research: […]

Published Title:
Mineral analysis of complete dog and cat foods in the UK and compliance with European guidelines.

Where and When:
Faculty of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and School of Medicine, University of Nottingham. Published Dec 2017
Authors/Researchers: M. Davies, R. Alborough, L. Jones, C. Davis, C. Williams & D. S. Gardner.

Question in research: Do a range of extruded and processed pet foods, sold in the UK, comply with the EU guidelines of Complete Nutrition? (The guidelines are known as the Fediaf Guidelines)

Study Participants: Processed pet foods were bought locally from a range of commercial suppliers and pet food supermarkets and were packaged in a mixture of sealed tins, pouches, cans or sealed bags. A total of 177 different pet foods were included for analysis, all labelled as ‘Complete’. The foods were selected as representative of popular brands sold in the UK and including a range of main favours.

What they did:
Tinned or Tray Wet foods were freeze dried for 2 days “and re-weighed to establish moisture content by difference”.  Dry Foods were ground down.
Both ready for mineral analysis by inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry (ICP-MS), a method widely considered the gold-standard for mineral analyses.
Plastic utensils were used to avoid trace ion transference, “duplicate blank tubes were run with each batch”  as controls and samples of certified reference material too.

What was measured:
“Complete foods should have, as defined by the EU, the correct proportions of essential macro and micronutrients that is sufficient for a daily ration. The daily ration should satisfy all of an animal’s energy and nutrient requirements without further complementary intake.”

Some of the Micronutrients are the Minerals. Although often overlooked and not mentioned in food discussions as often as vitamins*, minerals are in fact entirely pivotal to immunity, growth, cellular renewal and ultimately the health of the dog.
We have been well-trained as humans to acknowledge our need for Vitamin C, and so we parrot out the sentence, ‘he needs (insert food type) for his vitamins’, when actual in reality it is more likely to be Minerals our dogs lacking in. Firstly farming methods influence soil, which in turn impacts the minerals in the meat your dog will eat. Secondly the types of minerals added to pet foods are not entirely useful. All too often minerals are added into pet food in non bio-available forms. Meaning it is a challenge for the body to digest them, absorb them, recognise them at the cellular level and even to detox them if the are not needed. They may well be in the bowl but they are not in forms your dog can actually absorb. All too often the forms added can also lead to challenge of detoxification, and lead to misleading blood tests analysis as they float around in the blood, not being take-up by cells.

The study measured the Mineral Content of the foods for  levels of : Sulphur, Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Magnesium, Iron & Potassium as well as Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, Copper, Chromium, Vanadium and Cobalt.

Repeated analysis of a subset of wet foods with a different batch-ID again showed broad non-compliance in line with the original dataset, indicating that our analysis was not an isolated single-batch effect

Only 6% of wet processed pet foods and 38% of the dry extruded pet foods were fully compliant.
Many failed to provide nutritional minimum (e.g 20% of wet food didn’t have enough Copper)
Many also exceeded nutritional maximum (e.g 76% of wet food contained more Selenium than the guidelines state is healthy)
20–30% of all foods analysed had mineral imbalance, such as not having the recommended ratio of Calcium:Phosphorus.
Foods with high fish content had high levels of undesirable metal elements such as arsenic.

Analysis of all feline or canine foods revealed broad non-compliance with all EU (FEDIAF) Guidelines; 94% (91/97) and 61% (46/80) of wet and dry foods, respectively failed to comply with all guidelines

From the published study:
This study highlights broad non-compliance of a range of popular pet foods sold in the UK with EU guidelines (94% and 61% of wet and dry foods, respectively). If fed exclusively and over an extended period, a number of these pet foods could impact the general health of companion animals.

Many had either insufficient, excessive or an inappropriate balance of minerals which, if fed exclusively for a long period of time, could underpin a host of clinical diseases in dogs and cats including skeletal, neurological, or dermatological disease

The very reason foods are chosen is due to a belief that they contain everything a dog needs. If that is your aim, you cannot do this by feeding extruded dry food ‘Kibble’ or feeding only tins or the tray with cardboard sleeve type foods.
Fresh food, whether in a lightly cooked state or in its raw state like Naked Dog, is packed with fresh, natural, absorbable nutrients, created by independent manufacturers that care about the food your dogs eat. Truly care. Not only do we check that our foods meet the guidelines, but we know that being fresh food they will also contain the needed nutrition not even included on the guidelines too. The vitality, the omega 3 fats, the beneficial probiotics and a powerful range of antioxidants.

This study confirms much of what has been suspected by the fresh food market for a long time. As Chef Jamie Oliver highlighted, children need fresh wholefoods for health and learning.
At Naked Dog we believe dogs do too!

by Caroline Griffith
July 22

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