“Critical to Convince Pet Owners to Comply” with Veterinarian Pet Food Recommendations – Truth about Pet Food

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has recently announced a certification course regarding “Canine and Feline Nutrition Guidelines”. Quoting their course description page (bold added for emphasis): “Implementing a team-based approach to feline and canine nutrition and weight management is essential to proactively address potential health complications resulting from a poor or inadequate diet. It’s also critical to (empathetically) convince sometimes reluctant pet owners to comply with your team’s recommendations.

Why would it be “critical” to “convince” a pet owner to comply with a veterinarian’s pet food recommendation?

Perhaps it is because the AAHA pet food course “is generously supported by a grant from ​Purina Pro Plan.

Or perhaps it is critical to convince a pet owner to comply with a veterinarian’s pet food recommendation because the Nutrition Course guidelines were “supported by generous educational grants from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets, and Royal Canin®.”

The AAHA pet food course for veterinarians and staff discusses “a team approach” to convince reluctant pet owners to accept pet food recommendations. In other words, pet owners will be pitched by multiple veterinary staff members.

It makes one wonder if any of the veterinary staff or the veterinarian convincing pet owners to comply understand the difference between human grade pet food and feed grade pet food? Or if anyone is aware that FDA openly allows feed grade pet foods – such as those manufactured by Purina, Hill’s and Royal Canin (Mars) – to source meats from diseased animals and animals that died other than by slaughter?

We can safely assume the Purina, Hills and Royal Canin nutritional training DID NOT include that information.

So…if you get ‘the pitch’…here are some questions you can ask the veterinary staff to see just how much they know about the pet food they are recommending:

Is the pet food you are recommending human grade or feed grade?
What is the country of origin of all ingredients including supplements?
Does the pet food include rendered ingredients? If yes, does the pet food provide any verification the rendered ingredients contain no diseased animals, animals that died other than by slaughter, or condemned animals/animal parts?

When you get ‘the deer in the headlights look’, you can tell them that AAFCO defined the terms feed grade and human grade in 2016. Feed grade ingredients are allowed by legal definition to include adulterated ingredients (such as meats or fats sourced from diseased, non-slaughtered, and/or condemned animal carcasses or carcass parts). A human grade pet food means all ingredients and supplements are human edible and the pet food is manufactured per human food safety standards.

You can tell them the FDA openly states they will allow through enforcement discretion pet foods to source meat and fat ingredients from condemned, diseased, or non-slaughtered decomposing animals with no warning or disclosure to pet owners.

And you can “empathetically” tell the veterinary staff you would never feed your pet a product that contains condemned, diseased or non-slaughtered decomposing animal material – or any other waste ingredient. Tell them when they can make a recommendation of a human grade ingredient pet food, you would be happy to hear more about the brand.

Wishing you and your pet the best –

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Association for Truth in Pet Food

Become a member of our pet food consumer Association. Association for Truth in Pet Food is a a stakeholder organization representing the voice of pet food consumers at AAFCO and with FDA. Your membership helps representatives attend meetings and voice consumer concerns with regulatory authorities. Click Here to learn more.

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An oral gavage of lysine elicited early satiation while gavages of lysine, leucine, or isoleucine prolonged satiety in pigs

Excess dietary amino acids (AA) may negatively affect feed intake in pigs. Previous results showed that Lys, Leu, Ile, Phe and Glu significantly increased gut peptide secretion (i.e., cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1). However, the link between dietary AA and gut peptide secretion with changes in feeding behaviour patterns has not been demonstrated to date in pigs. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of Lys, Leu, Ile, Phe and Glu, on feed intake and meal patterns in young pigs. Twelve male pigs (Landrace x Large White, body weight = 16.10 ± 2.69 kg) were administered an oral gavage of water (control) or Lys, Leu, Ile, Phe, Glu, or glucose (positive control) at 3 mmol.kg -1 following an overnight fasting. The experiment consisted in measuring individual feed disappearance and changes in meal pattern (including latency to first meal, first meal duration, inter-meal interval, second meal duration and number of meals) based on video footage. Compared to the control group Lys significantly (P ≤ 0.01) reduced feed intake during the first 30 min and up to 2.5 h post-gavage including a reduction (P ≤ 0.05) in the first meal duration. Similarly, Leu and Ile also significantly decreased feed intake up to three h post-gavage on a cumulative count. However, the strongest (P ≤ 0.01) impacts on feed intake by the two branched chained AA were observed after the first or second h post-gavage for Leu or Ile, respectively. In addition, Leu or Ile did not affect the first meal duration (P ≥ 0.05). Leu significantly increased (P ≤ 0.01) the inter-meal interval while decreasing (P ≤ 0.05) the number of meals during the initial 2 h following the gavage when compared to the control group. In contrast, the oral gavages of Phe or Glu had no significant impact (P > 0.05) on the feeding behaviour parameters measured relative to the control pigs. In turn, glucose had a short-lived effect on appetite by reducing (P < 0.05) feed intake for 30 min after the first h post-gavage. In conclusion, the impact of an oral gavage of Lys on feeding behaviour is compatible with a stimulation of early satiation and an increased duration of satiety. The main impact of the oral gavages of Leu and Ile was an increase of the duration of satiety. The gastrointestinal mechanisms associated with non-bound dietary AA sensing and the impact on voluntary feed intake warrant further investigations.


amino acid; feed intake; meal pattern; pig; satiation; satiety.

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