How to Understand Dog Food Labels
Trying to understand the information on dog food labels can be quite puzzling. As a dog owner,
you want to feed your dog what is the healthiest food for them.
You need to keep an eye on the label.. Every time we look at the ingredients label for dog food
we get thoroughly upset and just end up purchasing based on fancy words and recommendations
by the store owner or clerk, that the only important factor to them is to sell you what makes
the must profit.
All pet foods must list the ingredients present in dog food. Also Ingredients are listed in descending
order, according to weight. Be careful of one tactic used by manufacturers to mask less desirable
ingredients and breaking them into several different smaller ingredients and listing them individually
is used to lower these unwanted ingredients farther down the list.
All labels are very tricky and never list ingredients by weight. .Our label is called
“Simply Simple Label” Click Here to View Ours and how simple every ingredient is
listed by weight per pound.
If you see a label listing like the example below, be aware that is not healthy for your dog.
Number (1) Ingredient:
Ground whole grain corn: Ground whole grain corn is the entire corn kernel ground or chopped.
Since this is the first ingredient listed, then the dog food contains more whole ground corn than
any other ingredient.
Number (2) Ingredient:
Chicken by-product meal: Chicken or Poultry by-products are clean parts of slaughtered chicken
or poultry such as heads, feet, and internal organs (like heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, abdomen,
Number (3) Ingredient:
Corn Gluten Meal: Corn gluten meal is a by-product of processing corn to make corn starch
and corn syrup and is the dried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch.
Number (4) Ingredient:
Chicken Liver Flavor: Just that. Chicken liver flavor.
Number (5) Ingredient:
Animal Fat: Animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E) this is fat that was
obtained during the rendering process of mammals or poultry. Note that the animal source is not
specified and is not required to originate from “slaughtered” animals.
Number (6) Ingredient
Soybean Mill Run: Composed of soybean hulls and soybean meats that adhere to the hulls which
result from normal milling operations. In other words, leftover soybean parts.
Number (7) Ingredient:
Dried Egg Product: Dried Egg Product is one of the most nutritiously beneficial ingredients that can
be used in any feed. It may cause allergies to some dogs.
Please remember that as the list of ingredients gets longer so is the chances of having the same
ingredient listed under another fancy name.
In the above example you learn that corn is the main ingredient follow by chicken parts and corn
again in the form of gluten. Using the same ingredient under different name can add more weight
to the top ones, regardless of quality, that makes the food less costly .
What is that?
Here we will give you small list of some ingredients and what they really are.
Chicken Liver Flavor: Just that. Chicken liver flavor.
Corn Gluten Meal: Corn gluten meal is a by-product of processing corn to make corn starch and
corn syrup and is the dried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch.
Dried Egg Product: Dried Egg Product is one of the most nutritiously beneficial ingredients that
can be used in any feed.
Meat: Meat is the clean flesh of slaughtered animals (chicken,cattle, lamb, turkey, etc.). The flesh
can include striated skeletalmuscle, tongue, diaphragm, heart, esophagus, overlying fat and the
skin, sinew, nerves and blood vessels normally found with that flesh.
Meat By-products: Meat by-products are clean parts of slaughtered animals, not including meat.
These include lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, and stomach and intestines freed of
their contents. It does not include hair, horns,teeth, or hooves.
Lamb Meal: Lamb meal is rendered lamb tissue such as skeletal muscle, some bone and internal
organs which have been cooked, dried and ground.
Fish Meal: Fish meal is the clean ground tissue of un- decomposed whole fish or fish cuttings,
withor without the oil extracted.
Beef Tallow: Beef tallow is fat derived from beef.
Brewers Rice: Brewers rice is the small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from
larger kernels of milled rice.
Brown Rice: Brown rice is the unpolished rice left over after the kernels have been removed.
The Guaranteed Analysis:
The guaranteed analysis information of the dog food label lists the minimum levels of crude protein
and fat ("Crude" refers to a specific method of measuring the nutrient, and is not an indication of
quality.) and the maximum levels of fiber and water.
Why good protein for pets
Protein is processed in the liver and any waste materials are filtered and excreted by the kidneys.
High quality protein does not generate large amounts of waste that needs to be removed from the
body, but poor quality protein which is difficult to digest does and thus puts stress on the kidneys.
The liver needs water to process protein and as a medium to carry waste products to the kidneys,
where they are filtered out and most of the water is reabsorbed.
After all the most important ingredients are listed you will have the different additives at the end
ofthe list that may include vitamins, supplements, minerals, colorings and preservatives.
The same preservatives are used in food for people and petfood. They are approved by the
US Foodand Drug Administration,are safe and are used in very small quantities. Pet foods contain
preservatives for the same reason food for people does - to keep it fresh. Preservatives keep
foodfrom spoiling. Eating spoiled food can cause illness in pets just as it can in people.