Monday, July 11, 2011

Are There Hidden Proteins in Your Pet's Food?

Some dogs and cats develop sensitivities to certain proteins, requiring their pet parents to read the labels even more carefully. Nature’s Logic is often asked why there seems to be a source of chicken protein in all of our dry formulas (except for our dry beef formula). We thought we would address this topic a bit more thoroughly than the answer found in our Frequently Asked Questions.*

Hidden Protein Sources in Most Pet Food

You might be surprised to know that despite the fact that you may only see one protein source listed on an ingredient panel, there are actually very few commercial diets - if any - that do not contain proteins from a number of sources. Several possible ingredients could be the source of these different proteins. For example, “natural flavoring” is a very common ingredient found on most bags of dry pet food. So what is this natural flavoring? Most often it is a hydrolyzed form of dried or liquid chicken liver. But you won’t see this chicken protein listed on the ingredient panel of the pet food because it falls under “natural flavoring.”

Another hidden source of protein comes with the man-made minerals, proteinates, or amino acid complex minerals routinely added to most pet foods. The word proteinate or amino acid complex refers to a synthetically made mineral bound to a protein carrier.  The protein carriers attached to these synthetic forms of minerals consist of hydrolyzed soy. So while the pet food ingredients do not show soy protein, it’s there…as a carrier for an added mineral.

Not only do these ingredients add proteins not disclosed on the label of pet foods, they are also disguised forms of MSG. A hydrolyzed protein is one that's been broken down into its component amino acids, either by boiling in a strong acid, or by using an enzyme.This chemical breakdown of the protein results in the formation of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Most pet parents would not buy a food with MSG as an ingredient, but when it is added this way, the labels are not required to list MSG as an ingredient.

Finally, it is easy to overlook sources of protein that are not meat. Many foods from animal sources, such as cheese, whey, eggs, or fish, are excellent sources of quality protein. If you are limiting the number of proteins you feed your pet, don’t forget to look for dairy and other animal proteins.

Protein Sources in Nature's Logic

All of Nature's Logic's diets have one main protein source and no hidden ingredients. Other minor protein sources in the products, such as animal plasma and dairy products, are safe and natural ingredients. These ingredients add numerous natural food sources of essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients into our diets, treats, and supplements. By using only whole foods and 100% natural ingredients, our formulas provide all the nutrition cats and dogs need without adding the chemically-synthesized nutrients others put in their pet foods.

In addition, the flavoring on all our kibbles, except the beef formula, is spray-dried chicken liver. This is simply a powder made from liquefied, raw liver that has been rapidly dried by hot air. This process does not break down the protein, so no MSG is formed.

For those of you who have pets with a true sensitivity to chicken in any form, we recommend our beef kibble formula, which has no chicken of any kind. In addition to the beef kibble, our canine canned formulas that contain no chicken ingredients are: Beef, Lamb, Venison, or Sardine; and our feline canned Rabbit is chicken-free. We also make two raw diets that contain no chicken: Beef and Rabbit. For more information on Nature’s Logic 100% natural pet foods, please visit  


Do you select your pet’s food based upon the type of protein it contains?

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