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How to Read Pet Food Labels


Topics | Nutrition, Food
Posted | January 14, 2019



Have you ever gotten lost in the food isles of the pet store?
Searching for pet food and understanding the label maybe one of the toughest things to do for our furry friends.

  • Start by making sure the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approves the food as a complete and balanced nutritional diet. AAFCO is an organization that sets the nutritional standards for pet foods sold in the US.

  • Find the right fit for your pet. If your pet is still growing, make sure to find a food that is labeled for either all life stages or for puppies or kittens. Puppy or kitten food contains much higher levels of certain nutrients than foods for adult maintenance. Also, for dogs, look for size specific foods. A fast growing, large breed dog needs different nutrients than a small dog.

  • Remember the difference between ingredients and nutrients. Nutrients are food components that support life and are metabolically useful, while ingredients are the vehicles that provide nutrients. For example, chicken is an ingredient that provides nutrients such as protein, fatty acids, and vitamins. Also, ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, which is why meat is usually listed first. The high water content in meat (chicken, beef, lamb) makes these ingredients weigh more than grains, meals, and vitamins.

  • Check the Guaranteed Analysis. This is the mandatory guarantee that your pet’s food contains the labeled percentages of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Keep in mind that wet and dry food percentages will be different. You can convert wet food to dry matter to be able to compare foods.

Ask your veterinarian if you are unsure of pet food labels and if you are feeding your pet the right food!

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How to Read Pet Food Labels

'
Topics | Nutrition, Food
Posted | January 14, 2019



Have you ever gotten lost in the food isles of the pet store?
Searching for pet food and understanding the label maybe one of the toughest things to do for our furry friends.

  • Start by making sure the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approves the food as a complete and balanced nutritional diet. AAFCO is an organization that sets the nutritional standards for pet foods sold in the US.

  • Find the right fit for your pet. If your pet is still growing, make sure to find a food that is labeled for either all life stages or for puppies or kittens. Puppy or kitten food contains much higher levels of certain nutrients than foods for adult maintenance. Also, for dogs, look for size specific foods. A fast growing, large breed dog needs different nutrients than a small dog.

  • Remember the difference between ingredients and nutrients. Nutrients are food components that support life and are metabolically useful, while ingredients are the vehicles that provide nutrients. For example, chicken is an ingredient that provides nutrients such as protein, fatty acids, and vitamins. Also, ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, which is why meat is usually listed first. The high water content in meat (chicken, beef, lamb) makes these ingredients weigh more than grains, meals, and vitamins.

  • Check the Guaranteed Analysis. This is the mandatory guarantee that your pet’s food contains the labeled percentages of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Keep in mind that wet and dry food percentages will be different. You can convert wet food to dry matter to be able to compare foods.

Ask your veterinarian if you are unsure of pet food labels and if you are feeding your pet the right food!

Share this post