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Reading Your Dog's Food Labels

There are five key items to look for when reviewing a dog food label.

Dr. Jennifer Demming of Zuke's provides tips on how to read your dog's pet food labels, whether your're reviewing your current food choices or thinking of making a change.

1. Nutritional Adequacy Statement - Look for a label that says that the food meets the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This AAFCO is responsible for creating guidelines on every nutrient found in dog food to make sure that an animal's dietary needs are met. There are two statements you can see - either that the food is "formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO" or, the stronger statement that "Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that {name of food} provides complete and balanced nutrition..."

2. Look at the company's marketing. You should avoid companies that do not promote the benefits of their product but instead rely on attacking the products of other companies.

3. Can you find contact information, such as a phone number, on the bag or can? If you need more information, a good company should provide a way top contact them.

4. Where are ingredients sourced? We all recall the issues with chicken imported from China that led to food recalls and sick pets. If you can't see on the label where the food comes from, this may be a red flag.

5. Finally, you want to know if the company tests their food for stability, which means that there is a "Best by {date}" on the label.

Visit the Zuke's site for more information on healthy nutrition and treats for dogs.

Photo credit: P. via photopin (license)


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