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Reading Pet Food Labels

Cat eating out of bowl

As a pet owner, you care about the health and wellbeing of your pet. That’s why it is important to understand how to read pet food labels to ensure you are feeding your animal quality ingredients that fortify them and keep them healthy.

What is Found on a Pet Food Label?

Here are some key features you will find on a pet food label:

Ingredient List

When you look at the label of your pet’s food, there is an ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. This means the first ingredient makes up the largest amount of the food product and the last ingredient is the least present. As humans, we know having whole foods is important, and it is the same for our pets. Be sure to look for whole recognizable ingredients on your pet’s food label too. Try to avoid terms like “meat meal” or “animal by-products” that don’t really tell you what is present in the food and may not provide the same amount of nutrients a purer form of food ingredient would.

Guaranteed Analysis

Each pet food product also provides a guaranteed analysis. This statement shows the minimum percentage of crude protein and fat in the food. It also shows the maximum percentage of crude fiber and moisture in the food. This information helps you determine if the food product meets your pet’s nutritional needs. It is important to point out that the guaranteed analysis only provides minimum and maximum ranges, not exact amounts.

Feeding Guidelines

Oftentimes, it’s hard to figure out the right amount of food to give your pet. They’re usually always asking for more. One easy way to determine the right amount of food to feed your pet is to check the recommended serving the manufacturer provides. This recommendation is based on the pet’s size and activity level. However, you may need to tailor the amount you feed your pet based on their individual needs. There are many factors that can affect your pet’s food requirements such as their age, breed, weight, and activity level. Talk to your vet to make sure you feed your pet the right amount to keep them at optimal weight and health.

Labeling Terms

Similar to human food labels, pet food labels will use terms like “organic,” “natural,” “complete and balanced.” Be sure to investigate the meaning of these terms further. The requirements to use these labels may not be as strict as you think.

For example, a pet food product that is labeled as “complete and balanced” must meet certain nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). But this statement doesn’t guarantee the ingredients used in the food are high quality.

Choosing the Right Food for Your Pet

One of the best ways to choose the right food for your pet is to consult with your veterinarian. They can help you determine the specific nutritional needs for your pet based on their breed, age, activity level, size, and more. Additionally, they can provide you with advice on serving sizes, so you always feed your pet the right amount to keep them at a healthy weight.

Pet Food at Petz Place

At Petz Place, we sell dog food, cat food, and other types of pet food. Our staff members are experts on the products we sell and stay up to date on the latest pet health and wellness news. We carry only the best and highly trusted brands. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about pet food and nutrition! You can purchase food in at our store based in New Philadelphia, Ohio or order online. We offer delivery, subscriptions, and special orders. Contact us today for more information.


About Petz Place

Petz Place is a locally owned pet store located in New Philadelphia, Ohio and serves the Tuscarawas County area including Dover, Uhrichsville, Dennison, Bolivar, Strasburg, and beyond.

We sell pets, pet supplies, food, treats, toys, and almost anything you need to keep your pet happy and healthy. Additionally, we offer professional pet grooming and DIY pet grooming

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