Young Again Pet Food Sourcing Information
We purchase our ingredients from the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, India, Finland, Japan, Germany, New Zealand and Scotland. We do not source or purchase any ingredients from China or source ingredients that were manufactured in China and are then resold by a company in another country, in an attempt to circumvent the china origin.
We are now Nitrogen Flushing all of our Young Again foods to ensure freshness.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a minimum of 0.10% taurine in extruded (dry) cat foods. Our cat foods are comprised of animal protein, which means they easily meet this requirement on their own. (Other companies’ cat foods contain a high percentage of cereal ingredients, which lack taurine.) Young Again’s addition of manufactured taurine brings the content level to 0.60%.
The meat sources in our dog and cat foods are chicken meal, hydrolyzed pork and herring meal. All three come from USDA and/or FDA approved human-grade food manufacturing facilities. The chicken meal is comprised of meat and bone. Bone is a natural ingredient that supplies the perfect ratio of minerals your pet needs to produce and maintain their own bones. The herring we use consists of the whole fish, ground to a meal. The hydrolyzed pork is highly digestible and is 80% protein and 12% fat; it does not contain bone or organs. Hydrolyzed pork is very low in ash and when combined with chicken and herring, produces a balanced mineral and amino acid profile for your pet’s health and longevity.
The hydrolyzed pork contains virtually no minerals and balances the minerals found in the chicken and herring meals preventing excessive mineralization of the finished food. Hydrolyzed pork is a great protein derived from the belly of the hog. It is 97% digestible and has an amazing amino and fatty acid profile and has a very low ash content. It is not seen in a lot of pet foods as it is an expensive choice that we feel is well worth it. Sometimes people confuse pork with “ham”. Ham is a product of pork that is smoked, salted and cured. Hydrolyzed pork is not ham. The process used, extracts the collagen (used in making human grade gelatin) leaving a highly digestible meat product behind.
We do not use any plant proteins in our dog and cat foods. The only carbohydrate source we use, is from potato starch which has not been genetically modified. The potato starch has been purified and has had the protein removed. We use it as a binder to help hold the food together in only some of our foods. Our ZERO line of foods does not use starch in its formulation or manufacture.
The other plant product that we use is Tomato Pomace. Tomato Pomace is a fiber source (both soluble and insoluble fiber) and is non digestible; which is the definition of a fiber. Fiber is essential for good health. Tomato Pomace has a low pH which promotes digestion in any obligate carnivore and also promotes a healthy urinary tract. The pH of our YA 50/22 cat food is 5.4, most plant based diets are much higher.
We require all of our ingredient suppliers to use Natural Tocopherols as preservative. Young Again products are also preserved with Natural Tocopherols at the time of manufacture. All Young Again kibble is packaged in tough foil bags that seal in the freshness and keep out moisture and oxygen for a long shelf life of 18 months.
There is some confusion about the difference between Rosemary Extract and Rosemary OIL. Rosemary OIL will cause seizures in some animals; however, we use Rosemary EXTRACT which contains water soluble Carnosic acid. We do not use any other parts of the plant, definitely not the oil. This extract dramatically boosts the flavor.
All of the Young Again Pet Foods are manufactured in our own manufacturing plant in Stacy Minnesota. We do not rely on outside manufacturers to complete any part of the packaging or manufacturing process for any of the Young Again products. We have been manufacturing pet foods for 25 years and been producing cat and dog foods for more than 10 years.
Our quality control department checks incoming ingredients for aflatoxins, mycotoxins and harmful bacteria to ensure that the ingredients are safe to accept and use. We also use independent laboratories to check production runs to ensure that they meet our high standards of quality and are Salmonella free. We do feeding trials with breeders from around the country to evaluate both new foods and maintain performance on our existing foods and we work extensively with veterinarians. We have never had a recall on any of our foods.
We appreciate your interest in our foods and hope that we have answered your questions. We too are consumers and understand how important it is to be educated about what we feed our pets.
Young Again always prefers animal proteins over plant proteins since our cats are carnivores. It is true that sometimes when a cat consumes small creatures that they will ingest plant proteins from the creature’s last meal. However they also consume the enzymes that the creature uses to break down and digest those plant proteins and those enzymes continue to work while in the cat’s body. Your cat may or may not have the best enzyme to break down a plant protein but the creature always does. Corn, for example, is 8% protein, rice is 7% protein and potato is 8% protein: when a company uses any of these the diet automatically contains plant protein.
