We get numerous questions on what food I eat. Many wonder if my food contain some kind of “super” ingredient as I don’t act like a 12 year old senior dog. It made me curious and decide to check the label of my dog food.
As you can see from the above, we break down 8 essential categories from my food label.
Our friends from PetCareRx and their board certified veterinary nutritionist, helped us understand these categories and provided us a break down.
You may also use these 8 categories break down when reading your dog food label.
1: A DOG FOOD “WITH”
Labeling like this is a bit tricky. A dog food that says “with chicken” doesn’t necessarily mean there’s nothing else, or even that it’s the only protein. In order to list ingredients at the top like this, a food company has to put 3% of each listed ingredient here into the food. The full story will be on the back of the bag.
2: AAFCO STATEMENT
The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a legislative body that approves food for animals. Messages like the one on Sugar’s bag, “Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages” mean the food is appropriate for feeding as a regular, everyday food.
3: NET WEIGHT
All packages of dog food have their weight on the label. Sugar’s dog food bag is 15 pounds. This simply helps pet parents who want to know about how long the package of food will last, feeding their dog by weight. It can also help when shopping for food online–just how big is that bag?
4: MANUFACTURER INFO
All pet foods list their company’s address so that people can contact them. Phone numbers and websites are actually optional, but nearly all pet food companies list these now.
5: FEEDING INSTRUCTIONS
Instructions for how much to feed your dog are required on every package of dog food. Manufacturers do not have to follow any real rules here though, other than providing reasonable instructions. A dog food for seniors like Sugar’s will list portions specifically for senior dogs.
Orijen also lists different amounts based on the dog’s activity. This is a plus because sometimes inactive dogs get fed too much based on package guidelines, which can lead to obesity.
6: INGREDIENTS LIST
The ingredients list on dog food must be in a descending order, so that the ingredient with the highest weight is listed first. This applies whether the ingredient is a wet or dry one.
7: GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
This chart, the guaranteed analysis, is required on all dog food packages. It shows pet parents what the basic concentrations are in the food. The only four things that must be on the label are protein, fat, moisture, and crude fiber, but many companies add others in the list.
8: CALORIE COUNT
What we usually think of as “calories” are actually “Calories” with a capital “C,” or kilocalories. If kilocalories are listed on a dog food label, they must be labeled as kilocalories per kg of food. This is not very useful to the average dog parent wondering how many calories are in a scoop, but many companies list the kilocalories per cup as well, which is currently optional. Regulations will soon require kilocalories per cup or can to be on all AAFCO approved foods.
Lots of Golden Thanks PetCareRx.
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Disclaimer: Golden Woofs was not compensated by PetCareRx for this post. PetCareRx assisted and provided Golden Woofs data/explanation of Sugar’s dog food label.
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