Pet Food Institute educates on pet nutrition

There is a lot of misinformation concerning pet food and pet nutrition on the internet.

To that end, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) wants to serve as a resource for both pet owners and veterinarians, with a focus on providing factual information for those who may have questions about pet food or treat safety, nutrition, and ingredients.

PFI is the national trade association for U.S. pet food and treat makers, and its members make 98% of all U.S. pet food and treat products.

To act as a source for pet owners, PFI’s website provides information that will help them make informed decisions about the food they are selecting. This include explaining the function of different nutrient categories, and what ingredients deliver these nutrients.

As a service for veterinarians, PFI provides materials that can assist veterinarians in communicating nutrition to their clients. Some examples of these resources include information on the challenges of homemade pet food for clients considering that route, safety and nutrition information for clients considering a raw pet food diet, infographics on nutrients and ingredients as well as food allergies, and tips about preventing obesity.

In addition to serving as an educational source, PFI also engages around new legislation and regulations to ensure that all members are properly educated and prepared for these changes. In the last five years, PFI has worked to help ensure regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)—a sweeping food safety law that applies to pet food and treats. To ensure the industry is ready for enforcement and compliance, PFI co-hosted a seminar that trained employees of pet food, treat, and animal feed manufacturers to become FSMA compliant. In addition, they issued a letter to non-PFI members about their obligations under FSMA with the belief that the entire industry profits from meeting the highest standards of product safety.

To advance knowledge about pet food safety, PFI has funded two studies to “identify mitigations for the possible presence of pathogens in pet food.” Aside from the studies, PFI meets with members annually to share experiences with new safety technologies and work with supply chain colleagues.

There is no denying the prevalence of information online: “We recognize that consumers, policymakers, and other stakeholders can be overwhelmed by the amount of material online about pet food; much of it meant to frighten and confuse.” As a way to combat this information, PFI seeks to act as a reliable resource for pet nutrition information, which includes myth busting some of the more prevalent false beliefs.

See PFI’s website for information that can help get you started talking with clients about nutrition.

Photo credit: © iStock/cmannphoto