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Health & nutrition

Veterinarian Recommended

What does “Veterinarian (or Vet) recommended” mean

As pet parents, we want the best for our furry companions. Given our respect for the professional opinion of veterinarians, it is natural to be drawn to diets that carry the “veterinarian recommended” claim. But what does this claim actually mean? According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a brand can make this claim if they have conducted a statistically sound survey of at least 300 veterinarians, and a significant number of the veterinarians surveyed must recommend the product. At Wellness, our priorities include the best pet food ingredients that correspond with a vet recommended diet, as well as following guidelines set by the AAFCO.

We diligently research and share experiences to determine the comfiest beds, the groomer that delivers the finest haircuts, and which toys are the most fun. Among these decisions, choosing the right pet food stands as one of the most important. However, the vast selection of pet food options available today often leaves us feeling overwhelmed. Labels and advertising only add to the confusion, as every brand claims to offer the ideal diet or a unique way of feeding our pets. With the abundance of puppy food and kitten food options available in the market today, it’s no wonder we often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed. Veterinarians, the experts in animal health, can help with our quest for clarity. They can help us cut through the noise and focus on the essentials when selecting the optimal food for our pets.

How do veterinarians choose pet food?

The World Small Animal Veterinary Alliance (WSAVA), a global community of more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide, has put together a set of guidelines to help pet parents select the best AAFCO approved pet food for their dog or cat. Here are some of the essential things to look for in a pet food from a veterinary perspective:

Who formulates the diet/Does the pet food company employ a qualified nutritionist(s)?

Ensuring that pets receive proper nutrition throughout their lives is of utmost importance, as they primarily rely on just a handful of diets to meet their nutritional needs. Therefore, it is important for these diets to be meticulously designed and continuously monitored by qualified professionals. A qualified formulator possessing a degree (MS/PhD) in food science or animal nutrition, brings essential expertise to the table. Their extensive knowledge of raw materials and processing ensures that diets are purposefully formulated, whether it be for adult maintenance, kitten or puppy growth, or other specific needs such as digestive health. Collaborating with qualified nutritionists is equally vital for brands. These nutritionists may be veterinary nutritionists with credentials such as Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (formerly ACVN, now ACVIM (Nutrition)) or the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ECVCN), or PhD animal nutritionists. They work alongside the formulators to ensure appropriate nutrient profiles and functional ingredients, particularly for diets with therapeutic purposes.

What is the quality control process for ingredients and finished products?

It is important for a pet food brand to have a good quality control process for ingredients, production, and finished products. Ingredients must meet precise specifications that align with the formulation, which necessitates due diligence from both the brand and the supplier during the procurement process. We use only the finest ingredients that will promote your pet’s wellbeing, maintain their energy and help them glow with a sense of overall health. Artificial flavors, preservatives and other chemicals are never included in our foods. Instead, we select a small number of authentic ingredients that are brimming with the nutrients your pet needs to thrive. Our ingredient selection process is rigid, uncompromising and detailed. We believe in food that is safe. We believe in food you can trust. Our passion is to provide uncompromising nutrition to the pets who depend on us. This means we choose only the most respectable, trust-worthy suppliers who can deliver superior ingredients. We scrutinize every supplier and test every ingredient to make sure it is the best it can be.

What kind of product research or nutrition studies have been conducted? Is it published in peer reviewed journals?

While it is not necessary for food companies to conduct research on their diets, it is commendable. Performing research like digestibility and efficacy studies to ensure that the diets perform at the highest level shows the brand’s dedication to their products. It also contributes knowledge to the field of animal nutrition, which can benefit all pets.

At the Wellness Pet Company we believe feeding experiences should be enjoyable, all the while delivering optimal nutrition. That’s why each pet food we make meets federal (FDA) and state regulatory standards before it gets anywhere near your pet’s bowl. At Wellness we see industry standards as just a starting place. Not only do all our dog and cat complete and balanced products meet these standards- but also most of them go beyond them, voluntarily following the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) guidelines, which encourage pet food companies to conduct feeding trials to ensure their foods result in positive outcomes for pets. We do all of this for Wellness Complete and Balanced dry recipes to provide optimal nourishment for pets and to assure pet parents that they are feeding the highest quality nutrition to their pet.

First-Hand Clinical Experience

Veterinarians have valuable first-hand experience in observing the effects of different pet food brands on a wide range of animals. This knowledge allows them to offer a clinical perspective and recommend brands that support the 5 Signs of Wellbeing™ in pets. This means that veterinarians will look for diets that provide the pet with optimal energy to support healthy play and activity. It should be highly digestible and provide ingredients to support healthy digestion and stools. The pet’s coat should be full and shiny from the essential fatty acids that the diet provides. The diet should have the right amount and ratios of minerals to support healthy bone and teeth. High levels of bioavailable antioxidants should be available to support the immune system.

What does “Veterinarian (or Vet) recommended” mean?

Given our respect for the professional opinion of veterinarians, it is natural to be drawn to diets that carry the “veterinarian recommended” claim. But what does this claim actually mean? According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a brand can make this claim if they have conducted a statistically sound survey of at least 300 veterinarians, and a significant number of the veterinarians surveyed must recommend the product.

Wellness® checks all the boxes

When it comes to a “veterinarian-recommended” pet food brand, Wellness stands out as an excellent example. Wellness’ complete and balanced products for cats and dogs meet the criteria that veterinarians look for in a pet food brand. Does your dog prefer dry food? Try our Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato recipe. And for dogs who love wet food, our Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Sweet Potato flavor will have them licking their chops! Cat lovers, we’ve got you covered! For your dry food loving kitty, try our Wellness Complete Health Indoor with Wholesome Grains Dry Cat Food. And if your cat loves wet food, try our Wellness Core Pate Turkey & Chicken Liver Wet Cat Food.

Wellness formulates and produces their diets adhering to the highest food safety standards. They employ expert formulators and animal nutritionists who ensure that the diets are backed by scientific research and formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of dogs and cats. Additionally, Wellness conducts AAFCO feeding trials and invests in additional research to ensure that pets thrive on the diets. Digestive issues can be a serious threat to our pets’ overall health. If your furry friend has tummy troubles, try our Wellness CORE Digestive Health for dogs and our Wellness Complete Health Age and Advantage for cats. Nutrient profiles are available to the public, which allows pet parents and veterinarians to make informed decisions when selecting a product. Vets recommend Wellness too! In a nationwide survey of US veterinarians conducted by an independent research agency, 4 out of 5 vets recommend Wellness.

Whether you are looking for a new food for your pet, or wondering if the current brand is good, it is a good idea to consult with your veterinarian for their opinion. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate the diet by seeing how your pet is doing, and how the brand compares to the criteria that the WSAVA guidelines set.

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