Pet Food for Thought

By Belinda Recio / September 7, 2011

Most of us are starting to really think about how we eat. We’re not just counting calories any more. We’re considering the bigger picture of what is in our food, where it comes from, how it is grown, and whether it has been modified by the food industry. These concerns are shaping the dietary decisions we make and the way we shop. We are also paying attention to medical research and modifying our diets based on studies. For example, knowing the health benefits of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids has inspired many of us to consume certain foods or take supplements.

We need to have the same attitude and concerns when considering the diet of our companion animals. The foods we feed our animal friends can make a difference in their longevity, quality of life, and even in their moods. In order to help you put more thought into the choices you make on behalf of your companion animals’ diets, the veterinary nutritionists at Natura Pet Products suggest the following guidelines.


Look for identified meats or fish, such as salmon, lamb, chicken, beef, or turkey, and identified concentrated meat proteins, such as salmon meal, lamb meal, and chicken meal. Avoid “by-products,” such as poultry by-products, bone meal, corn gluten meal, and grain remnants.

Fats & Oils

Look for fats from identified sources, such as chicken fat, lamb fat, sunflower oil, and herring oil, and natural preservatives, such as mixed tocopherols, and Vitamin E. Avoid fats from non-specific sources, such as animal fat, poultry fat, and vegetable oil, and synthetic preservatives, such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.

Grains & Vegetables

Look for whole grains, such as rice, barley, and oatmeal, and fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, peas, tomatoes, alfalfa, and apples. Avoid grain remnants and fractions, such as highly processed flours and mill runs.

Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements

Look for antioxidants, such as Vitamin A, C, and E, and chelated minerals, such as iron proteinate and manganese proteinate. Avoid coloring, such as caramel color, and FD&C colors.

Thoughtful Food For Our Companion Animals

The following companies produce pet food based on whole food ingredients, vitamins and nutrients, and animal health research. And they taste great, based on the speed with which Spooner, our canine taste tester, wolfed them down.

Holistic Select is defined as emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts. Holistic Select goes “beyond natural” by building a foundation of premium proteins, fats and carbohydrates and then adding Select Actives. Select Actives are Nature’s Power Ingredients, like enzymes, live micro-organisms, botanicals and phytonutrients. When combined, these powerful ingredients activate a higher level of health—and this is the holistic philosophy that guides their recipes. It is both proven and believed that prevention is the best medicine. It’s true for pets too and Holistic Select products are a proactive way to prevent health problems in our pets before they start.

Innova Holistic Pet Food has been formulated using only fresh, natural, ingredients from each of the five food groups.Innova recipes are based on the most advanced research in animal health. The latest findings in orthomolecular medicine (the study of substances found in the body to achieve optimal health) are mirrored by the enhancements in their natural formulations. Their recipes include enhanced levels of EPA and DHA, which help with brain and eye development; glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which help improve joint health; pumpkin, which is an excellent source of antioxidants; Vitamin E,which acts as a natural preservative and protects cells and tissues from oxidative damage; and live, naturally-occurring microorganisms are added to improve overall digestive health.

Wellness recipes for cats and dogs provide an ideal nutritional balance based on a practice of not including empty calories, of selecting carefully chosen, authentic ingredients, and of maintaining quality control by using only reliable and trustworthy sources. All Wellness recipes include lean meats, whole grains, fruits and veggies with no wheat, corn or soy, and no added artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Belinda Recio

Belinda Recio

Belinda Recio is a writer and curator working at the intersections of nature, art, and soul. She has authored books and iOS apps on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from animals to sacred arts. She is the founder of True North Gallery, where she exhibits art that connects people with the natural world. She is also a past recipient of the United States Humane Society’s Award for Innovation in the Study of Animals and Society.
Belinda Recio

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