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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Buy Your Pet Food with Confidence

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
Visiting the Buy with Confidence Lab
I'm sure that title up there caught the attention of some of you who are very concerned about the food you feed your dogs (and kitties, too!). During my recent visit to the Natural Balance facilities in California, I had the opportunity to visit the Buy with Confidence lab, located at their warehouse. This was--hands down--the most exciting part of the trip for me. I get off on this geek stuff and was all ears while listening to the presentation about the ways that Natural Balance shares their test results online.

So how can you check up on your bag of Natural Balance to see just how well it performed on these tests? It's quite simple, and I'm going to walk you through the two steps so you can see it for yourself. The example below was taken from an actual bag of Natural Balance Organic Formula dog food, our choice for Tanner, Oliver and Jacque. 

To check your bag's test results for quality online, visit the Buy with Confidence Lab at this link. Click each of the 4 fields of information for a drop down menu, selecting the appropriate answer. You'll find the "Best By Date" on the back of your bag. Here's my form all filled out:
Step 1: Fill in the 4 Fields of Information
Click the Search button and your results will appear below. I know this is actually my food because I can verify the image of my bag and the Best By Date on the report. I loved seeing the Test date and report number; somehow that took me back to my demonstration at the lab and it felt like I was there again. Here's my report:
Read Your Results!
Some of the contaminants and toxins tested for or the Analyis information may need a little explanation. I asked lots of questions about this stuff and probably made a pest of myself. You can get your answers by clicking on the buttons that say "About Our Tests" and "Contaminants and Toxins". I've linked these so you can visit easily. Get ready to be impressed!

 The video below shares a sample of what I saw at the Buy with Confidence lab. It's short, but you'll get the idea. They're geared up to raise the bar on safety with state of the art equipment and procedures to assure that all their food is properly tested before it leaves the facility:

Before I wrap up today's post I want you to know that the information you can find online about your bag of Natural Balance is not a requirement of the FDA or of the AAFCO. This is simply Natural Balance's commitment to communicating their testing results to you, their customers.

I didn't have to ask what happens if any of the results test positive for the target toxins. Mr. Lunetta stated pointedly that the food gets scrapped if even a single test is slightly off. They employ a zero tolerance rule for testing purposes. That's why you can buy Natural Balance with confidence!

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As a Natural Balance Insider, I was invited to visit the facility, take as many photos as I wanted to, ask questions and look inside the workings of the company for a good review. While I am compensated with food for my pets and the trip to Natural Balance was paid for by them, I have shared my open and honest opinions about what I experienced there.


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