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Nutrition Labels On Pet Food Help Keep Your Furry Friend Healthy!

October 02, 2012

As nutrition and health become more important and emphasized in society for humans, it is also equally as important for pets! Nutrition labels are everywhere, and on every product we consume. Smartphone users have downloaded more calorie counting and fitness apps than ever, and now pet food nutrition labels are being taken more into consideration as pet owners buy their furry friends healthier meals.

When pet food brands name their products there is often more reasoning behind their naming than we know. Companies tend to name their products by highlighting a specific product or ingredient contained in the food. But, that leaves the question: How much of that ingredient is present in the food?”

The rules of labeling pet foods are developed and regulated by two groups:

  1. The Center for Veterinary Medicine of the US Food and Drug Administration
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)

When companies develop nutrition labels or ingredient lists they must put the ingredients in order of predominance by weight. This helps consumers shopping for specific foods for their pets. If you want your pet to have more beef in his meal, make sure beef is listed as one of the first few ingredients.

When reading a standard nutrition label for foods we eat every day you will notice that it has a serving size. That serving size is the recommended amount one should have and the amount of calories listed pertaining to that standard serving size.

It may astonish people who have never had the chance to look but only recently the AAFCO has ruled that pet food manufacturers can voluntarily print calorie counts on their food labels. Though calories are optional, pet food labels must include serving sizes. This is done much differently on pet foods than on human foods. Instead of the label having a general serving size, it usually includes wording like “feed ______ cups per _____ pounds of body weight daily”.

One thing pet owners should be aware of when comparing pet food brands is that the terms like “premium”, “Super Premium”, “Ultra Premium” and even “Gourmet” have no official regulatory standing. The products containing these words are not required to contain any different, or even higher quantities, of ingredients. Using these words is simply part of advertising and marketing that is done by companies.

Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter pages if you’ve ever read the nutritional labels on your pet food before buying! Have you found any useful tricks that you use when purchasing healthier meals for your pets?

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