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Dog Food certified by CVMA?

May 10th, 2006, 11:59 AM
Does anyone have a list of all the dog food that are certified by the canadian veterinary medical association?

I was told by my vet that all foods with the CVMA seal on it has actually gone through testing and that the food has been fed to dogs and proven to be good. As in nutrients and quality wise.

May 10th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Hi Denwishy,
I personally would never trust what a vet had to say about pet foods. They receive very little training in this regard, and also receive subsidies and income from selling and promoting certain brands over others, despite those brands' quality.
The CVMA does indeed test foods for minimum nutritional standards through feeding trials, as does AAFCO in the states. This seal essentially tells you that your dog will survive on that food.
Now, whether they will thrive or not, is another story!!
If you are looking for a quality food, a better source for a list is the Whole Dog journal:
Here is their selection criteria for their foods list, exerpted from their Feb 2003article. You could compare this to the CVMA's selection criteria on their web page (google it).

WDJ’s selection criteria

"Here’s how we select which dry foods are worthy of our dogs’ digestion (as well as a spot on our “approved foods” list):

• We look for foods that contain a lot of animal proteins. Extruded food cannot contain more than 50 percent meat; it “gums up” the extruders. We like it when manufacturers tell us the approximate percentage of meat, poultry, or fish proteins in a food, but they rarely do. So we look for foods with lots of animal protein sources at the top of the ingredients list. Two animal proteins in the first three ingredients? Cool! Three in the top five? Right on! Two in the top five? Well, okay . . . Only one in the top five? That food better have a lot of other things going for it. (A good example is Karma, reputedly the first and only dry dog food on the market that is 95-100 percent organic.)

The thing is, we can’t reduce this to a hard and fast rule. When you look at the ingredients at the top of the list, note the relative position of the protein sources, the total amount of protein in the food, and consider your dog’s needs. Is he an elderly couch potato or a lean and active athlete? Keep all of this in mind.

Remember that ingredients are listed on the label by the total weight they contribute to the product. Fresh or frozen whole meats are expensive ingredients for the manufacturer, and tend to be a hallmark of quality. But whole meats also contain lots of water, which is heavy (pushing it toward the top of the ingredient list) but lacks nutrients. Meat meals are nutrient-dense. We have a somewhat baseless affection for foods that contain both whole meat (beef, chicken, fish, etc.) and meat meal (beef meal, chicken meal, fish meal, etc.).

• We reject any food containing meat by-products or poultry by-products. Note: Some of our past selections do contain meat and/or poultry by-products. To winnow down our list to the very best foods possible, we no longer select products that contain meat or poultry by-products.

By-products are not intrinsically bad; in fact, many are highly nutritious. However, by-products are less expensive, and are not always handled as carefully or quickly as more expensive foodstuffs. Poor handling or slow transport of these ingredients can decrease their palatability and nutritional content. Dog owners who are fixated on quality will find it easier to avoid foods that contain by-products than to confirm the quality of the by-products with the food manufacturer.

• We reject foods containing fat or protein not identified by species. “Animal fat” is a euphemism for a low-quality, low-priced mix of fats of uncertain origin. “Meat meal” could be anything. We shudder.

• We look for the use of whole grains and vegetables. That said, some grains and vegetables have valuable constituents that accomplish specific tasks in a dog food formula. So don’t go busting our chops because one of our approved foods has, say, tomato pomace ninth on its ingredients list; tomato pomace is used by some food makers for its contribution to the food’s fiber mix and for its lycopene content. Instead, focus your righteous indignation on a food that contains, say, rice flour, rice bran, and brewer’s rice, all in the top 10 ingredients.

Many dog food ingredients have gotten undeserved poor reputations – casualties of the “premium” foods marketing wars. It really depends how many fractions are used and which positions on the ingredients list they occupy. Look for an upcoming article about the relative value and uses of various vegetable and grain fractions.

• We eliminate all foods with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives listed on their ingredients panels. Note: Some ingredients – usually fats, and some fish products – arrive at the pet food factory containing artificial preservatives; these do not have to be disclosed on the ingredient list, since the maker did not add them.

• We offer (fictional) bonus points for foods that offer the date of manufacture in addition to the usual “best if used by” date. The fresher the food is, the higher the nutrient content and palatability.

Each food manufacturer formulates their product to deliver adequate nutrition, without spoiling, for a specific length of time – usually, about 12 to 16 months. Factors that affect the functional “shelf life” of a food include the type and amount of preservatives used, the type of bag used, as well as the temperature, humidity, and exposure to light the product is exposed to in transport and storage.

We often recommend that consumers purchase food from outlets that assiduously manage their stock to ensure that the food on the shelves is relatively fresh. This is harder to do without that “born-on” date, but not impossible. If a food label has only a “best if used by” date, check to make sure that it’s as far in the future as possible.

• Organic ingredients bring a product to the front of the class, the more, the better. "