Below is a list of chemical and synthetic additives commonly found in pet foods, supplements and treats.
Many have little or no nutritional value, others are of questionable safety and some have been linked to significant and sometimes serious ill-effects in pets.
All products containing these are in my opinion best avoided, particularly as much healthier, additive free alternatives exist.
Be aware that many pet foods, supplements and treats described as 100% ‘pure’ ‘natural’, ‘healthy’ ‘holistic’, ‘powered by Nature’, ‘naturally powered’, ‘wholesome’, ‘nutritious’ and ‘organic’ can still contain additives. Look closely and you will find that most do.
The use of these descriptive terms does NOT guarantee that a product is completely additive free, or made entirely from nutritious, natural ingredients.
Wherever you see ‘plus’ or ‘added’ vitamins… minerals… trace elements… amino acids’, these by and large do not come from whole foods and whole food extracts as intended by Nature, they are instead synthetic additives.
Products may state that they contain no artificial colourings, flavourings, or preservatives, but may still contain other additives, such as the synthetic ‘nutrients’ listed below, along with various fillers, binders, lubricants, glues and gelling agents etc.
As a general rule of thumb, individually named ‘nutrients’ are synthetic, as are those with chemical names.
There is only one way to determine if a product is as good as you want it to be for your pet – and that’s to scrutinise the additives on a label carefully.
- Titanium oxide
Fillers (Bulking Agents)
(These are indigestible to dogs and cats, and so go in one end and out the other.)
- Cellulose (plant cell walls)
- Silica (mainly found in rocks and sand)
- Silicon dioxide (mainly found in rocks and sand)
- Microcrystalline cellulose (plant cell walls)
- Cassia Gum
- Magnesium stearate
- Stearic acid
- Butylated hydroxyanilose (BHA)
- Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Calcium Propionate
- Sodium benzoate (can convert to benzene, a known carcinogen)
Synthetic Amino Acids
- Lysine Hydrochloride
Synthetic Minerals And Trace Elements
- Basic Cobaltous Carbonate Monohydrate
- Calcium Carbonate
- Calcium Iodate Anhydrous
- Cupric Chelate of Amino Acids Hydrate
- Cupric Sulphate Pentahydrate
- Calcium Pantothenate
- Ferrous Chelate of Amino Acids Hydrate
- Ferrous Sulphate Monohydrate
- Iron Sulfate
- Manganese Chelate of Amino Acids Hydrate
- Manganese Oxide
- Manganous Sulphate Monohydrate
- Monodicalcium Phosphate
- Potassium Chloride
- Potassium Iodide
- Sodium Chloride
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate
- Sodium Selenite
- Zinc Chelate of Amino Acids Hydrate
- Zinc Oxide
- Zinc Sulphate Monohydrate
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin A (as retinyl acetate)
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin C Monophosphate
- Vitamin D3 Supplement
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)
- Vitamin E (as alpha tocopherol acetate)
- Vitamin K
- Chondrotin from battery chickens or sharks
The safest, healthiest and most nutritious raw food for dogs comes from animals passed as fit for human consumption.
And so our raw food is made entirely from human food grade ingredients, in a Defra approved processing plant, in accordance with strict hygiene regulations.
This includes regular microbiological screening for the presence of harmful bacteria.
This ensures that our raw food is of the highest possible quality and is as safe and nutritious as it can be for your dog or cat.
The whole point of feeding RAW food is to promote the best of health.
This means giving high quality, biologically appropriate food, which is as pure, as naturally nutritious and as rich in health-promoting nutrients as possible.
And that’s why our raw food contains NO additives whatsoever.
This is not the case for all raw foods for dogs and cats however.
Many contain ‘added vitamins’ which are not derived from natural sources, but are synthetically made in large manufacturing plants.
The same is true for ‘added minerals and trace elements’ most of which are industrial salts, many of which are produced by the action of acids on rocks.
We believe that these nutritionally poor and potentially harmful additives have no place in raw food for dogs and cats.
