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Mutts and Cats

Aimee and crazy4cats – if you guys care to weigh in on this other obsession of mine too – maybe help me see errors in my thinking – that would be great. Reading on the AAFCO page from the link crazy4cats provided, the definition of “meat” clearly states that it does not include bone. I was pretty sure that was the case, and most companies who add bone either state “including bone” or list the bone parts as individual ingredients. This got me thinking about another topic that has been bothering me. I mentioned earlier in this post how I lost my trust in a certain company because of anomalies in their online vitamin/mineral data, and my suspicions that the data didn’t jive with the ingredients.
One of my big concerns was the high variation in calcium and phosphorous content (between different recipes and between what is online vs additional info provided by a rep). That, plus my feeling that just based on the ingredients listed on the packaging I can’t figure out how these high calcium and phosphorous numbers are even possible. But, I’ve just recently become interested in the gory details of dog nutrition, so I’m probably missing something.

For example, for their Duck recipe, the dry matter values for calcium and phosphorous are 3.91% and 3.15%. These were provided by a company rep as the most current info and are much higher than what is currently on the website (1.79% and 1.52%). The large increase is disturbing, given there has been no change in the ingredients, but even more disturbing to me is how the heck could that food even have 3.91% and 3.15% given the ingredients? Seems to me they would have to be including bone and even then it’s pretty hard to get to 3.15% phosphorous just using meat with some bone included, isn’t it? I can’t help but suspect they are using something like dicalcium phosphate, but not listing it as an ingredient. Or, there is something terribly wrong with their analysis methods.
Duck, duck gizzard, duck heart, duck liver, herring oil, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin E supplement, zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex