Friday, March 2, 2012

The Cooking of Commercial Pet Food

As an endocrinologist, I have now been in practice for a very long time (over 3 decades). But the longer I practice and care for dogs and cats with a variety of hormonal problems (from diabetes to thyroid disease to Cushing's syndrome), the more I realize the vital roles proper nutrition and diet make in the overall success of the patient's treatment.

Susan Thixton has an excellent website — —that I recommend to anyone interested in learning more about pet foods. After reviewing the website, you might want to subscribe to the 'Truth' Newsletter to keep up to date with her many reviews and alerts.

In one of this week's posts (The Cooking of Pet Food), Susan provides a link to an article published on the Pet Food Institute website on "How Pet Food Is Made" written by Greg Alldrich, PhD, a consultant to the pet food industry. In this article, Dr. Alldrich explains that the cooking process of pet foods — both kibble and canned —"provides a number of benefits, including convenience, enhanced flavor and texture, improved consistency, pathogen control and decreased spoilage."

He continues "However, extensive processing can increase variability, destroy essential nutrients and create unwholesome by-products. From a formulator’s perspective, this creates a dilemma regarding how to assure the diet is sufficiently fortified while avoiding excess after accounting for processing effects."

In this article, Dr. Alldrich encourages the pet food industry to learn more about how pet food ingredients are affected during the cooking process.


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