If your pet has food allergies or certain dietary restrictions, you’ve likely spent a good deal of time examining food labels to ensure no offending ingredients are present. But what if all your hard work was for naught? That seems to be the case for some un-named foods examined in a recent study by Chapman University.
The pet food study found that 16 out of 52 foods tested contained a meat ingredient that was not listed on the label. And, the meat that was listed on the label was not even detectable in 7 out of the 52 samples. The study noted that the majority of labels (31 of 52) contained correct information; however the university declined to name any of the pet food brands tested.
The study did determine that no horsemeat was present in any of the samples. So, what’s in there? Here’s the breakdown:
- 51 samples contained chicken
- 35 samples contained pork
- 34 samples contained beef
- 32 samples contained turkey
- 26 samples contained lamb
- 9 samples contained goat.
The study noted that pork was not mentioned on 7 out of 52 pet food labels, representing the “most common undeclared meat.” Meanwhile, the makers of 2 cat foods, 2 dog foods, and a dog treat claimed beef as an ingredient — but no beef was actually present in the sample. The study could not determine whether ingredient substitutions and omissions were accidental or intentional.
So what does this mean for pet owners? Most of us are not equipped with the sort of high-tech lab equipment needed to test our pet’s food. We’re left to research and trust the manufacturers.
But keep your eyes open. If your pet has been doing well on a particular brand, but seems to develop skin or intestinal disorders following the purchase of a new bag of the same brand of food, it could be due to a wayward undeclared ingredient.