Most people, including many vets, are not accurately informed as to exactly what the complete vs complementary classification is about. Let’s explore what it means. Pet food industry controlling bodies popped up all over the world some years ago, to try and ensure that a standard is upheld when manufacturing dry food, or kibble. Act 36/1947 in South Africa; AAFCO in the USA; Food Standard Agency in UK; PFIAA in Australia; etc. When one researches what ingredients are used for the dry food pet industry, processed at extremely high temperatures which virtually destroys any nutritional elements, it is understandable that somebody was trying to regulate matters.
(Watch the documentary Pet Fooled for more on this.)
When Raw Love Pets meals were registered with the department back in the day, we learnt that we had to register our meals as ‘complementary’ unless we added artificial supplements to reach certain nutritional values set by the department. In our opinion, these nutritional values are subjective at best, and we question:
- whether prescribed minimum daily requirements (*) provides ‘balance’;
- the notion that the same meal is ‘complete’ for each individual animal; and
- the validity of these values as they often fluctuate between different controlling bodies.
Furthermore, these values are based on feeding dehydrated, processed foods and therefore not relevant or applicable to real, uncooked food bursting with nutrients.
(*) For further reading we highly recommend this informative article on Raw Pet Food and AAFCO by Dr Amy Nesselrodt DVM.
With complementary meal status we are not obliged to add chemical and artificial nutritional elements to reach predetermined levels. Elements such as lime (for calcium) which does not align with biologically appropriate feeding and optimum nutrient absorption.