"Dr. David Dzanis, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist who formerly served with FDA, feels that the addition of nutraceuticals and other “bells and whistles” to pet foods is likely to grow, although he is concerned that the science to support these new uses “is insufficient to support claims.”
Nutrition Business Journal (October 2000) recently reiterated a concern voiced by many supplement manufacturers: “Consumers may be replacing standalone supplements with fortified, or functional foods and beverages. Most premium pet foods have always been considered more functional (lifestyle or life-stage specific) than the average American’s diet. The addition of ingredients with purported nutraceutical properties to foods and beverages has left a lot of pet owners both hopeful and confused.”
"Are the levels of nutrients actually consumed by pets really effective? Are these nutrients stable enough to withstand the high temperatures of extrusion, cooking or baking? Do they maintain their activities during prolonged storage? What about the heating and cooling that occur in retail stores? All of these questions have yet to be satisfactorily answered in spite of the flood of nutraceuticals added to pet foods such as those from IAMS (owned by Proctor & Gamble), Science Diet (owned by Colgate-Palmolive), Waltham and Alpo.
Other important questions are: How will the promise of a nutraceutical benefit affect the sales of standalone supplements? Will the owner of an old, lame dog, for example, seek the relief of glucosamine in a senior formula rather than a pill or powder? Does chicory really help your dog digest food better? Does Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Defense™ System really provide optimum levels of antioxidants to protect your dog against the risk of disease? Pet supplement companies say “No!” Pet food companies say, “Yes!” What is the best approach for your pet?
Mike Gurber, vice president, Precise Pet Foods, Nacogdoches, TX, is one of many pet product manufacturers who has voiced concern. “Product stability and the quality of raw ingredients are very critical concerns,” he said. “It is incumbent upon the manufacturers to determine beyond a doubt that their product contains the stated amount of nutraceutical, not only at the time of manufacture, but throughout the acknowledged shelf life of the contents. To do less is unacceptable.”
Another worry is whether the levels of nutraceutical ingredients that are actually consumed by a pet are sufficient to produce the desired effect, and what effect these ingredients would have on the general pet population if routinely consumed. Dr. Todd Henderson, vice president, Nutramax Laboratories, Edgewood, MD, feels that such questions should be based on clinical studies and answered by veterinarians and animal nutritionists rather than marketers and salespeople. Charles Frank, president, PetMax Naturals, Westlake Village, CA, is also concerned with the use of nutraceuticals in pet foods. He said, “There is no doubt that certain compounds will benefit animal health when used properly. But will people stop using specific ingredients already shown to be beneficial in favor of the shotgun approach? And what of the dogs or cats that don’t really require the nutrient now? What happens later when it might be helpful? Will it still work?”. These questions remain unanswered." http://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/articles/2001/01/pet-nutraceuticals