Lets take a closer look…
Pet food labels contain a lot of information. When choosing a quality pet food, look for these items.
- Manufacturer and Brand Name
- Toll free 800 numbers
- Nutritional Adequacy Statement
- Guaranteed Analysis
- Ingredient statement
Manufacturer and Brand Name:
The reputation of the manufacture will help determine if the food is made according to quality standards. Quality pet foods are based on science and each product backed by research. Make sure the company has a good reputation and that the Brand is recommended by animal health professionals
Toll Free Number:
This number is the gateway to more complete information on the real quality of the food – calories, nutrient content, palatability, etc. Use the 800 number to ask for the actual nutrient content or for information not available on the label.
Nutritional Adequacy Statement:
Make sure this statement confirms that the product was actually test-fed according to Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards and specifies the life stage it is intended to support. If the statement says the food supports “all life stages” then the product is high in certain nutrients to support the needs of growing animals and may contain too much fat for an adult or senior. It may also not have enough protein for a growing animal.
This section provides minimum guarantees for protein and fat, and maximum guarantee gives the lowest amount of the nutrient in the food, not the actual amount. For example, the minimum fat guarantee may be 8%, but the product can legally contain 15% fat or more. Likewise, a product with maximum guarantee of 5% fiber may only contain 1%. The actual nutrient content available from the manufacturer is a better way to evaluate products.
Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. The function of ingredients is to provide nutrients such as fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Manufactures should be willing to discuss nutrient levels and benefits, not just ingredients. Your pet deserves quality ingredients combined with the science of balanced nutrition, backed by research to produce a quality pet food.
Remember, it may sound good to have something like say… cranberries in your pets diet, but does he/she really benefit from it, nutritionally?
The pet foods we recommend are