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Digestibility and PER, a Powerful Combination!!!

As we have previously discussed on our blog, digestibility is an important value when discussing animal nutrition. I’ll just briefly recap here: Digestibility is the amount of a given food eaten by an animal, expressed as a percentage, that is actually absorbed or used by a pet (in this case). Measured with simple, non-invasive feeding trials by simply recording the input and output over a set period of time; this important number communicates how much of their food pets derive nutritive value from.

“Well, don’t I want my pet to digest all of their food?” you ask. It seems logical that if your paying for something you would want all of it to be used. However, the reality is that one of the important jobs of the digestive systems of animals, like humans, is to also pass waste products. Just like us, certain things aren’t meant to be digested and will naturally pass through the intestines, take fiber for instance or the waste created after nutrients are processed. You do , however want your pet to get the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential to their health.

One last thing on digestibility, generally a good rule of thumb is that a digestibility above 80% indicates a high quality food, particularly when you consider that some dry foods feature digestibility ratings lower than 75%. Then you have to consider what the value of the ingredient is once it’s digested…

Now about Protein Efficiency Ratio or PER. Just like digestibility, PER (a value from 0 to 100) is a measurement, in PER’s case how much of a protein is used by the animal to create new body mass. Much like digestibility, PER can be thought of as a percentage, or portion of the protein actually used by the animal to build new tissue. PER is calculated to see how efficiently the animal can use a protein, basically how much of the protein is useful to your pet.

So where am I going with all of this you ask. Well; if you take a highly digestible food like RAWZ, which averages almost 88% digestibility (87.8% to be exact), that also happens to feature minimally processed, highly efficient protein, you have incredible pet nutrition. In fact, the gently dehydrated (never rendered) chicken we use has a PER value of 98 vs. the 55 of what is considered a high quality chicken meal (rendered).

The bottom line is that in RAWZ you have a highly digestible food that after digestion delivers extremely efficiently used protein to your pet.

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Jim Scott
A third-generation RAWZ family member, Jim spreads the word of optimal pet nutrition through in-store product demos and regular articles for the RAWZ blog. After sustaining a traumatic brain injury in 2006, Jim began participating in the writing program at the Krempels Center in Portsmouth, NH. Writing was a way to process and heal from his injury — but Jim realized he could also use this skill to spread awareness of the RAWZ brand and mission. Jim covers a range of pet health issues for the company blog, as well as more personal stories that connect to the causes RAWZ supports. His favorite thing to write about? People’s strong bonds with their pets.
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