# Written By: Susan Thixton The Truth About Pet Food

We have another study proving pet foods are often not what their labels claim they are. This time, alternative meat protein dog foods (venison) were tested. They found 75% included ingredients not listed on the label.

In the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, first published late last year, authors D. M. Raditic, R. L. Remillard, and K. C. Tater provides "ELISA testing for common food antigens in four dry dog foods used in dietary elimination trials." This study took a close look at four venison kibble dog foods for common food allergens (a venison dog food would be commonly recommended as an alternative diet for dogs suffering from food allergies). They found that three of the four dog foods tested - that did NOT have soy listed on the ingredient panel - tested positive for soy. One of the four venison dog foods tested positive for beef, yet no beef ingredient was listed on the ingredient panel.

Many times, veterinarians recommend an alternative meat protein diet such as venison to patients suffering from food allergies. In an attempt to diagnose the specific allergen, veterinarians often prescribe the pet to be put on a dietary elimination trial; eliminating specific allergic suspects such as chicken, beef, corn, wheat, and soy from the pets diet. "General practitioners, gastroenterologists and dermatologists use dietary elimination trials to diagnose food allergies in dogs. These trials are lengthy (4–13 weeks) and require a client’s strict adherence to the prescribed food."

"The pet owner may select OTC diets based on the name of the product, e.g. venison and sweet potato, which ensures nothing more than the product will contain at least 3% of those ingredients. Pet owners and veterinarians also make the assumption that if food proteins or isolates of a food protein are not named in the product ingredient list, then the product does not contain those food proteins and therefore, is a suitable diet to be used in a diagnostic elimination trial."

But what this study found, was that pet parents purchasing some venison dog foods are not getting what they paid for. "Three of the four over the counter (OTC) venison canine dry foods with no soy products named in the ingredient list were ELISA positive for soy; additionally one OTC diet tested positive for beef protein with no beef products listed as an ingredient list. One OTC venison diet was not found to be positive for soy, poultry or beef proteins."

When you read the full text of this study, it does allude to be in support of prescription pet foods. However, these scientists did not include brands of prescription pet foods in their study. To read the full study, click here.

Thanks to FreshFetch pet foods for sharing this study with us.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware

What's in Your Pet's Food?
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