Pet food labels are somewhat standardized by two organizations the FDA(Food and Drug Administration) and the AAFCO(Association of Feed Control Officials). Most States adapt the AAFCO standards in their level of regulation. The AAFCO has both government officials and representatives of the pet food industry on their decision making board. Even though regulated by rules pet foods can be hard to understand and somewhat misleading in claims and ingredients.
The front of the package is purely marketing for selling the product to humans. The wording of this does have standards it can be used to the advantage of companies making foods that are less expensive to produce. A “Chicken Dog Food” is different in minimum weight percentages than “Chicken Dinner for Dogs” which will have considerable less. So do not judge the nutrition or content of a dog food entirely by it’s name.
A consumer must read the information panel in order to choose a good dog food, just like we do for our families. The information panel is similar to human food packaging. There is an ingredient list and a guaranteed analysis of the ingredients. Also required is manufacturer’s contact information and feeding guidelines. [Read more…]