We all want to feed our pets the best food possible — but it seems like every day, there is something new to worry about. Allergies. Questionable ingredients. Misleading advertising. How do you know you're making the best food decision for your pet? Read on, and learn the truth behind some of the most common pet food myths.

Myth: By-products are gross and unsafe.
Fact: By-products are a safe, high-quality, nutrient-rich ingredient in pet food.

The name may sound mysterious, vague or scary, but don't be fooled. Meat by-products are actually clean, nutritious parts of animals — like liver, spleen and kidneys. According to veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, "By-products are incredibly nutrient-dense and highly palatable to animals. In fact, cats and dogs in the wild instinctively eat these organs first because they include a wealth of nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals." In a recent article from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, experts say that "By-products (mainly organ meats and entrails) often provide more nutrients than muscle meats on a per-weight basis." What's more, they allow us to use (rather than waste) valuable, nutritious parts of the animal. By-products aren't just good for pets, they're good for our planet and our food supply.

Myth: Corn is a cheap filler in pet food.
Fact: Corn is not a filler — it's a nutrient-rich ingredient.

Corn is packed with many nutrients pets need. Not only does it contain essentials like protein, energy and fiber — but also corn is a great source of antioxidants and linoleic acid. Protein and energy keep your pet active. Antioxidants support immune systems. And fiber helps keep your pet's digestive system healthy so it can absorb all of the other high-quality, beneficial nutrients in our food.

Myth: Grain-free pet food is always best, because grains cause allergies.
Fact: Grains are an important part of a complete and balanced meal for 99% of pets.

More people are talking about pet food allergies than ever, but that doesn't mean they're on the rise. Studies have shown that grain allergies are actually quite rare — affecting only 1% of pets. Most pets thrive on a diet rich in grains. Grains provide protein for muscles, carbohydrates for energy, fiber for digestion, antioxidants for immunity and more. In the meantime, learn more about how grains can benefit your pet.

It's important to trust the company making your pet's food — and trust comes with learning the complete truth. Don't let questions and misleading claims stand in the way of your pet's nutrition. And remember that an informed decision is always the best decision, especially when it comes to feeding your pet. To learn more about these topics and more, visit Purina.com.

From WebMD

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