Nutrients vs Ingredients!

When it comes to our pet’s food, ingredients are most likely what we think of first. The nutrients are often an after-thought. Often times it feels like a battle between the two… but did you know that both are equally as important as the other? And that neither can exist without the other? At Tom&Sawyer, we use the best ingredients to provide your pet with all the nutrients they need!

In simple terms, ingredients are the items that make up your pet’s food. And they act as the vehicle for the nutrients. Ingredients harbour their own composition of macronutrients and micronutrients. 

A macronutrient is a protein, carbohydrate, or fat.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. 

An ingredient will provide a differing amount of these nutrients.

Selecting the best ingredients can mean different things depending on the situation, the individual, or the animal. Some PAW-ssible considerations for ingredients can include:

  • Nutrient composition such as macro-and micronutrients
  • Texture which aids in the palatability of your pet’s food and in designing an appealing meal.
  • Taste and flavour are major considerations when choosing the best ingredients for your pets.
  • Quality of the ingredient can mean locally and ethically grown or sourced, organic, sustainable, and so on.

Nutrients are taken from the food sources and absorbed and used by your pet’s body to make, grow, and maintain the cells, tissues, organs, and other molecules within.

There are two categories of nutrients: essential and non-essential

The list of essential nutrients will differ between species and ultimately cannot be synthesized by the body. Whereas non-essential nutrients are formed in sufficient amounts within the body. 

An essential nutrient is required at certain amounts in pet food and are published by different regulatory bodies such as the National Research Council (NRC) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). In Canada, pet food imported from the USA or made in Canada and sold in the USA must meet the AAFCO requirements. Nutrient intakes may change based on specific requirements depending on life stage, lean versus “chunks”, activity levels, and under different disease states, and will differ between individual animals.

Working Together
So, there is no duel after all… from a health and nutrition perspective, nutrients are the main point of interest. But choosing the highest quality ingredients is just as important to ensure that the nutrient profile your pet needs is being met! At Tom&Sawyer, we want to ensure we are providing your pets with high-quality ingredients to meet their nutritional needs. Both our dog and cat foods are carefully curated by our culinary and nutrition teams. 

We strive to give your pet fresh-cooked meals they will enjoy while providing healthy and balanced nutrition!

Article written by
Hannah Godfrey
BSc H | MSc Animal Nutrition
Tom&Sawyer Client Ambassador & Animal Nutritionist