Congratulations to our winner, Elena! I hope your pet loves the food!
I spend a lot of time reading pet food labels. I usually have to shoo off at least three well meaning but unhelpful store employees every time I’m at the store. Sometimes I’m reading to make sure it’s a good choice for Brody and Koa, and sometimes I just pick up a bag of cheapie food to remind myself of the crummy stuff that’s out there.
I know I’m not alone in this- it seems like every time I go into the store, from a pet food boutique to a big-box super center, the pet food section is devoting an increasing amount of space to premium foods. Fortunately for us, pet food manufacturers are also taking note of this trend and coming up with lines that appeal to the more particular buyers out there.
This week, Iams launched 2 new products in its Healthy Natural Line: Sensitive Naturals and Simple and Natural. To get a little more information on the new products, I conducted an e-mail interview with Dr. Marcie Campion, a nutritionist at Iams. And for one winner I have a 25 pound bag of either formula to give away.
A: IAMS Sensitive Naturals is perfect for dogs with ingredient sensitivities and avoids common ingredients that can cause itching and scratching – which we know isn’t fun for you or your furry friends!
IAMS Simple & Natural is made for dogs for 100% nutrition and contains no fillers. The number one ingredient in the new Sensitive Naturals recipe is ocean fish and Simple & Natural has real chicken as the number one ingredient. Neither of the new recipes contain corn, wheat, soy or meat by-products.*
*Official Feed Term, AAFCO
Q: Who is the target dog for these products?
A: IAMS Sensitive Naturals is ideal for dogs with ingredient sensitivities. We also know that some dog owners prefer a food that’s made simply, so IAMS Simple & Natural has real chicken as the number one ingredient.
Q: What are the sources of the ingredients in these diets? Do any of them come from China?
A: No, all of our ingredients for these recipes are sourced in North America (none are from China).
Q: Are these diets appropriate for pets of any age?
A: IAMS Simple & Natural and IAMS Sensitive Naturals recipes are made for adult dogs. Our Healthy Naturals are made in different recipes including one for puppies, two for adults (chicken and lamb meal) and weight control. Healthy Naturals also comes in three cat recipes, two adult (chicken and Atlantic salmon) and one weight control.
Q: What is/are the biggest misconception(s) you hear from people regarding commercial pet food? Anything in particular that you, as a veterinary nutritionist, would like to clear up?
I think the topic of animal testing is a huge misconception. While there are various types of tests to ensure a balanced nutritional diet, which all depends on the dogs size, age and breed. It’s important to note that our tests primarily consist of taste-testing and we restrict the types of studies we conduct to only those acceptable to human volunteers. This means no invasive or terminal studies are permitted.
Q: Would you recommend either of these for pets whose owner suspects food allergies? How do you differentiate an ingredient sensitivity from a food allergy?*
A: Well, only your vet can determine if your pet has food allergies. Many allergic reactions, such as excessive itching and scratching, can possibly be caused by sensitivities to certain ingredients. If it turns out they have sensitivities to certain ingredients, IAMS Sensitive Naturals could be great for them. But, again, only your vet can determine exactly what is best for your pet.
*My doctorly interjection: I asked that question to get across the point that dietary intolerances and sensitivities are often confused with food allergies, which should be diagnosed by a veterinarian. While these products have a good ingredient profile, they don’t fit the definition of a single source novel protein or hypoallergenic diet, which would be the diets of choice for a truly food allergic pet.
Iams is providing a coupon for a 25 pound bag of either Iams Sensitive Naturals or Iams Simple and Natural for one lucky winner. You won’t be getting a bag in the mail, just the coupon, so as long as you live somewhere where this is in stores you can participate in the contest.
There are cat foods in the Naturals line, but the two featured here in the giveaway are dog food only. But hey, you all got the Wellness giveaway last week, so it all balances out.
Deadline: 11:59 PM PST July 19, 2011.
As an Iams representative, Spike isn’t eligible for the giveaway- sorry dude! But the rest of you are!