Around 2005, humanization in pet foods became a key influencer in numerous product development trends. When we think of the most recent, full-blown human trends, the first thing that comes to mind is gluten-free and paleo diets. In the pet industry this translates to grain-free and “the ancestral diet.” Approximately 25% of the US market jumped on the grain-free band wagon – many consumers whose pets appeared to have allergies were led to believe that their pet had an allergy to wheat and grains. In fact, many studies prove that very few dogs and cats have true food allergies. Studies actually prove that most dietary allergies are from proteins, not grains. Similarly, no studies have proven that grain-free diets are better for dog’s health. It appears that there is now a growing backlash initiated by the FDA against grain-free foods. In response, at this year’s SuperZoo Conference in Las Vegas, many companies are now launching new products featuring claims such as “grain-friendly, grain-in, whole grains or ancient grains.” My personal thought on the subject is not to worry so much about the grains, but the unidentifiable ingredients. I also strongly believe that every pet owner needs to know how to read an ingredient label. Don’t take the manufacturers commercials at their word. Make sure your first four to five ingredients are items that you yourself would eat. Then, on a day when you’re feeling especially strong stomached, do some research on what “chicken byproducts” are. Don’t let the word chicken fool you!! More than likely if real wholesome chicken breast was used, your dog would not be wildly scratching at itself!!
*Some facts have been taken from Petfood Industry Magazine