Do You Know What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Deciphering your furry companion's food labels can be a daunting experience. Ingredients lists are often long and complex. Percentages and body weight calculations are confusing. Ultimately, you may just toss the food in your cart and hope for the best.
But there's another way. Learning to decode a pet food label isn’t hard once you learn the basics. Check out these tips for understanding pet food labels.
Packaged food is always listed by the weight of ingredients - not the amount. Starting with the heaviest ingredient and moving to the lightest.
What to avoid
Best to avoid pet food products that contain artificial colors, animal by-products or filler ingredients. Also avoid misleading marketing tactics that cater to human tastes. Stick to high-quality brands rich in the nutrients your furry friend needs.
Protein is vital to your dog or cat's health. High-quality foods, like Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Woodland Catch Recipe for cats and PEAK Wetlands Recipe for dogs, provide simple, easy-to-read proteins as primary ingredients. A rule of thumb: look for labels that place proteins at the top of the ingredients list. This will guarantee your cat or dog is receiving proper protein levels with each meal.
Feeding guidelines are the manufacturer’s recommendations depending on the size, weight and age of your pet. You know your pet best. Use these guidelines as a basis for maintaining your pet’s healthy weight, but always rely on the advice of a vet, too.
Guaranteed Analysis lists the nutrient content of your pet’s food. Here you will find the minimum crude protein and fat levels, plus the maximum fiber and moisture levels. If claims of other nutrients are listed on the packaging, such as Omega 3s, they will be noted in this section.
Nutritional adequacy statement
This is where the manufacturer tells you that the food is complete and balanced. The nutritional adequacy statement provides information for whether the food is for recommended daily feeding or specially formulated for kittens or senior dogs.
Pet food labels don’t have to be confusing. Check the ingredients for proteins and avoid nasty chemicals and dyes is all it takes to make an informed decision about your pet’s health.