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Mutts and Cats

Hi Aimee. Well my dog nutrition education is coming along, and thank you for your part in that. I appreciate that you are taking the time to help educate me. I could have educated myself a lot quicker if I had just taken the time to read the 2014 AAFCO document that I have instead of bolting straight to the table.

I think I now understand how it can make a difference whether the vitamin/mineral content of foods is evaluated based on actual calories consumed (or actual caloric content of the food), vs the presumed content used by AAFCO. I don’t pay much attention to the feeding guidelines of companies, and my dog is probably an average keeper, but the way I was using the AAFCO data was problematic. I was converting the AAFCO food content (ppm or %) data to total daily needs for my dog. The foods I feed seem to average about 5,000 kcal/kg so I was using that when doing the conversion. But I realize now that I should have been using 4,000 and by using the larger number I was essentially lowering the AAFCO recommended levels. So when I was comparing the total vitamin/mineral content consumed by my dog in a day to my computed AAFCO daily, it was not a valid comparison. Plus, a food might look like it is barely meeting AAFCO, but is not when it comes down to what my dog is actually getting. Am I thinking straight now?

Does AAFCO conduct any oversight of companies who claim that their foods meet AAFCO standards? Does AAFCO require that they submit a quality control plan and submit lab reports periodically? I suspect there is only so much AAFCO can do and therefore the oversight may be minimal.
How about the calorie content of foods? Who regulates that to insure that what is stated on the bag is accurate? I guess if there is some regulation of that then it would be of some comfort that a company couldn’t get too carried away with adding bone to their recipes because then the caloric value would get very low. Right?

I sure have changed my thinking on how I evaluate the quality of a commercial food, and I’m very thankful for the information you have provided me that nudged me to rethink.
And speaking of that, I noticed something discouraging (heartbreaking, really) about Steve’s online data. I recently started feeding Steve’s and was hopeful that this was going to become the food that I finally could feel good about. But they recently put some updated data on the website and the Ca and P increased dramatically. Not quite as bad as what I had mentioned previously about Vital Essentials, plus I do applaud Steve’s for actually keeping their online data current. But, I’m realizing now that very high Ca and P are troubling to me. Especially since I feed turkey necks too.

This is how Steve’s Turkey recipe changed. The frozen and freeze dried are supposedly the exact same recipe and all data is dry matter basis.

Turkey Frozen
old new
Ash 2.13% 10.8%
Calcium 2.2% 2.9%
Phosphorus 1.7% 1.8%
C/P 1.3 1.6

Turkey Freeze Dried
old new
Ash 8.01% 9.2%
Calcium 2.06% 3.83%
Phosphorus 1.59% 2.31%
C/P 1.3 1.7

This bone content issue is starting to feel a little like the pea scandal. Companies increasing the bone content more and more to increase their profits.

What is the Topic name for the No Hide thread you mentioned? I see that you are a very busy poster. Looks like a lot of good reading in your Topics, to be explored when I have more time. Sorry to bombard you with so many questions in this post. M&C