Trying to understand pet food labels is sometimes difficult and can be time consuming. There are a few things to consider while buying food for your dog: age,Dog Nutrition: Reading Pet Food Lables Articles teeth, and health. There are many varieties of both wet and dry food dogs and cats. Even treats will have labels that are hard to read.
The FDA states that dog food labels have to list the minimum amounts of protein,and fat; also, the maximum amounts of moisture and crude fiber. There are other manufacturers that do list other ingredients as well. Dog food labels do not usually state the minimum percentages of calcium, sodium, phosphorus or linoleic acid. Cat food labels normally list taurine and magnesium, two necessary nutrients for cats.
The amount of moisture in pet foods is different in all foods. Dry food does have the least amount and canned food has the most. Make sure when comparing food, compare canned food with canned food and dry food with Cheri Honnas other dry food.
There are three basic rules to pet food labels:
1- The 95% rule: If a product has a name like ‘Beef for Dogs’ it has to have at least 95% of that product that is names. These should not include any added water.
2- The 25% rule: If there is a qualifying word in the label, such as ‘Dinner”, ‘Entree’ ‘Platter’ or ‘Formula’ there has to be at least 25% of the ingredient named on the label. A good example is “Shrimp Dinner”.
3- The 3% rule: If the label has the word ‘with’ it only has to have 3% of that product named.
‘Chicken Dog Food’- 95% rule applied ‘Dog Food with Tuna’- 3% rule applied
It is also important to look at the entire list of ingredients in pet foods. They are listed in descending order. That being the first ingredient should be the highest quality ingredient, such as meat. You should be careful when purchasing food that contains ‘animal by-products’ because they do not give any nutrition to any dog.
It is best to choose food that is appropriate for your pet’s life stage. Some foods are just for ‘puppies’ or ‘seniors’. these are formulated for a pet of a certain age and stage of their life. Food for adults is not appropriate for a puppy that is growing. If a food label states “100% nutritionally complete” then the food is good for all ages.