Welcome to the Nutrition Lab
Pet nutrition. Here at Ainsworth it's our top priority. In fact, for more than 75 years the sole focus of the Lang family has been to provide the healthiest and safest pet food and treats for your pets and ours. We believe that our singular focus and independent approach to animal nutrition allows us to leverage the best information from available pet science and utilize it in ways that allow us to continually produce nutritious products.
Next: Our Nutrition Philosophy
Our Nutrition Philosophy
A True Commitment: From the moment George Ainsworth Lang made his first bag of dog food in 1933, our sole focus has been on providing safe and nutritious food for pets. Today, as America's oldest family-owned and operated pet food company, pets continue to be our sole focus. And because we are privately owned, we don't have to answer to Wall Street or some big holding corporation. We only answer to ourselves and the pet parents we serve. And we intend to keep it that way.
Independently Nimble: Because we have an independent mindset, we can have a greater focus on delivering the best pet nutrition available. While there has been much good research done on canine and feline nutrition, many large companies aren't flexible enough to be able to institute these findings. We can. And we do. Every day. Because at the end of every day we know that pet food is the only source of nutrition our pets are getting. And we know we have to get it right.
Ingredients Matter: At Ainsworth, we have an "every ingredient for a purpose philosophy." We use only the highest-quality ingredients that we know meet a specific need for a pet or pet parent. We also focus on the effect our ingredients have on animal performance. In some cases, it could be as simple as your pet's enthusiasm over one of our brands, or it could have a deeper meaning like improved skin and coat or better digestion. No matter what ingredients we use, you can be sure we can trace each and every one of them through our entire supply and manufacturing chain to ensure the pet foods we make are safe.
Previous: Welcome to the Nutrition Lab
Next: Meet Our Team
Ainsworth Nutrition Lab Team
At A Glance: We've assembled a group of some of the brightest, most passionate and compassionate people in the industry. People who care as much about your pets as they do their own. Working together without the big corporate politics or pretenses, our team can roll up their sleeves and focus on getting the job done, getting it done right, and at the end of the day, making a nutritionally sound pet food we are proud to put our name on.
Previous: Our Nutrition Philosophy
Next: Where We Stand
Where We Stand
We know there are a lot of hot button topics out there on pet food ingredients and pet nutrition. We'll let you know where we stand as a company based on proven nutritional science.
Corn as the enemy: There is a lot of debate around corn. But nutrition is all about balance. And every ingredient has some pros and cons. Some people believe corn allergies are an issue. That may be so in a few dogs or cats, but that's not the case for all of them. While rice is highly digestible, you can also use corn to make a product with good digestibility. In addition, when we make any of our products with corn we balance it with other ingredients to ensure proper digestion. By making a variety of products some with corn and some without, consumers have a much larger range to choose from, making it easier to find a product that meets their specific needs.
The real story behind ethoxyquin: Ethoxyquin is an antioxidant — and a very effective one. Like any other preservative that's used in high levels, there's always a question mark around what side effects it has. At Ainsworth, we believe that ethoxyquin is safe when used in a manner consistent with regulations. That being said, it is an artificial preservative and there are other ways to prevent the premature oxidation of food. All pet food needs to have ingredients that will slow down oxidation so that when you get the food home the fats and oils are in their best state. Ethoxyquin achieves this the best. But there are natural preservatives out there like mixed tocopherols, which we do use in our Ainsworth Specialty Brands.
Are all by-products created the same? In an AAFCO publication, they define the difference between poultry meal and by-products meal is that poultry meal comes from the flesh, meat and bone, while by-product meal could contain intestines, feet and heads, which is pretty disgusting and why by-products have gotten a bad rap. Unfortunately, some people consider chicken fat and hearts and livers by products. But these are good ingredients. So, no, all by-products are not created equal. The use of "by-products " is really all about the nutritional value and balancing ingredients for healthy nutrition.
Are there really euthanized animals in some commonly used protein ingredients? First of all, that's not legal. There are strict ingredient regulations that need to be met. At Ainsworth, we go even further to guarantee the safety of our ingredients. We develop relationships with our suppliers. We visit their facilities to view their procedures to ensure our safety standards are being met. We check all ingredients as they come in. We check key attributes to ensure we have the right ingredient. It's these safety checks that allow us, and our consumers, to have a level of confidence that everything is being done correctly.
Previous: Meet Our Team
Next: Consumer Advocacy
At Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, we understand the challenges facing pet parents today. After all, we're pet parents, too. That's why pet food safety is our number one priority.
It's because of this commitment to pet food safety that we have the Ainsworth Pet Nutrition Triple Check System, which allows us to guarantee the safety of our products from the moment we purchase ingredients to the time we ship our products out the door.
In the unlikely event we do receive a report from a concerned pet parent, you can be sure we investigate it thoroughly. Our first step is to go back and recheck everything, starting with our production records to confirm raw material and finished product specifications were met. This process takes about 24 hours. We then work with the pet parent to obtain a sample of the food for further analyses based on the specifics of the adverse reaction reported. If a sample of the food is not available from the pet parent, we will pull samples we've retained from the same batch for analysis. The analysis of the sample is then performed both by internal Ainsworth laboratory technicians as well as by third-party laboratory facilities. Typically, it takes about 15 days to perform all of the complex, yet necessary internal and external testing and analysis.
Previous: Where We Stand
"I travel a lot, but when I get home, I'm up to my ears in animals."
- Job Title:
- Lead R&D Manager
- Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering
- Job Title:
- Principal Food Scientist
- MS., Food Science at the University of Hohenheiim, Stuttgart, Germany
- Job Title:
- Vice President, Research & Development
- M.S., Chemical Engineering
Many of you may not be aware that Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has a sister company in the Joplin, Missouri area called Hampshire Pet Products. While plant facilities were not significantly affected by the recent tornado, a number of Ainsworth Pet Nutrition families have been directly impacted by the loss of property and, in some cases, loss of their primary residence. The devastation in the Joplin community has been well documented in the news. It is difficult to comprehend the extent of the impact on property and families in the Joplin community.
To support these families in their efforts to rebuild, Ainsworth will be matching employee donations. However the greater need in the entire Joplin community that affects our families and so many others are also of critical importance to us.
Efforts to help these people and pets are being managed by the local disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross and the ASPCA, working in conjunction with the Missouri Humane Society. We encourage you to donate what you can to help people and their beloved pet family members in this time of need:
American Red Cross: redcross-ozarks.org
ASPCA/Humane Society: aspca.org
Thank you in advance for your support in this time of need for Ainsworth families and their pets.
Sean Lang, CEO
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition