Today I thought I would pass on some interesting facts that I have learned about labels on bags of food for us dogs and cats.
1. Some companies label their dog and cat food with the terms premium, ultra premium,or holistic. If you see this it is a red flag to look deeper. These terms are simply marketing terms because they are not official definitions from AAFCO, FDA, or USDA.
2. If you see the terms natural or organic that is a green flag. These terms have definitions in that the food must meet the same regulations that apply to organic human food.
3. Food that has been formulated to meet the nutrient levels recommended by AAFCO will include that statement and this is a green flag. Just remember AFFCO has two separate nutrient profiles, one for growth and reproduction and one for adult maintenance. The label should indicate what life stage the product has produced to meet.
4. If the label indicates the dog or cat food is complete and balanced this is a yellow flag. The food must have passed a 26 week feeding test where 6 out of 8 animals did not show any clinical or pathological signs of nutritional deficiency or excess. I say this is a yellow flag because there are many who say a 25% failure rate is too high.
5. The ingredient list on the label is your major key to what is in the bag. Ingredients must be listed in descending order by weight. If you are looking for a food with beef and see beef flavor on the label run the other way. The official rules say that the food needs to simply taste like beef and it may have zero beef in the food.
6. Also run the other way if you see chicken or beef byproducts on the label. You just cannot imagine what those byproducts might be.
7. The label must list the crude protein, fat, fiber, and total moisture on the label. This analysis must be guaranteed by a government agency; in Ohio it is The Ohio Department of Agriculture. If the analysis is not on the label look elsewhere.
8. If you see a label that says 100% chicken and other ingredients are listed on the label this is a red flag. The rules state that if the product contains more than one ingredient, not including the water necessary for processing and trace amounts of preservatives it cannot be labeled 100%.
9. There is a 95% rule and this applies when 95% of the ingredients by weight come from animals, poultry, or fish.
10.Our opinion on preservatives on the label is this is a red flag because many of these chemicals are responsible for health problems for dogs and cats.
When you buy all natural dog treats at our gourmet dog bakery it is like eating at your Mothers table where you knew she was adamant about putting things on your dinner table that were nutritional good for you. Just check our labels, everything on them has a health benefit.