Understanding Dog Food Nutrition

How to Read Dog Food Labels

Ingredients and Nutrients: 

Ingredients are listed in order of weight. Due to the high water content in meats commonly found in dog food, those ingredients are usually listed first. Lamb, chicken, and beef will have the most nutrients followed by grains such as rice and wheat.

Guaranteed Analysis:

This section of a dog food label breaks down the amounts of protein, fat, fiber, etc. included in the food.

AAFCO Standards

The AAFCO stands for The Association of American Feed Control Officials, which sets a standard of guidelines that for the production of pet food. All dog foods that are labeled as “complete and balanced” must meet these standards. You can be confident that you are feeding your pet quality and nutritious food that has the AAFCO statement printed on the packaging.

AAFCO standards also require that dog food clearly state which state of life the food will best benefit. You want to ensure that you are feeding puppies and adult dogs different food that will best benefit their growth, energy, bones and overall lifelong health!

Price vs. Quality of Dog Food

It is important to evaluate the overall water content in your pet’s food. Usually, canned food will be a majority water while dry food can have as little as 10% water. Foods that contain larger percentages of water suffer in lower nutritional value. Although you may be buying cheaper food, it may not be benefiting your dog as well. A better tip for saving money on dog food is considering buying in bulk. Calculate the price per ounce/pound to find the best deal!

Note: Some pets do not stay hydrated as well as others. Canned wet food can be a great source of water. We suggest mixing wet and dry food for best results.

Dog Food Serving Size

Most dog food should also include the daily serving size based on weight. This part of the label will outline different portions for each weight range. To keep you pet a healthy weight, you should follow these recommendations or talk to your veterinarian.


By madison|Thu, Dec 15, 2016