Ethical Products for Pets – Facts You Should Know

ethically conscious pet supplies storeYou are in deep love with your pet and s/he is the most valuable soul in the universe for you. However, have you ever thought about whether the food and other products you buy for your beloved pet come from an ethical source or not? Here are some facts about pet foods which may be an eye-opener for you and after reading them, you may execute a higher caution while choosing food for your pet.

Ingredients and Nutrition in Pet Food

As per the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, pet food manufacturers use raw materials that are byproducts of human food chain and are sourced from animals that have been approved as fit for human consumption. Their labels use descriptions that are anthropomorphized to appeal the human parents of pets – chicken, broth, asparagus, beef entree and roasted chicken.

You should buy products for your pet from an ethically conscious pet supplies store and see to it that the ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Their names may be according to their categories, like ‘cereals’, meat and animal derivatives’ or ‘derivatives of vegetable origin’. Or they can also be listed with their own names.

If the label says ‘chicken and rice’ the minimum content of meat should be 26%. However, if it says ‘rich in’ chicken, the minimum should be only 14% and if it says ‘flavored with’ or just ‘with’, it will contain a bare minimum 4%.

Another term often seen on pet food labels is ‘animal derivatives’ which you should take as anything but not the muscle tissue and ‘meat’ and may refer to bones, internal organs, feathers, feet, hooves and poultry heads.

On one hand, it may seem sensible to use up these by-products, while on the other hand it’s also true that your pet is not receiving the desired nutrition. Dogs and cats need a specific amount of protein and the non-specific terms ‘meat’ and ‘animal derivatives’ may be concealing the ingredients that are actually low in protein and are also difficult to digest.

The percentage of protein on labels is also useless, because it may denote a high percentage of an indigestible, low quality protein. Therefore read the ingredients list and if lamb or chicken or a specific organ is listed, it can be said that they have used a good source of protein, while by-products or meat derivatives may be less good sources of protein.

organic lamb

Cereals and grains are one more of the generic protein sources that may be high or low quality and are added by many pet food manufacturers as fillers. Some more ingredients are salt, sugar and artificial colors, although dogs are by far color blind.

It’s commendable in such a situation, that shops like Key Pet Supplies provide all ethical pet products.

rabbits on organic food

Fish

The only ethical labeling on the leading brands is when fish certified by an organization like MSC is included because the fish are from sustainable sources. However, no consideration is given to the labor supplying the fish. For example, the brutal situation of forced labor in the Thai fishing industry has been revealed in a recent New York Times report. A lawsuit has been filed by the consumers in the USA against Mars and Nestle for buying fish-based pet food from Thai Union Frozen Products that included slave labor and even human trafficking.

Experts suggest to lessen the amount of fish in pet food because pet parents feed so much fish protein to their pets when no enough fish is available in the world to give it to everyone in healthy amounts.

GMOs in Dog Food

Pet foods manufactured from animals fed on GMO are not needed to be labeled. A 2008 report by Soil Association stated that about 60% of the maize and 30% of the soy in the feed used by pig and dairy farmers is GM.

Shop from an ethically conscious pet supplies store to ensure that you are feeding GMO-free foods to your beloved pets.

organic dog food

Animal Testing

Another important factor for you to look into if you want to buy ethical products for your pets is animal testing. If you want to do something for the poor animals which are victimized by animal testing, make kinder choices while shopping.

Today reliable and approved non-animal tests are available and more than 8,000 ingredients are proven safe; so, animal testing is just unnecessary. Increasing number of companies have stopped animal testing and manufacturing safe and high quality products because of the increasing awareness of consumers. It has proven that consumers have the power to bring a difference to the way of companies (and even industries) of doing business and they could choose to buy products that will no longer cause any harm to animals. You can get such cruelty-free products at Key Pet Supplies.

feeding pig

Ethical Pet Food Alternatives

You can choose ethical pet food alternatives in two ways:

  1. Organic
  2. Vegetarian or vegan

Organic Meat and Poultry: Organic standard is an animal welfare standard in pet foods. Some organic standards even include prohibition of confinement practices, ensuring environmental enrichment, bedding, free access to shelter and shade, and specifying slaughter and stunning methods.

Organic animals:

  • Should be able to access fields
  • Should get ample space to reduce stress and diseases
  • Should be fed natural diet which is free from GMOs
  • Should be given drugs only to treat ailments, should not be given antibiotics routinely
  • Should not be produced from cloned animals

 

organic farm poultry

Vegetarian or Vegan: Dogs are omnivorous and so, don’t need meat because they get all the nutrition from non-animal foods. Some pet parents wonder if it’s unnatural to avoid giving meat to cats or dogs. However, you will need to give them whole mice or birds or allow them to hunt on their own if you plan to give them their most natural diet. Natural foods for dogs and cats are definitely not the cooked pigs, cows and lamb that are found in conventional food.

vegetarian food for dog

Pet parents who feed their dogs and cats vegan food find that their pets are extremely healthy and don’t put on weight even after spaying. So, if you have a doubt if your pet will not get the required nutrition from vegan or vegetarian food, you need not worry about that.

Key Pet Supplies is an ethically conscious pet shop that works with animal shelters and rescues. They have a range of products for all sorts of pets including cats, dogs, birds, fish, equine, livestock and more, all of which are ethical. Visit their site to choose some for you.