Raw Pet Food

A forum for raw-feeding families to chat, discuss, and learn!

    Anyone have any "proof" that canned dog/cat food is actually complete?


    Posts : 400
    Join date : 2009-02-15
    Location : London, Ontario

    Anyone have any "proof" that canned dog/cat food is actually complete?

    Post  Kelly on Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:11 pm

    Other than common sense, I am in a debate about whether or not canned food is 'appropriate' and 'complete'.

    The other side is saying that canned dog food is mostly water (which I agree with), BUT, they are saying that the canned food "has no nutritional benefit what so ever".

    I -know- this is false, it's common sense that canned = kibble w/less filler/starches.

    They are pulling out the "I am a vet tech! I know more!" card, asking for "proof". Other than the fact that they wouldn't sell/recommend canned if it was going to kill pets to eat it, I need proof (I have already suggested that they read the labels and was ignored).

    "Can food is nothing but water and if you are in contact with a nutritionalist that specializes in dog food you would know that... Please explain to me what benefits dogs get from canned food other than coaxing them to eat?? I am all ears as I have studied this with a dog nutritionalist that I can get to join here to tell his side"

    (Also, I am fully aware this person may be reading this thread, so please try and be nice in your responses, and hey! If I'm wrong, so be it, I will admit defeat!)


    Posts : 23
    Join date : 2009-02-15
    Location : Northern CA

    Mainly info for cats

    Post  chris10 on Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:19 am

    The water is one of the most important parts of can food. Its hard to deny that cats are obligate carnivores. And that they have survived off of prey long before commercial food came out. It came out some 80 years ago. We know that their urine is concentrated. Why is that? Could it be that they actually descended from african desert wildcats. Not hard to prove since all you have to look at is their scientific classifications. These desert cats were living in a place where water is scarce so they try to utilize and save as much fluid as they can. To me its hard to rule out the possibility of our domesticated carnivores coming from and is essentially biologically the same as their ancestors.

    When we look at prey we see it consists on average 65-75% moisture. So we will just say 70%. Dry food is on average 10% moisture. Canned food is on average 70% moisture. Most of us on here feel that prey is the perfect diet for cats. So we will try to feed a diet that closely matches prey as much as we can. That means having a diet that has 70% moisture. Pretty much rules out dry food. The only way dry food can fit the bill is if the cat drinks water along with it. An example would be for every half a cup of dry food a cat would need to drink 5oz of water. Pretty hard for an animal who doesn't have that drive to dink. Is this low moisture intake, when fed dry food, causing some major problems in the cat world. Can't say for sure but crystals seem to be a huge one. You will see in this site http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1372&aid=2729 some conventional western vets mention the importance of water.

    Can food is nutritionally complete. Or they would be able to advertise it and sell it. Only a few companies have wet food that isn't complete and they state it on the can. We can argue a little bit about dry food. Dry food contains on average about 30-50 carbohydrates. Carbs are suppose to be a good energy source, at least thats what all the companies say. But are cats designed to consume carbs? When looking at a cats natural prey we know that it can contain, on a good day, about 3-5% carbohydrates. I feel there are some biological hints that cats figured this out as they evolved. One they lack salivary amylase (enzyme needed to process carbs) we possess salivary amylase. Their pancreas only produces a small amount of amylase. Pancreas also produces trypsin, chymotrypsin, and lipase. Both trypsins handle protiens and lipase handles fats (bile also breaks down fat). So we have two things handling proteins, two things handling fats, and one small thing handling starches. Starches can be digested but there is another thing thats not in its favor. Cats only have a 12 hour digestion cycle. Some starches take longer than that. There is a debate on how much starch is digested. Some say about 90% can be digested. I am not sure were they are taking that measurement from. After the small intestine or after the large intestine? If the undigested carbs reach the large then i am pretty sure the bacteria takes care of the rest of the carbs. So not really a complete digestion if we look at what the cats body can accomplish leaving out the bacteria. The bacteria can provide some b vitamins after processing carbs.

    Another question we can raise is why cats are becoming obese. I think the general vet consensus is too much food and not enough exercise. Which is true. But do carbs play a role. Dry food contains fats and carbs. Fats are energy sources and also provide the AAFCO recommended omega 6's. Carbs are energy sources and are imo cheap fillers/protien/energy sources. So we have a lot of energy in dry food. I feel fat gets processed faster. But what happens is when the first energy gets processed it is stored in the short term energy storage, located in the muscles. If and when the next round of energy comes around the body goes to the short term to see whats going on. If its full then it has to put the energy into the long term energy storage, fat. Another interesting thing is that the Merrick veterinary handbook, a staple for most vet offices, states that cats appear to have no biological need for carbs. Here is link to same site above about there view on carbs http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2244&aid=2641 Again I feel these docs are very conventional.

    To go along with the merrick comment if we look at the current AAFCO cat nutrient minimum recommendations. With a little research, we can find every nutrient they recommend in meat, fat, bones, and organs. Not saying that the AAFCO recommendations are exact but while cats imo are not thriving off of the min recommendations they have been surviving off of them.

    This seems to be some staple reading for people who are interested in nutrition http://www.catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf

    Some of this stuff you probably already know. Just wrote it out because its routine for me when talking to other people about food. There is still other things like diabetes and teeth problems. But thats a lot more writing. And we really can't make a solid connection to dry food. Just a fuzzy picture

    Its late for me, 4am Sleep. So thats all I can think of for right know. If i can think of anything else i'll let you know. I think your vet tech needs to also state his/her case on the benefits of dry food (including the nutritional benefits of carbs) and the possible problems wet food has. While taking in account the anatomy of a cat. Just because you pull certain cards out doesn't mean your an expert or more knowledgeable on it than the next person. I am no where near an expert on feline nutrition but I like to think that I can provide a good argument for pros and cons of certain diets. And not just say that I have studied feline nutrition and anatomy for about 11 months and what I say goes if you can't show proof. I hope that doesn't sound harsh.

    So to me the proof is on the can. I would like to hear a good argument stating that can food is not complete. And why the AAFCO is lying to us (I am pretty sure dry food is cheaper to produce, vets and humane society's will get free dry food to promote the brand).

      Current date/time is Sun May 27, 2018 1:14 am