The natural food trend appears to be going to the dogs and cats as a means to provide a healthier lifestyle for pets.
According to a recent Greenfield Online study more than half (56.2%) of San Franciscans feed their pet natural foods. Interestingly, 44% of these pet owners began feeding natural foods to their cat or dog in the past year.
But when it comes to pet food, natural doesn’t always mean healthy. This is probably a shock to the 94% of San Franciscans who believe natural foods are somewhat or very healthy.
In fact, 90% of San Franciscans who feed a natural pet food believe that the ingredients are an indicator that a natural pet food is healthy. While natural products may contain better ingredients such as real chicken and vegetables, many aren’t nutritionally balanced. Excess nutrients can lead to serious health conditions for pets including kidney, urinary and digestive disease.
Do San Franciscans Really Know What’s in the Bag? And assuming the San Francisco Survey figures can be extrapolated to apply to the whole country … does ANYONE really know what’s in the bag?
** 74% of San Franciscans say they read the nutritional label before buying pet food.
** 66% of those people believe they have an excellent or very good understanding of the nutritional label. Yet only 8% of cat owners and 5% of dog owners knew the proper calcium levels their pets should consume on a daily basis.
** In addition, 58% of dog owners and 66% of cat owners who read the nutritional label did not know the proper level of sodium their pets should consume on a daily basis.
In other words, although many pet owners appear to be going through the motions of reading labels on the food they buy for their pets … they REALLY need to learn how to interpret what they’re reading so they can make BETTER food choices.
“Natural” does not always mean “healthy,” although some of the pet food companies sure seem to be trying to make us believe that it is. Be careful! /Gary