Understanding Dog Foods and Dog Food Labels
When it comes to buying dog food, many dog owners practice extra caution. They want to read the labels and make sure that their dogs are getting the best nutrition they possibly can. For many dog owners, it can be a bit difficult because dog food labels don’t read the same way as labels on human food. In fact, dog food labels are actually hard to fully decipher unless you know what to look for. Without the proper instruction and knowledge, it can be dangerous to try to decipher the information. For this reason, it’s better to know exactly what to look for when it comes to buying dog food so your dog gets the best possible nutrition at a good, affordable price.
Dog food labels are divided into two sections: the principal display panel and the information panel. The principal display label shows the very basic facts about the dog food, including the brand name. The principal display label also contains an outline of the contents of the actual food (whether it’s chicken and rice or beef, etc). You will also find the class designator which provides information to let you know if it is a “lite” food, if it is intended for growth maintenance, or if it is best for puppies or adult dogs. It will also show the quantity of food contained.
The information panel is what you really ought to study. It lists a general analysis of all ingredients that make up the food, providing vital information on the percentages of the composition so that dog owners know what to avoid or enhance. The information panel is actually a full ingredients list, a nutrition adequacy claim stating what life stage it is intended for and the testing that the food underwent. The label will also include specific feeding instructions. For instance, in the case of a can of wet food, they may say that a dog needs one can of food per ten pounds it weighs. The second section, the information panel, is far more important than the principal display panel because it tells you what you are really putting into your dog.
Reading the labels in dog food is as important as it is to read labels on human food. Dogs deserve to be eating as healthy as any person. By checking labels, you will ensure the safety of the market. In fact, eating right can extend a dog’s life by years. Why wouldn’t you want that time with your beloved pet?
Here are links to websites that break down exactly what everything on a dog food label means. They explain what certain words mean, what the sections represent, and other very important data.
- Interpreting Labels: Provides information on how to interpret things like dry matter basis.
- Label Information 101: Discusses the basic facts that are included on labels.
- General Information: Provides information about basic food label information.
- Dog Food Label Regulations: Points out the actual requirements for dog food labels.
- Understanding the Labels: Provides the very basic facts about dog food labels.