How to Read a Pet Food Label
Navigating the countless options in the pet food section of your favorite store can be confusing. Here's a quick guide to help you make informed decisions when selecting the food that's right for your pet.
By government standards, the label on every bag or can of pet food will contain the following information:
This section usually contains a branded name, like SMARTBLEND®, along with an indication of the primary ingredient, for example, SMARTBLEND® Lamb & Rice Formula.
Net Weight Statement
This indicates how much food is contained in the bag or can.
Manufacturer's Name and Address
Identifies where the product was made in case you have questions or comments about the product.
Ingredients are listed in order of content weight, so be sure to look for food that lists a real source of protein first, such as chicken, beef, lamb, salmon or tuna.
Further down the list, you'll see many chemical-sounding names that correspond to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
State regulations require a minimum level of certain nutrients, and a maximum level of others. The guaranteed analysis shows where the pet food's quantity of those nutrients falls within that range.
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
To substantiate claims like "complete," "balanced," or "100% nutritious," pet food must meet the standards of an established profile, or be proven to meet the nutritional recommendations.
Follow these instructions to determine how much food to feed your pet each day. Typically, you'll see, "feed _____ cups per ____ pounds of weight daily."
This is expressed as a kilocalorie per kilogram basis. It may also be expressed as a common unit of measure, such as kilocalories per cup. This information will help you get a handle on the differences between dry pet food brands.
Other Label Claims
It's important to know how to navigate the information contained in a pet food label. Just know that any time you choose a product from Purina ONE, you can be confident you've selected a pet food that's made with scientific precision, by experts always looking to better serve the nutritional needs of pets.