Pet nutrition and comparative pet food product
information for pet owners and professionals

Welcome Pet Professionals and Enthusiasts,

The information assembled here, will give you the information you need to be an informed purchaser of pet food. Ever wonder:

  • Who regulates pet food?

  • What purpose does each nutrient perform?

  • How do you interpret packaging codes?

  • How do you calculate the daily cost of feeding?

  • What is food energy and why is it important?

  • What are the sources of calories in your pet's food?

Want to know the secret to understanding pet nutrition?

It's called food energy or calories, and more specifically in the context of dogs and cats, the correct term is metabolizable energy. This is the amount of food energy that's in the food. To compare in human terms, it's number of calories contained in a cup or can of pet food.

Did you know that if you had that number alone, you could effectively and reasonably compare any dog food or any cat food; dry or canned? It's true!

Never before has this body of knowledge been available on the Internet.

Since 1994, these publications have been purchased by veterinarians, specialty pet food shops, veterinary schools, animal nutritionists, regulators, breeders, concerned pet owners, and pet industry professionals. In all, more 4,000 books have been sold to pet professionals and enthusiasts in 40 different countries.

Hello, this is author and publisher Howard Coffman.

If you are serious about what you feed your dogs and cats, and you really want to know what the information means on the pet food label, so you can honestly compare foods, then these reference books "are the cat's pajamas." You'll find detailed information on grocery brands, premium brands and everything in between. Dry foods, semi-moist foods and canned foods are all included.

These resources will help you understand the basics of pet nutrition and provide detailed, unbiased and fair, apples-to-apples comparison.

These publications will teach you how to really read a pet food label and compare any food to any food; and that includes dry to canned!

The following pet nutrition publications are available for dogs:

  1. Doc Z's Canine Nutrition Primer

  2. Coffman's Comparative Reference to Dog Food

  3. PetMath™ Spreadsheet Templates for PCs and Macintosh

  4. Coffmans Dog Food Energy Report

The following pet nutrition publications are available for cats:

  1. Doc Z's Feline Nutrition Primer

  2. Coffman's The Cat Food Reference

  3. PetMath™ Spreadsheet Templates for PCs and Macintosh

Pet food labels don't tell the whole story. But they provide clues.

Did you know that the "Guaranteed Analysis" number on a pet food label is there for regulatory purposes only. If the Guaranteed Protein value is 24%, the actual analyzed value could be 26% or 28%. The "guaranteed" value doesn't necessarily describe the actual value of the food in the bag or can.

Every once in a while, the regulators grab a bag and test it. If the food is 28% and the bag says minimum 24%; fine. If not, the company gets fined. The companies and the regulators aren't overly concerned that you bought a 24% protein food and you actually got 28%; they are only concerned that the contents meet or exceeded the minimum.

That's why you need to know about calories and their source: protein, fat and carbohydrates and what percentage of calories is derived from each.

Armed with this knowledge, you can figure out the food energy (calories) your family pet is really getting in the food. It's the same with human food. Although calorie information is required for human foods it's only "optional" for pet foods. As a result, only a handful of companies publish the food energy information on the label. Most companies will provide it, if you call and ask for it. If you do call, as for the "As Fed Analysis" data, not the "Calculated" data.

This is complicated stuff. So in Doc Z's Nutritional Primers, we discuss what you need to know and how to use the information you've got.

The following is a true story about my personal efforts to make food energy required information on a pet food label.

Several years ago I went to the annual meeting of the pet food regulators, the organization known as AAFCO. In that particular year, the meeting was held in Providence Rhode Island. I asked a prominent person from the pet food industry, the pet food industry's representative at AAFCO, (she was a former regulator), if she would support an effort to require calorie information on pet food labels.

The response I got was, "not in my lifetime." That was in the mid-1990's. Since that time the industry has become more responsive. Calorie information is being included on more and more product labels.

Education yields knowledge, and knowledge is power. We're here to empower you!

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about our publications. For people who make a living around pets, this information is indispensable. Complete descriptions can be found below.

Please Note:

  • Printed versions of these publications are no longer available.

  • There are no plans to update these publications in the future.

  • The reference books contain data that was accurate at the time of publication. That was several years ago. It's very likely that some of the information is no longer accurate.

Final Comment

It's taken awhile for me to get the books on the Internet. Since starting this back in 1994, PigDog™ Press has developed somewhat of a following. I'm grateful to my many customers from all over the world and for the work they perform. I'd also like to thank the many manufacturers who provided information. I'm proud of these publications and the information contained therein.

