By The Farmer's Dog | February 22, 2021

WSAVA, or the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, encourages veterinarians and pet owners to evaluate pet diets based on certain criteria concerning the food, how it’s made, and the company behind it. Their criteria are outlined in a list of questions.

Here’s how The Farmer’s Dog meets all of WSAVA’s guidelines and answers their questions. 

WSAVA Questions: Section A

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 are their names and qualifications. 

Yes. Their names and contact information are available upon request. 

2. Who formulates your food and what are his/her credentials?

Our food is formulated by our on-staff board-certified veterinary nutritionists. Their names and credentials are available upon request. 

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 meets AAFCO nutrient profiles by formulation and by laboratory analysis. In addition, our food has completed and passed a feeding trial that we designed in conjunction with a DVM and DACVN to surpass AAFCO standards. (Read more about our feeding trial here). 

4. Where are your food products produced and manufactured?

Our food is made in a USDA inspected, human-grade facility in the U.S. 

5. What specific quality control measures do you use to assure the consistency and quality of your ingredients and the end product?

Because our food is made to human-grade standards at a facility that produces exclusively human-grade food, our quality control measures are among the most stringent in the pet food industry. Our facility is monitored by the USDA. 

Our strict controls in place to prevent physical, chemical, microbial and allergen carry over and cross-contamination. 

All of our inbound ingredients are inspected and tested for potential contaminants, and every batch of food is tested for our guaranteed analysis, aflatoxins, listeria, e.coli, yeast, salmonella, and mold. Food is tested in an on-site facility and in a third party lab.

Our quality assurance program meets human-food industry standards, including critical control points of temperature and integrity of the vegetables and meat throughout the entire raw to cooked lifecycle, eliminating any possibility for harmful bacterial growth. We test several samples from every single batch of food and obtain test results before any food leaves our facility.

Every step of our sourcing, cooking, packaging, and storing processes are to human-grade standards. Our food is cooked, packaged and tested in an exclusively human-food facility, all of our kitchens are certified to cook food for human consumption, and our vendors are certified to sell ingredients to human-food manufacturers. 

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 analysis, available upon request.

7. What is the caloric value per gram, can, or cup of your foods?

Beef: 1.53 cal per g

Pork: 1.39 cal per g

Turkey: 1.17 cal per g

Chicken and greens: 1.3 cal per g

8. What kind of product research has been conducted? Are the results published in peer-reviewed journals?

We have conducted a feeding trial to ensure our food is complete and balanced and bioavailable. Results of those trials are available upon request.

 

Section 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, our 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.

We have meal plans that meet AAFCO profiles for all life stages. Our customers provide information about their dog and we provide the appropriate plan.

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.)

Our food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. Our food was also determined to be complete and balanced through a rigorous and long-term feeding trial overseen by a DACVN and DVM. An affidavit showing that our food is complete and balanced and verifying the health of participating dogs is available upon request.