Posted

WAIT!  Just what’s really in that food your about to feed your best friend?  The most important thing for a pet owner is knowing how to read a dog food label and understand what it means.

 

WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED ON THE LABEL?

  • Product Name
  • Brand Name
  • Species for which the food is intended (dog, cat, hamster, etc)
  • Net Weight
  • Guaranteed Analysis
  • Ingredient Statement
  • Nutritional Adequacy
  • Feeding Directions
  • Name & Address of Manufacturer

 

WHAT DOES THE NAME MEAN?

  • If the name states “chicken”, “beef”, “seafood”, etc it must contain at least 95% of that item
  • If the name states “dinner”, “entree”, “platter” (chicken dinner, beef platter, etc) it must contain 25% of that product
  • If the name states “with” (chicken, beef, seafood, etc), it must contain only 3% of that product
  • If the name only states “flavor” (chicken flavor, etc), there is no minimum requirement for that product

 

WHAT IS BY-PRODUCT?

  • The term “by-product” is very broad, but includes animal parts like liver, stomach and kidneys
  • These are actually pretty nutritious and good for your dog, so don’t let the term put you off 100%

 

UNDERSTANDING THE INGREDIENTS

  • Ingredients must be listed by descending order of weight, but it’s important to understand that this is weight BEFORE processing.
  • Chicken or Beef may be listed as the main ingredient, but when raw they contain a lot of liquid that is lost in the cooking process

 

FEEDING INSTRUCTIONS

  • To keep your dog in shape, it pays to follow the portion recommendations on the label
  • Calories per ounce can vary among different foods, so a cup of one brand might be half the calories of a cup of another