The Only Advice I Give Concerning Pet Foods:

If you have time to learn only one thing, focus on food energy.

Best Regards,

Howard Coffman

Author and Publisher

Canine Publications

Doc Z's Canine Nutrition Primer

$10 Purchase

By: Jerilee A. Zezula, D.V.M.     Published: December, 1995

Written by Jerilee A. Zezula, D.V.M., Associate Professor, Applied Animal Science, Thompson School of Applied Science, University of New Hampshire, this canine nutrition primer conveys the basic nutritional concepts you need. This 32 page booklet includes is focused specifically on canines and includes; required nutrients, energy, the "best" diet, understanding pet food labels, pet food math explained, glossary, and annotated bibliography of canine nutrition.

The discussion on pet food math is included for pet professionals and enthusiasts who want to be able to calculate dry matter, metabolizable energy, and caloric distributions. Step-by-step instructions combined with specific working examples and worksheets make this a must-have.

The annotated bibliography summarizes many of the books available on dog nutrition. Each publication has been reviewed with notations made on content and suitable audience.

The primer serves as an excellent introduction and/or valuable refresher for professionals and enthusiasts alike. This primer has been purchased in quantity by several pet food companies as a training document for new employees.

Audience: Novice and up. Great refresher for experienced professionals.

Purchase
For $10 US

Coffman's Comparative Reference Guide to Dog Food

$25 Purchase

By: Howard D. Coffman     Published: February, 1998

Coffman's Comparative Reference Guide to Dog Food is an enhanced and updated reference that compares 584 dry, canned, and semi-moist dog foods. This comprehensive and easy-to-use 412 page, 9x11 inch spiral-bound volume, is filled with useful product and nutrient information.

Organized into five comparative sections with over 65 pieces of information on each product.

Section 1 - Introduction
Brand Index; Manufacturer Statement Regarding Companion Animals and Rendered Dogs and Cats in Pet Food; Understanding Pet Food Labels.

Section 2 - Ingredients
Balancing Nutrients to meet the Dog's Nutritional Needs; Nutrient Group Contributions of Common Pet Food Ingredients; Primary Ingredient Comparison (first five); Complete Ingredient List; AAFCO Official Feed Term & Ingredient Definitions.

Section 3 - Comparative Analysis
Comparative Guaranteed Analysis and unrelated Digestibility Comparison; As Fed Nutrient Comparison; Dry Matter Comparison; Food Energy Comparative Reference (metabolizable energy and caloric distributions).

Section 4 - Feeding Guidelines

Section 5 - Reference Information
Understanding Pet Food Packaging Codes; Company Contact and Product Source Information; Supplementary Reference Information (package color, kibble size, food density, etc.); Worksheets (Daily Cost of Feeding, Principles of Feeding an Overweight Pet).

Originally published at $119.95, you can purchase it now for immediate download for $25.00. Save 80%!

Audience: Intermediate and up. ONLY if you love charts full of data!

Purchase
For $25 US

PetMath™ Spreadsheet Templates
for PCs and Macintosh®

$10 Purchase

By: Howard D. Coffman     Published: January, 1996

These spreadsheet templates are for pet professionals who compare pet foods on a regular basis and want to know the caloric content of a particular food. Food type doesn't matter. Enter the values in the spreadsheet and let the computer do the calculations.

Two sets of spreadsheet templates are available for popular spreadsheet applications on both Macintosh and PC's:

  • Calculate food energy (calorie information) for a single food, and
  • Calculate food energy (calorie information) for multiple food comparisons

Originally published at $24.95, you can purchase it now for immediate download for $10.00. Save 60%!

Audience: Intermediate and up.

Purchase
For $10 US

Coffman's Dog Food Energy Report

By: Howard D. Coffman     Published: August, 1998

Coffman's Dog Food Energy Report takes critical pet food nutrition information and presents it for quick and easy reference. Your view of pet nutrition will change and your previous knowledge will be expanded and updated by the unique presentation of data suitable for reliable comparison.

Most of the information presented in this report is not found on product labels. Many manufacturers although permitted by regulation, do not publish metabolizable energy (food energy or caloric distribution) information on product packaging or include it in their literature. This is changing however, with the introduction of low calorie foods.

On 66 fact-filled pages, products are listed according to the amount of metabolizable energy (kcals/ gram) in the food. By sorting the data this way, foods with similar energy values are grouped together. This helps to compare foods and find foods with similar calorie content easily.

