The Mysterious World of Pet Nutrition

When we asked six pet food industry experts to give us the inside scoop on pet food, they told us everything we ever wanted to know (and some things we didn’t). We’ve used their wisdom to create this quiz … the answers might surprise you! For more information on pet nutrition, be sure to check out the current issue of Petsguide!

Click on an answer to see if you’re right! Good luck!

1. What is the most important factor to consider when evaluating the nutritional value of a pet food?



Added nutrients

Product descriptions on the bag

Guaranteed analysis

2. The 2007 pet food recall was caused by:

Melamine contamination

Mad cow disease



All of the above

3. Which of the following “people foods” is not harmful to pets?






4. Which of these common pet food additives has been shown to cause liver and kidney problems?






5. Who should you ask for advice on what to feed your pet?

Pet food retailers



Animal shelter staff

All of the above

6. Pet allergies are:

A common, untreatable problem

Usually related to pollen

Usually related to food

Usually related to fabric

The same throughout a pet?s life

7. Which of the following can cats and dogs effectively digest?





All of the above

8. A can labeled “cat food with chicken” must contain:

95% chicken

50% chicken

25% chicken

3% chicken

No chicken

9. New foods should be introduced to pets over the course of:

A day

2-3 days

A week

1-2 weeks

At least two weeks

10. In pet food, it is best to avoid which of the following common ingredients:

Meat and bone meal

Animal fat


Animal by-products

All of the above

11. The pet food industry is regulated by:

The federal government (FDA)

State governments

American Association of Feed Control Officers (AAFCO)

American Pet Products Association (APPA)

None of the above

12. The healthiest diet to feed your pet is:

A premium, commercial pet food

A vet-prescribed diet

A raw-food diet

A homemade diet (made or delivered)

All of the above

Adding It All Up

Most pet owners want to feed their pets the healthiest diet possible. The problem is, since the feeding amounts and measurements can vary so widely, it?s hard to accurately compare the cost of switching. So we did that math for you! Here is a cost breakdown of a common commercial brand and a top holistic brand, using the feeding instructions for an 8-pound cat and a 40-pound dog.

For an 8-pound cat
Purina Cat Chow Dry Cat Food
Cost: $14.29 for an 18-lb. bag
Recommended daily feeding: 3/4 c. (0.237 lbs.)
Price per pound: $0.794
Cost per day: $0.188
Cost per year: $68.62

Innova EVO Cat & Kitten Dry Cat Food
Cost: $39.99 for a 15.4 bag
Recommended daily feeding: 53.78 g (0.119 lbs.)
Price per pound: $2.597
Cost per day: $0.309
Cost per year: $112.79

For a 40-pound dog
Purina Dog Chow Dry Dog Food
Cost: $13.29 for a 20-lb. bag
Recommended daily feeding: 2 1/3 c. (0.654 lbs)
Price per pound: $0.665
Cost per day: $0.435
Cost per year: $158.77

Innova EVO Large Bite Dry Dog Food
Cost: $53.99 for a 28.6-lbs. bag
Recommended daily feeding: 255.29 g (0.563 lbs)
Cost per pound: $1.888
Cost per day: $1.063
Cost per year: $387.99

EVO Dry Cat Food is $0.121 more per day or $44.17 more per year; EVO Dry Dog Food is $0.628 more per day or $229.22 more per year. Those results are to be expected, according to Lissa from Animalia: ?The good quality food is more expensive,? she explains, ?but while you may be paying more, you?re not going to be going to the vet?s office as much, either. The better you can feed them, the better health they?ll have long term.?

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