When a label lists chicken then it is raw meat (usually frozen) with or without organ meat; without bone. However when it is extruded it is cooked and dried and is delivered to your pet as a meal. If your cat is eating a dry food then they are eating a meal in one form or another. Basically a meal is meat that has been dried down so it is stable. The other thing to consider is that when chicken is listed first, the meat and actual water content of that food is listed, whereas when chicken meal is listed it is listed as a dry ingredient and is more concentrated. 70 pounds of chicken vs 70 pounds of chicken meal are totally different. Chicken meal is concentrated (without water) and is higher in protein than chicken. Here are a few links that go into more detail on this topic: chicken-vs-chicken-meal, choosing dog food-meat vs meal.
Chicken meal will generally have both meat and bone; with or without organ meat. It is bought by the pet food company as a meal and is delivered to your pet as a meal. Bone is beneficial because it contains calcium and a host of other minerals necessary to grow new bone.
Bone is a natural source of these important minerals and bone is generally more digestible than calcium carbonate and other minerals that are mined from the earth. Of course some meals are excessively high in minerals and need to be diluted by other proteins so that total mineral content is maintained at appropriate levels. The average growing cat requires 1.0% calcium and if your food has more than 1.3% calcium then you may want to question the overall quality of the formulation. Excess minerals may lead to future urinary tract issues. Organ meat is always good and is the first meat eaten and or preferred by almost all animals.
What is meant by the "meal" in a pet food ingredient listing and how does it compare to "meat"?
When the first ingredient is meat, it can mean very little since meat is at least 75% water. This means that if a diet listed itself as 25% meat, it would really only be 6% meat on a dry matter basis, which is exactly what you get when you dehydrate chicken into meal. You think you are buying a high protein diet, but in reality, the food is only 6% meat protein.
What is the difference between "by-products" and "meals"?
A by-product is something that is left over after the desirable portion of the ingredient has been extracted for use elsewhere. A meal results when you take a product, remove the water portion, and grind the desired portions into a usable ingredient. Our chicken meal is composed of meat and bone, the pork is meat only and the herring is the whole fish. Inclusion of bone (natural calcium) supplies the perfect ratio of minerals needed to make new bone for growing animals. The pork contains virtually no minerals and it helps dilute the chicken and herring meals which helps prevent excessive mineralization.
Why do you use "poultry fat"? What is it?
Poultry fat can only be comprised of chicken or turkey fat or a combination of both. Chicken fat is in higher demand so it is more expensive. Most people think that the quality of chicken fat is higher than poultry because it is more expensive. Is a chicken dinner better for you than a turkey dinner? The reason we use turkey fat is because we already have lots of chicken fat in our food because we use chicken meal. Chicken meal contains 15% chicken fat. The more variety of fat you can include in a food the more diverse and balanced the essential fatty acids will be. Diversity is the key to good nutrition. We currently use fat from chicken, turkey, pork and fish. Chicken and turkey fat are collected and processed in the same way and are of equal quality, however using a combination of both turkey and chicken is far healthier for your pet than using just one of them.
Is DL-Methionine safe in my cat's food?
If your cat is deficient in methionine their health will be compromised. Methionine is an essential amino acid that cannot be produced by the body. Therefore, it is crucial that your cat consumes the required amount of methionine each meal to maintain proper health.
Cats were meant to consume small prey animals so we’ve based the nutrient profile of Young Again cat foods on a juvenile mouse. The mouse is made up of high levels of methionine. We use just enough methionine to balance the amino acid profile of our foods to duplicate the mouse model. The typical mouse is 52-58% protein, 22-28% fat and 3-6% starch. The average cat food sold today is usually less than 40% protein, much lower in fat and contains up to 30% starch/carbs.
Some companies use methionine to acidify their foods. By acidifying the food they are able to acidify the cat’s urine. This practice is common when they are trying to dissolve struvite crystals. However, if your cat’s urine maintains too low a pH, they run the risk of developing calcium oxalate crystals.
Because Young Again cat foods are nutritionally-balanced, your cat will naturally maintain a healthy urine pH of 6.5 making it unlikely he will develop struvite crystals or calcium oxalate stones, the two most common crystals and stones seen in cats today. And, since our foods duplicate the natural diet of cats, they perform as nature intended leaving you with a healthier, happier cat.
What are the expiration dates?
The Best Buy date on each package will tell you the last date that you should use your YA products. The YA foods and treats have an 18 month shelf life and supplements and raw premixes have 12 months. If you freeze or store your foods properly the shelf life may be longer. We are unable to guarantee that the nutrients that your pet needs are there fully after the expiration / Best By date.
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