What’s really in commercial dog food? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Dmitrii Konstantinov, Dr.Maricel Licuanan, Luis Mercado and Kirill Repin —PHOTOS BY EARVIN PERIAS
Dmitrii Konstantinov, Dr.Maricel Licuanan, Luis Mercado and Kirill Repin —PHOTOS BY EARVIN PERIAS

Pay careful attention to what you feed your pets.

Choosing the right food for them is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. What you feed your pets can significantly improve their quality of life, boost their immune system, and even determine how long they’ll live.

“We are responsible for our pets the same way we are responsible for our kids,” said Dmitrii Konstantinov, exclusive distributor of Vigor & Sage in Russia, at the Philippine launch of the Dutch pet food brand. “Pets are dependent on us. We choose on their behalf. They trust us with their life.”

The premium brand, made in The Netherlands, prides itself in being a grain-free, gluten-free, single-meat source protein pet food, plus more.

Each variant contains herbs such as seaweed, ginseng and green tea, among others, that are essential to supporting your pets’ immune system.

“Pets need herbs, too. We’re exposed to free radicals every day, and it’s the same thing with pets. The herbs are very helpful to help them combat their day-to-day stress,” said Dr. Maricel Licuanan, founder of the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center. “They are antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of diseases.”

The bulk of ingredients of Vigor & Sage is 80 percent from animal protein, Licuanan said. These are high-quality, high-grade protein from salmon, turkey or chicken. It is important that dogs and cats, being carnivores, get their protein from the right source.

Plant protein

Licuanan said the problem with most pet food brands available in the local market, if you check closely, is that plant protein is the main source of protein. Dogs and cats cannot digest plant protein that efficiently, she said.

“When checking the ingredients of pet food, the first entry you see means the bulk of the product is made of that ingredient,” Licuanan said. The first source should be animal protein. Sometimes there are grains, like corn, that pet food manufacturers use as extenders to cut down on cost.

But not all animal proteins are similar. Licuanan said meat meal is the meat itself that has undergone a drying process, while meat byproducts are made of beaks or skin, the leftovers after the nutritious parts have been removed and packaged into its premium variant.

Grain-free and gluten-free variants, Licuanan said, make pets less vulnerable to allergic conditions in their digestive system.

Premium pet food made in The Netherlands

Vigor & Sage uses potatoes as an alternative source of carbohydrates for pets instead of corn and other grains.

Licuanan said Vigor & Sage also contains pectin from apples, a naturally occurring sugar that works as a digestive aid to soothe irritated intestines.

“We want to create a world where physical well-being and wellness of pets becomes a lifestyle,” said Kirill Repin, global business development director, Vigor & Sage.

Variants for dogs include Wolfberry Puppy, Ginseng for regular and small breed adult dogs, Lily Root for regular and small breed dogs, and Lotus Weight Control.

Variants for cats are Oat Grass Hairball Control, Wolfberry kitten, Ginseng adult cat, Lily Root adult cat and the Lotus Weight Control variants.

“We saw a lack of options locally, whereas we’ve found that there is increasing awareness and standards among pet lovers for the ethical means of pet food production and transparency in product ingredients,” said Luis Mercado, president of Rubicon Crossings, official distributor of Vigor & Sage in the Philippines.

Vigor & Sage, available at select retailers in Metro Manila, also at the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center, 155 Boni Ave. Mandaluyong, tel. 9495941, and Mog and Marley (www.mogandmarley. com), a premium retailer for pets that delivers for free within Metro Manila. Visit @vigornsageph on Facebook and Instagram.