How you can Read Dog Food Labels

All of us dog care givers are now somewhat protected against misleading dog foods labels. That’s because of the oversight, rules, regulations and requirements of AAFCO (Association of American Feed Manage Officials). But , unless we know what these rules are and how they are applied to the wording on brands they’re of no use to us.

Some dog food manufacturers can be quite cunning and will often use very smart nuances in the title and also in arrangement of words on the content label that can be very different to what the dog foods actually contains. Also, there is an important component to this, these rules connect just to solid material in the dog food and do not address the moisture levels.

It should be noted that pet food labeling is regulated on the federal and state-by-state basis, with only “limited” guidance from the Organization of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Please be aware of the fact that family pet food producers often use conditions that are undefined by the regulations to communicate more effectively with consumers and also to enhance their product’s image in the market. The particular AAFCO warns on their website that “it is not rare at all that labeling and marketing information is designed to appeal to the latest trend in marketing and advertising human products. ”


*Chicken for Canines: If chicken is the first phrase in this label, and is not combined with any other words like “dinner” or even “flavor”, etc .; in order to meet the AAFCO regulations, this product must actually include at least 95% chicken.

*Turkey and Chicken Dog Food: By labeling it” Turkey and Chicken Canine Food”, and nothing else, you can be relatively certain that this product is made up of 95% chicken and chicken combined, with the poultry content being slightly less than the particular turkey, since turkey is listed as the first ingredient.

*Chicken Nuggets for Dogs: By using the word “nuggets” (a qualifier that many dog meals companies can legally use) and since this name has the term “nuggets” in its title, the chicken in the food is going to be less than 95% of the total ingredients, yet must be at least 25%. Some of the other words manufacturers can use to get away with using less meat are usually “dinner”, “formula”, and “platter”. A food having this name isn’t going to even have chicken in the top 3 ingredients!

*Chicken Flavor Dog Foods: The word “flavor” is the key to this a single. AAFCO rules require that there must only be enough “chicken” to add an actual flavor to the food. It could be poultry fat, or chicken broth, or even chicken by-products, and it could be a really small amount.

*Dog Food with Chicken: A food listed as “with” anything is required to contain only 3% of that ingredient. Dog food “with” chicken, or “with” beef, should contain only 3% of chicken or beef.
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Now you can see such a difference the order of terms makes!

Your dogs health and long life greatly depends on feeding him or her the safe and healthy diet. But determining how to read and interpret dog food labels can be perplexing. If you adhere to the following guidelines you should be capable of read labels and understand all of them well enough to compare different products with confidence.

* The labeling of all family pet food is regulated on a federal and state-by-state basis, with guidance from the Association of American Feed Manage Officials (AAFCO). However , AAFCO offers only minimum requirements. So , remember that dog food manufacturers often make use of terms that are not defined by AAFCO regulations so they can make their own product more appealing and enhance their brand and or product’s image in order to consumers. On their website the AAFCO cautions, “it is not rare whatsoever that labeling and marketing details is designed to appeal to the latest trend in marketing human products. ”


* The “Guaranteed Analysis” around the dog food label at the back of the particular bag is a chart that lists the percentages of various ingredients contained in that food (see an example below). The percentages listed for proteins, fat, and fiber are dimensions of the food in its current state. However , because different foods possess varying amounts of moisture, you can just reasonably compare dog foods ”on a dry matter basis”. However , the numbers given in the Guaranteed Analysis are on an “as fed” basis and do not take into account the amount of moisture in that food. To determine the actual quantity of an ingredient in a food, or to compare between brands or among wet and dry foods, the particular numbers need to be converted to what is known as Dry Matter (DM) basis.

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