Tip of the Week
In the United States, 62 million households have at least one pet, including 83 million dogs and 95 million cats. That’s a lot of people who love their pets, and one of the key aspects of caring for a furry family member is providing the right nutrition. Unfortunately, with so many pet foods available, labels and claims can quickly get confusing.
“Pet parents want the best for their pets, which is why cat and dog food makers try to position their pet food as the ideal nutritional option,” says Dr. Ellen I. Lowery, associate director of U.S. Veterinary and Professional Affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “But not all claims are equal, and pet parents may find it difficult to interpret the quality of a pet food based on the package. Understanding some pet food label requirements can help pet parents make informed decisions about the best food to feed their pets.”
Looking for three key things can help you find a quality pet food so you can feel confident that your cat or dog is getting the proper nutrition they need to live a long, healthy life.
1. Clinically proven: Pet owners should look for pet foods with clinically proven claims. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission control use of the term “clinically proven.” This means the claims are backed by science and research and your pet will see a real benefit from the food. Pet owners should look for brands that rely on critical nutrition.
2. Made in the U.S.A.: When shopping for pet food, always check where the food is manufactured. Those foods that are manufactured in the United States are sounder choices. Foods made in the U.S. are typically regulated at a higher level than those made overseas and owners can feel confident that the quality is higher for domestic products.
3. Manufacturer’s name and contact information: Under AAFCO regulations, brands are required to include the manufacturer’s name and contact information. Pet owners should also look for food labels that include a 1-800 number for more in-depth information. The number allows pet owners to reach out to brands specifically regarding questions on the food and its ingredients. This contact information demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing the healthiest choice for your pet and it shows they are open to your feedback and questions.
Family Movie Night
“Planes: Fire and Rescue”
Length: 83 minutes
Synopsis: When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, a bunch of all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. — Walt Disney
Violence/scary rating: 2
Sexual-content rating: 1
Profanity rating: 1.5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 1.5
Family Time rating: 2. A true family-friendly film.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“Journey,” by Aaron Becker
Synopsis: A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all. - Candlewick
Did You Know
According to a study in the Journal of Human Lactation, mothers who returned to work part-time after having a baby were more likely to meet their breastfeeding goals than mothers who returned to work full time.
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Family Time: Decoding pet food claims
Tip of the Week