If you have a dog, you must have felt confused regarding which dog food to choose from the endless options available in the market. From wet, raw, and dry to age-specified and restricted diet food, there are various options available.
Due to the marketing and advertising claims, it becomes even more difficult to choose one type of dog food. Therefore, in this article you will find the main dog food labels explained to help you select the perfect dog food for your fur baby.
Brand and Product Name
The product name will tell you able the ingredients because many pet owners like to buy the product with specific ingredients. So, the brands highlight that ingredient.
- If the product name reads “chicken for dogs”, then it must include chicken as at least 70% of the finished product.
- Whereas, if the product name reads “chicken dinner for dogs”, the finished product must contain at least 10% of chicken.
- If the product name goes by “chicken flavor dog food”, it will contain artificial or natural flavoring and not necessarily any of the “flavor” ingredients.
- It also highlights the intended customer. You must not feed your dog with food meant for horse or cat as the nutrient levels vary as per the animal.
The quantity printed on the label reveals how much food is present in the container. It may be measured by count, weight, or liquid measure.
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
This part shows whether the product is balanced and complete to meet the nutrient guidelines as per the feed control association when fed as a single source of nutrition. So, if the label reads 100 percent nutritious or balanced and complete, the food has met particular government standards and offers 100 percent nutrition for all life stages of adult dogs.
Many of the dog foods are intended for supplementing feeding only and need to be clubbed with other foods to provide complete nutrition to the dog.
Guaranteed Analysis and Ingredients
Dog food labels must show the percentage of crude fat, crude protein, crude fiber, and water. If the food is labeled as low fat, it must display that minimum and maximum percentage of the item. If the product claims to have mineral or vitamin supplements, it should have a guarantee of the amount it supplies. If dog food is claimed to be organic, it must be 100% organic.
Ingredients should be listed in descending order by weight. Additionally, each ingredient must be listed individually, and by their common names.
Companies must provide their details like state, city, zip code, address, etc. Always remember that “distributed by” means that the food was manufactured by a third party and not the company selling it.
This element of the dog food label will tell you the amount you should feed your dog with. It can be listed either by the measure of food per cup or by the weight of the food per pound. However, how much to feed varies on the basis of temperament, breed, external environment, and many such factors.
Additionally, it must show the best-used by or expiry date. After the date, the food may go rancid and become less nutritional and can even develop harmful bacteria that can sicken your dog.