It seems that every pet food company out there is telling you that their product is the healthiest thing that you can feed to a pet.
Obviously they can’t all be right. Everyone has different views on nutrition, many of which can be backed up by something that sounds close to science (but often isn’t).
So how can you know what is healthy? Pooch & Mutt suggests that you look at the people behind the food, and they've put their theory into practice.
Over the past four weeks Pooch & Mutt’s founder Guy Blaskey has completed two Olympic Distance Triathlons, one Obstacle Race and finished with the inaugural Ironman 70.3 in Staffordshire (a 1.25 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and half marathon). Other members of the Pooch & Mutt team competed with him on some of the events.
Guy Blaskey says: “It is important that we don’t just talk the talk when it comes to health, we walk the walk and more. The basic principles of health are the same, whether we are talking about dogs or humans. There are no overweight wild animals. Dog obesity is a problem caused by humans. I attend shows where I speak about both human and pet health and nutrition. I see other pet food companies out there selling their ‘healthy’ food and both trade and the public speaking a lot of nonsense about nutrition. The disconnect between what people say and how they act astounds me. I have been questioned about the omega 3 source in one of our products by someone eating a McDonalds.”
Guy argues that to create a healthy pet food, the person behind that food should have a good understanding of health and nutrition, and anyone with that understanding should be healthy themselves. This makes sense; we wouldn’t accept advice about our own health and nutrition from someone who didn’t look fit and healthy, so why would we accept this for our pets?
The CANF (Condition Appropriate Nutrient Feeding) behind the Pooch & Mutt food range is partially built on Guy’s nutritional knowledge developed training for these kind of events. As Guy explains, “Although we often look at food as an indulgence, or part of a habit, we should look at food as fuel for our bodies. Our food provides the nutrients and energy that we need to perform what we want to perform. To a certain degree most people understand that they will need to consume different fuel (food) if they are running 30-50 miles a week training for a marathon than if they are not. This is not just the amount of fuel/food, but also the type. The same is true of our dogs, different life conditions have different fuel/food/nutrient requirements, and that it the basis of the CANF approach”.
Obviously not all food for either humans or pets is healthy, or is even designed to be healthy. Research recently released by Direct Line shows that a single Bonio treat has the equivalent calorific load as a Chunky Kit Kat. Kit Kats are not marketed as healthy. Some pet food and treats are supposed to be an indulgence. These are all fine in moderation. However, with people becoming increasingly aware of the health problems caused by bad diets, we can do a lot worse than look to people living an actively healthy life to advise on the healthy choice for our pets.