For more information on the additives used and how to avoid them, see our handy checklist above.
1. THEY ARE INDIGESTIBLE
Dogs and cats lack the digestive enzyme cellulase, which is necessary to break down plant cell walls to release the nutrients they contain.
Because of this vegetables, fruits and grains eaten by your pet go in one end and pass out the other largely unchanged - unless fed cooked and mashed or pureed and raw. Even then they provide little in the way of healthy nutrients, as will be explained.
2. THEY ARE A POOR SOURCE OF NOURISHMENT
Vegetables and fruits today provide a fraction of the nutrients they used to 100 years ago (around 20% or a fifth).
Three factors have led to this sad state of affairs:
(i) Soil depletion
Modern agricultural practices are geared towards producing large amounts of food as quickly as possible. The consequent overuse of arable land has resulted in an astonishing 72% fall in the mineral content of soil in the last 100 years.
(ii) Chemical fertiliser use
Heavy applications of nitrogenous fertilisers lower the uptake of calcium, magnesium phosphorus and other elements by plants, further depleting already nutritionally impoverished crops.
(iii) Larger and more rapidly growing varieties
Vegetables and fruits today are much bigger and mature faster than 'old' varieties. This dilutes nutrient levels even more.
The combination of soil depletion, PLUS chemical fertiliser use AND the selection of much larger and faster growing crops is why, compared to far richer and healthier alternatives, vegetables and fruits are a poor source of nourishment.
3. MANY CONTAIN TOXIC CHEMICALS
A large proportion of non-organic crops contain toxic herbicide and pesticide residues.
See the table below.
4. ALLERGENS AND IRRITANTS
More and more dogs and cats are becoming hypersensitive to allergens in vegetables, fruits and grains.
For this reason if any of these are given, they should be organic and added to the diet one at a time to make sure (preferably over the course of a week or more) that they don't trigger skin itching / reactions, bowel problems or any other ill-effects on health.
The more of these there are in the diet, the greater the risk of associated skin, bowel and other health problems.
Most vegetables, fruits and grains are indigestible; a poor source of nourishment; chemically contaminated and allergenic.
And this is why they're not included in any of our raw food.
A BETTER ALTERNATIVE
A far healthier and more effective way of boosting the nutrient content of a diet, with none of the drawbacks of giving vegetables and fruits, is to add Vince the Vet Superfood Vitality.
A combination of two of the world's richest, organic whole foods, over 90% of the natural, biologically active nutrients it contains are absorbed by the body within 2 to 3 hours of feeding.
And this includes an exceptional array of amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins. minerals, trace elements, enzymes and many other nutrients missing from ordinary food.
The beneficial effect of this on health is often seen within the space of a few weeks.
See product pages for details.
Yes, and has been for 34 years!
If you would like to learn more about Vince the Vet® take a look at ‘About Us’.
For most pets the answer is no - as long as they are introduced gradually to give the bowels time to adapt, in accordance with the guidelines on the label.
If at any point during this process the stools become soft (which many happen in pets with sensitive bowels, or if the body begins to detoxify), simply reduce the amount given until they're well formed once more, before increasing little by little each day again until the suggested amount is being given.
We recommend that you give a new supplement for at least 4 weeks before gauging the effect.
This allows enough time for the benefits to be clearly seen.
We don't provide our supplements in tablet or capsule form because this would require the addition of chemical binders / glues and lubricants.
And as our aim is to supply the healthiest and most nutritious, nutritional supplements possible, we refuse to adulterate them with additives that are potentially harmful to health.
That's why for us, powders are perfect.
It's true that all our supplements contain only 100%, premium quality, pure, natural and whenever possible organic, human food grade ingredients.
However, as our products are designed for dogs and cats, they conform only to those regulations required for the production and marketing of supplements to pets.
We cannot advise that you take Vince The Vet
® Superfood supplements yourself therefore - even though we do so ourselves!
To keep costs low while maintaining the highest standards of service, we offer the most competitive shipping options we can find.
More details can be found on our Delivery and Returns page.
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