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Tocopherol

This is the good stuff in your dogs food!

Tocopherols (part of the vitamin E family of compounds) are powerful antioxidants and are the most commonly used natural preservative in dog food. As antioxidants, tochopherols are able to slow down the spoilage of food by inhibiting the oxidisation that turns fats rancid. Their use is extremely widespread in the UK as it provides a convenient, healthy alternative to potentially harmful chemical preservatives.

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EC permitted additives

The EU has listed over 4000 artificial additives which may be added to foods and ‘EU permitted additives’ covers them all. Although many are harmless or even beneficial, it also includes chemical flavourings and colourings (many of which have been linked to behavioural problems and other health concerns) and artificial preservatives like BHA and BHT which have been identified as possible causes of cancer. For many nutritionists, ‘EU permitted additives’ is the number one ingredient to avoid. Nasty Stuff !!!!!

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Colourings

Think BAKERS!!!!!

As any parent will testify, certain foods can have a dramatic effect on a child’s behaviour. As early as the 1950’s, artificial colourings were being linked with behavioural issues amongst other health problems in people and several recent scientific trials have shown a clear link between food additives and ADD (attention deficit disorder) and hyperactivity in children. Unfortunately, the effects of these ingredients seem to be exactly the same for our dogs with reduced attention spans and hyperactivity regularly reported.
Common colourings found in dog foods include sunset yellow, tartrazine, ponceau 4r, patent blue V and titanium dioxide, although they may also be listed by their E numbers or simply as ‘colourings’. It is also worth mentioning that most studies indicate that dogs are largely colourblind so the only role of the colourings is to appeal to the owner and not to the dog.

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Artificial preservatives and antioxidants

A preservative is any ingredient added to a food to slow down spoilage. Antioxidants are an important branch of preservatives as they inhibit the oxidisation process which turns fats rancid. Both preservatives and antioxidants can come from natural sources (such as vitamin E and rosemary oil) or be artificially created. Here we will talk only about artificial preservatives and antioxidants.

Although artificial preservatives certainly work at slowing down decomposition, there are wide ranging concerns over their effects on health. Ethoxyquin (E324), for example, has been linked to the development of allergic reactions, skin disease, behaviour problems and far worse conditions. Likewise, the antioxidants BHA (E320) and BHT (E321) have long been suspected of contributing to cancer. Another common preservative, potassium sorbate (E202), is listed as a skin, eye and respiratory irritant.
Needless to say, while there is any uncertainty over their side effects, these ingredients are certainly best avoided.
If a food contains artificial preservatives or antioxidants it must be stated somewhere on the label. They may be listed in a number of ways and are not always easy to spot: ‘preservatives’; ‘EU permitted additives’; ‘BHA and BHT’; and ‘E320 and E321’ are all ways of listing the same preservatives. They may also not appear on the ingredients list at all but be found at the end of the typical analysis. If you want to be completely sure, look for foods that clearly state ‘no artificial preservatives’.

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Animal Derivatives

Meat and Animal Derivatives

According to European law, ‘meat and animal derivatives’ is defined as “All the fleshy parts of slaughtered warm-blooded land animals, fresh or preserved by appropriate treatment, and all products and derivatives of the processing of the carcase or parts of the carcase of warm-blooded land animals”.
Clearly this is very loose and does not provide any clues as to what parts or even what animals are being used.
It must be said that the presence of this ingredient is not necessarily a bad thing as it encompasses all meats, from the very best, to the very worst. For example, some producers of good foods use broad terms like this in order to not give away their ‘secret formula’ and some imported foods list very high quality meat as ‘meat and animal derivatives’ simply because the laws or customs in their home country are different. At the opposite end of the scale, the term can be used for very low-grade animal products including some that are nutritionally very poor. Also, because the species isn’t specified, manufacturers are able to change their meat source between batches depending on what is available at the time.
The problem with broad, vague terms like this is that you just don’t know. Where you do see it, make sure it states what animal it comes from, and ideally what parts of the animal. If your dog is prone to food intolerance, it is certainly wise to steer away from meat and animal derivatives and all other non-specific ingredients.

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Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Does your dog suffer from this? There have been clinical trials to try and establish what would be the best diet to feed, lower on fibre and grain/cereal free, not all dogs with the problem will benefit from this but studies undertaken are now showing that these foods could be beneficial Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency has a wealth of information. Simpsons sensitive range has been recommended in the fight against this condition.

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Trade Enquiries

I have recently been asked if we are able to provide trade prices for the pet trade market. We welcome any enquiries and believe that with all the changes in bag sizes with some premium companies , Arden Grange being one of the latest , we can still remain competitive with the 15kg bags. Please get in touch.