Today's Veterinary Practice

JAN-FEB 2013

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 85

Peer reviewed Novel Trends in Small Animal Nutrition A Practical Guide Justin Shmalberg, DVM, Diplomate ACVN utritional assessment is a cornerstone of veterinary wellness care, with recent guidelines encouraging a complete and thorough dietary evaluation for every patient.1 Practitioners now encounter a number of new trends and controversies in small animal nutrition. A recent market analysis suggests that natural and organic pet foods will exhibit significant growth in coming years.2 Major pet food manufacturers have responded by launching new products or redesigning entire lines of pet food. Therefore, a clinician's nutritional assessment requires: • Examination of owner choices • Review of the evidence for novel interventions • Specific recommendations for ensuring dietary adequacy. Preservative Changes The synthetic preservatives—ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT—were commonly added to commercial pet foods to prevent oxidative damage to polyunsaturated fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins.4 However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received a number of adverse event reports concerning these synthetic compounds, although such effects could not be replicated in laboratory studies at similar concentrations. Nevertheless, the increasing preference for natural diets has prompted the replacement of such compounds with natural alternatives, such as tocopherols, rosemary extract, and other antioxidants. Overview: COnCerns & COntrOversies Much of the controversy in veterinary nutrition centers on suitability of particular ingredients used in commercial pet foods. The 2 primary concerns are: 1. Artificial flavors or preservatives 2. Vagueness inherent in certain ingredient terms found on product labels. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (A AFCO), the organization that establishes nutritional standards for pet foods used by industry and state regulatory agencies, clearly defines some foods. Visit (Resources) to view a list of A AFCO definitions for common dietary ingredients in pet foods. By-Product Clarification A primary owner concern is lack of specificity concerning the definitions of: N 38 Today's Veterinary Practice January/February 2013 wHAt Are nAtUrAL Pet FOODs? Natural diets are defined as not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic.3 Vitamins and minerals are generally excluded from natural requirements when the packaging label reads: with added vitamins and minerals.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Today's Veterinary Practice - JAN-FEB 2013