For each of 584 dog foods you will find the following valuable information:

  • Product Name, Manufacturer and Phone Number
  • Feeding Category
  • Metabolizable Energy (kcals/ gram, kcals/ serving, source and serving size information)
  • Caloric Distributions (protein ME %, fat ME %, carbohydrate ME %, source information)
  • Food Density (ounces/ cup)
  • First Five Ingredients

PLEASE NOTE: This book is no longer available for individual sale. The downloadable file was found to be missing approximately half its pages. The report continues to be included in the Reference Libraries below on an "AS IS" basis. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Audience: Intermediate and up.

This Report is no longer available for individual sale.

 

It is included in the Reference Libraries below on an "AS IS" basis only.

PigDog™ Press
Canine Nutritional Reference Library

Purchase the Canine collection
Two (2) books, plus Food Energy Report and spreadsheet templates.
Save $5.00 if purchased separately.

Purchase
For $50 US



Feline Publications

Doc Z's Feline Nutrition Primer

$10 Purchase

By: Jerilee A. Zezula, D.V.M.     Published: January, 1996

Written by Jerilee A. Zezula, D.V.M., Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire, Doc Z's Feline Nutrition Primer is a 64 page book containing a basic introduction to feline nutrition. It includes topics such as required nutrients, energy, the best diet, understanding pet food labels, and pet food math explained. In addition, there is a glossary, an annotated bibliography of feline nutrition, and PetMath™ Worksheets. These worksheets help pet owners and professionals calculate dry matter, metabolizable energy, daily feeding cost, and caloric distributions.

Audience: Novice and up.

Purchase
For $10 US

Coffman's The Cat Food Reference

$15 Purchase

By: Howard D. Coffman     Published: February, 1998

Would it help to know that the 416-page The Cat Food Reference is a compilation of manufacturer supplied and reviewed information, is well organized, and contains complete label contents PLUS (Association of American Feed Control Officials) AAFCO Ingredient Definitions, How to Interpret Packaging Codes, Reference Information, Company Contact Information, Dry, Moist, and Canned Food Cost Comparison Worksheets, and more.

To make it easy for you to compare 384 canned and dry foods equally,
The Cat Food Reference contains these special features: Nutrient Dry Matter Comparison, Food Energy Comparison that includes Manufacturer "As Is" and "Dry Matter" Metabolizable Energy values, and updated Cost Comparison Worksheets for dry and moist and canned cat foods.

In addition, author Howard Coffman has included information that answers these questions:

  • Who regulates pet food?
  • What purpose does each nutrient perform?
  • How do you interpret packaging codes?
  • How do you calculate the daily cost of feeding?
  • What is food energy and why is it important?
  • Where do calories come from in your cat food?

If you have ever tried to research information about cat food, you will appreciate this timesaving collection of manufacturer supplied and reviewed information.

Originally published at $39.95, you can purchase it now for immediate download for $15.00. Save more than 60%!

Audience: Intermediate and up. ONLY if you love charts full of data!

Purchase
For $15 US

PetMath™ Spreadsheet Templates
for PCs and Macintosh®

$10 Purchase

By: Howard D. Coffman     Published: January, 1996

These spreadsheet templates are for veterinarians, pet professionals, breeders, and knowledgeable pet owners who compare pet foods on a regular basis and want to know the caloric content of a particular food. All food types supported. Enter the values in the spreadsheet and let the computer do the calculations.

Two sets of spreadsheet templates are available for popular spreadsheet applications on both Macintosh and PC's:

  • Calculate food energy and caloric distributions for a single food, and
  • Calculate food energy and caloric distributions for multiple food comparisons

Originally published at $24.95, you can purchase it now for immediate download for $10.00. Save 60%!

Audience: Intermediate and up.

Purchase
For $10 US

PigDog™ Press
Feline Nutritional Reference Library

Purchase the Feline collection
Two (2) Feline books and spreadsheet templates.
Save $5.00 if purchased separately.

Purchase
For $30 US


PigDog™ Press
Canine & Feline Nutritional Reference Library

Purchase both collections
Two (2) Canine books and Food Energy Report plus
Two (2) Feline books and spreadsheet templates.
Save $15.00 if collections purchased separately.

Purchase
For $65 US

COPYRIGHT ©1994 - 2007 PigDog™ Press. All Rights Reserved.

PigDog™ Press
379 Amherst Street, Suite 210
Nashua, NH 03063 USA
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