This Article is About
feed control officials
aafco
animal protein
water weight
dog owner
dog food
personal choice
How Important Is The Dog Food Label
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How Important is the Dog Food Label

We got a dog so we would have companionship around the house to play with and relax us after a long day at work. Did you get a puppy or a dog that is two years old. Or is your dog an adult now. If you have a puppy, you might be asking yourself, what would be the best food to feed him. If you have an adult dog, he might not be eating like he used to and you can not figure out why. The answer to your questions could be found in the dog food label.

The label is what you want to look at when you buy the dog food you want. The food label, like the one you find on package foods for humans, is there to help you compare different products and learn about the dog food. Let me show you what you need to look for.

Like the list of ingredients we find on food made for humans, pet food will have a list ingredients and the first will be the heaviest one. According to the FDA, if the first item is meat, it is about 75% water. If you take away the water weight, meat would not be first on the list. Meat and bone meal or chicken meal are different though. That concentrates the animal protein that your dog needs.

When looking at the label, the first thing you should look for is ( AAFCO ), Association of American Feed Control Officials, at the bottom of the label. If you do not see those words, do not buy that dog food. There is no way to know what the dog food was made of or where it came from. Look at the label to the right, you will see the ( AAFCO ) that I am talking about.

The next thing you should look for is to see if there are any byproducts in the food. Byproducts are good and it is a matter of personal choice for the dog owner. If the label on the bag or can of dog food states " complete and balanced ", then it should meet your dog's nutritional needs. Meat byproducts can contain blood, brains, bones, stomachs, udders, and cleaned intestines. Byproducts do not include horns, hair, teeth, and hooves, although small amount were allowed that occur during processing. Chicken or beef on the list may include heart, tongue, esophagus and diaphragm. It may not sound good to you, but your dog may go crazy over it.

The FDA will approve dog food when it comes to preservatives, artificial colors, and stabilizers and they know that it is safe. On the list, you will see the perservatives that were added by the manufacture but may not list ones that are added in by a different manufacture.

Bottom line is be safe first. Look for the AAFCO wording at the bottom of the label. Then look at the ingredients in the list. If you are not sure what to get, check with your veterinarian. Just remember that there are so many different types of dog food.


Street Talk

Thank you for your article. I feel sorry for pets whose owners choose their food based on the cheapest thing on the market. I don't treat my animals like my kids but all the same feel a great responsibility for their health and wellbeing. I find that if I keep my pet on a natural diet (free from additives and preservatives) they're happier, their coat is glossier and they don't get fleas. I believe this is because of their blood temperature which is not elevated trying to cope with all the nasties in their diet. Thanks for raising an awareness of food labelling for pets.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank you Heather. I can tell by reading your comment that you take real good care of your pets

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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