Cracking the pet food label

February 8, 2024 | Logan Simmons

Cracking the Pet Food Code: Label Literacy

Cracking the Pet Food Code: Label Literacy

Decoding pet food labels can feel like deciphering hieroglyphics. Here’s your cheat sheet:

  1. Decode Ingredients: Read the list from top down, first ingredients are most abundant. Prioritize recognizable protein sources (“chicken”) over vague terms (“poultry meal”).
  2. Know the Key Players: Protein, fat, fiber, and moisture are crucial. Look for high protein (25-35%) for carnivores, moderate fat (5-15%), and adequate fiber (3-7%). Moisture indicates water content.
  3. Guaranteed Analysis: This section shows minimum and maximum percentages of key nutrients. Aim for higher protein and lower fat/ash (undigestible minerals) percentages.
  4. Nutritional Adequacy Statement: Look for “complete and balanced” for all life stages or specific needs (puppy, senior). Avoid “supplemental feeding only” labels.
  5. Consider Calorie Count: Adjust portions based on your pet’s age, activity level, and body condition. Consult your vet for personalized guidance.

Remember: Labels are a starting point. Talk to your vet and research the available foods to understand your pet’s unique needs and choose the food that’s pawsitively perfect for them!