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WSAVA’s Recommendations On Picking A Dog Food

When it comes to selecting your dog’s food the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has some advice. Here’s how Front of the Pack stacks up.

By Dr. Jamie Peyton, DVM, DACVECC, CVA, CVC, CCRT DVM, DACVECC

To help owners pick the right food for their dogs, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) published a set of questions to ask yourself. Below are the WSAVA questions and Front of the Pack’s answers.

A. The Manufacturer’s Name and Contact Information

FOTP US INC

6060 Center Drive,

Ste 69, Fl 10,

Los Angeles, CA 90045

Email us at hello@fotp.com

Call us: 323-922-5737 9am - 5pm PT, Mon - Fri

This allows a member of the veterinary team or the pet owner to contact the manufacturer to ask the following questions:

1. Do you employ a full time qualified nutritionist?
Appropriate qualifications are either a PhD in animal nutrition or board-certification by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) or the European College of Veterinary Comparative Nutrition (ECVCN). What is this nutritionist’s name and qualifications?
Dr. Gregory D. Sunvold, PhD (PhD, Nutritional Sciences) is the qualified nutritionist on our team. He works with us part time. Alongside leading veterinarian Dr. Jamie Peyton, DVM, DACVECC, CVA, CVC, CCRT they formulate and review all our recipes. For more information on our team, head over to our experts page.
2. Who formulates your foods and what are his/her credentials?
3. Are your diets tested using AAFCO feeding trials or by formulation to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles?
If the latter, do they meet AAFCO nutrient profiles by formulation or by analysis of the finished product?
Our food is formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles and by analysis of finished product. Yes, formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles, both by formulation and by laboratory analysis of the finished product.
4. Where are your foods produced and manufactured?
Our food is freshly baked in small batches at a single USDA-monitored cGMP facility in California.
5. What specific quality control measures do you use to assure the consistency and quality of your ingredients and the end product?
FOTP has one of the world’s most stringent quality control processes for dog food. First of all, we manufacture our food in a top of the range modern facility, which is monitored by the USDA and has decades of delivering consistently high quality product. We test key ingredients both inbound and outbound for their vitamin and mineral content; we test every batch for foodborne diseases such as Salmonella and E. Coli; and we conduct a complete nutrient analysis on each recipe. We also test the beginning, middle, and end of batches to ensure even mixing and nutrient distribution.
6. Will you provide a complete nutrient analysis for the dog food in question?
(Can they provide an average/ typical analysis, not just the guaranteed analysis which is only the minimums or maximums and not an exact number)? You should be able to ask for any nutrient - e.g. protein, phosphorus, sodium, etc. - and get an exact number. This should ideally be given on an energy basis (i.e. grams per 100 kilocalories or grams per 1,000 kilocalories), rather than on an ‘as fed’ or ‘dry matter’ basis which don’t account for the variable energy density of different foods.
Yes, we have complete nutrient analyses, and are happy to share them upon request.
7. What is the caloric value per gram, can, or cup of your foods?
Our Cage-Free Chicken: 4.8 kcal/g. 480 kcal/cup and our Grass-Fed USDA Beef: 5 kcal/g. 503 kcal/cup.
8. What kind of product research has been conducted?
Are the results published in peer-reviewed journals?
We have not yet published any peer-reviewed studies on our dog food, but we hope to. We are partnered with a leading US Veterinary School for our clinical trials and we aim to trial our food soon.

B. AAFCO Adequacy Statement

In some countries (including the US), the AAFCO adequacy statement is included on the label. This statement confirms three important facts:

Whether the diet is complete and balanced.
All over- the-counter foods should be complete and balanced. If the statement reads ’for intermittent or supplemental use only,’ it is not complete and balanced. That may be acceptable if it is a veterinary therapeutic diet and is being used for a specific purpose - e.g. in a case of severe kidney disease - but should be avoided in over- the-counter pet foods.
Yes, Front of the Pack Air Dried Food is Complete and Balanced.
If the food is complete and balanced, what life stage is it intended?
AAFCO provides nutrient profiles and feeding trial requirements for growth, reproduction, and adult maintenance, but not for senior/geriatric pets. A food that is formulated to meet the AAFCO profiles for all life stages must meet the minimum nutrient levels for both growth and adult maintenance.
As of January 2022 Front of the Pack Air Dried Food is formulated to meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles for an adult dog’s core diet.
If the food is complete and balanced, how did the company determine this?
Labels may include one of two statements regarding nutritional adequacy: “[Name] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (or Cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for [life stage(s)].” (Analysis of food.), “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate [Name] provides complete and balanced nutrition for [life stage(s)].” (Feeding trial evaluation of food.)
All FOTP Food for Dogs is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance.
Formulated foods are manufactured so the ingredients meet specified levels, either based on the recipe or on analytical testing of the finished product, without testing via feeding trials. While feeding trials help to test for the food’s nutritional adequacy, the use of feeding trials does not guarantee that the food provides adequate nutrition under all conditions. It is important to ensure that the criteria in section A also help to ensure that the food is made by a reputable and knowledgeable company with strict quality control measures.