• Loading Tab Content...

    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.

    • Overview

      This section usually contains a branded name, like SMARTBLEND, along with an indication of the primary ingredient, for example, Lamb 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.

    • Ingredient List

      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.

    • Guaranteed Analysis

      State regulations require a maximum level of certain nutrients, and a minimum level of others. The guaranteed analysis shows where the pet food's quantity of those nutrients falls within that range.

    • Nutritional Adequacy Statement

      Further down the list, you'll see many chemical-sounding names that correspond to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

    • Feeding Directions

      State regulations require a maximum level of certain nutrients, and a minimum level of others. The guaranteed analysis shows where the pet food's quantity of those nutrients falls within that range.

    • Calories 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.

    • Other Label Claims

      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."

    • Compare Before You Shop

      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.