Pet Food Industry

Cruel Animal Testing Used in Pet Food Feeding Trials

Pet Food Feeding Trials = Animal Testing = Make It Stop!

Did you know that most commercial pet food brands take part in, and promote “feeding trials”? Alternatively known as “feeding protocols”, this is a widely accepted and encouraged practice used by pet food companies to figure out the cheapest, most effective ways to entice animals to eat dry pellets that they aren’t biologically designed to, or want to eat. The companies also have to ensure that animals can actually survive off their manufactured dry blends of animal fats, soy, wheat grains, preservatives, artificial colouring, and flavouring. 

Pet food companies market these feeding trials (laboratory animal testing) to consumers and veterinarians as being “higher quality” because of the “scientific studies”. This testing is done in big, kennel type facilities on animals that are purposefully and only bred for such purposes. This is the same as animal testing with cosmetics – which most people boycott or at least agree is wrong.

A Vice President of a company called AFB International which specializes in pet food palatability has been quoted as saying “Our task is to find ways to entice them to eat enough for it to be nutritionally sufficient.”

The people who work for these companies even call some of the flavouring they use (pyrophosphates) “cat crack”. The pet food manufacturer can coat any product with it and our animals will consume it, regardless of what the actual product is, or what’s in it. 

Is this really what we want to be feeding our pets? 

The sad reality of this is that many consumers unknowingly support this kind of animal testing by purchasing pet food from these companies – and a shocking majority of them use such feeding trials. A quick look at a bag of pet food will show whether or not it was formulated through animal testing trials.

If it states that the food “Meets the nutritional requirements of cats/dogs as established in AAFCO Feeding Trials or Feeding Tests or Feeding Protocols” then it has. 

The sole reason pet food brands do animal testing is because they don’t know if these artificial and cheap processed ingredients are good enough to keep animals alive, if it will harm them, or to see if they can even get animals to eat them.

Properly formulated pet food that uses real food ingredients (a food that isn’t waste products, highly processed, full of preservatives and artificial ingredients) doesn’t require animal testing for safety because it’s real food. Do you need to see that testing was done on your chicken, carrots, or apples at the farmers market to be sure of their nutritional quality? The facts are that today there is commonly accepted, published data on the nutritional needs of dogs and cats so animal testing in these lab settings is not required for the purpose of determining nutritional requirements. 

Our pets deserve to eat real food that they don’t have to be enticed into eating, and animals shouldn’t be bred for the sole purpose of testing the quality of pet “food”. It’s a scenario where everyone suffers except the pet food company giants who profit off their ability to sell cheap, unhealthy pellets by coating them with fake flavour scientifically designed to be appetizing. 

You can read more about pet food feeding trials here, and here.