How to Read a Dog Food Label


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Do you know how to read a dog food label? With all the latest news about bad dog food, we thought it important to do a post on reading dog food labels and dog food nutrition label information.

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There are so many dog foods out there today. How do you pick the right one for your dog?

What to look for in a dog food nutrition label?

The best way is to start by reading the dog food label for the list of ingredients. Dog food manufacturers are required by federal law to list all ingredients on the dog food label in descending order of their pre-cooking weights.

Unfortunately, they do not have to list the exact amount or percentage of the ingredients, so this is not really an exact science, but it’s a good guideline and definitely the place you want to start.

Also check the bag to see where the dog food is manufactured. To be safe, we recommend staying with U.S. produced dog food and avoiding foods made in China due to some prior quality issues.

Wellness Core

As stated by the Dog Food Advisor and many other experts, when evaluating any dog food you want to look for high quality, digestible meat-based proteins.

These should be at the top of the list. Proteins such as beef, chicken, turkey, lamb and fish are ideal. Avoid foods that list “meat” or meat by-products as these are often a combination of unwanted meats and have little nutritional value for your pet.

It’s fine to have some good vegetables in your dog food, for example sweet potato, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash, carrots and peas. Fruits such as apples, cranberries and bananas can also be included.

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You want to avoid preservatives and dog food “fillers” which contain little to no nutritional value, for example: wheat, corn, cornmeal, white flour, soy, wheat gluten, cottonseed hulls, peanut hulls, citrus pulp, screening, weeds, straw, BHA, and BHT. In addition, avoid added sugar, artificial flavors, colors and dyes.

Last but definitely not least – make sure your dog likes it. There are so many choices out there you should be able to find a dog food your dog likes!

Now that we have dog food covered learn about which human foods dogs should avoid.

Dog food nutrition label information

Dog food nutrition labels provide essential information on the ingredients, calorie count, and nutritional value of the dog food. Understanding how to read and interpret dog food labels can help you make informed decisions about the best food options for your furry friend.

The ingredients listed on dog food nutrition labels are typically ranked by weight, with the first ingredient being the most prevalent. It’s essential to look for high-quality protein sources, such as chicken or lamb, as the primary ingredient.

More on what to avoid on dog food labels

Avoid food that uses fillers like corn, wheat, or soy, as these ingredients provide little nutritional value and can be difficult for dogs to digest.

It is also crucial to avoid artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, as they can negatively impact your dog’s health over time.

The guaranteed analysis section of the nutrition label provides information on the percentage of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture in the dog food.

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Different dog breeds have unique dietary requirements, so paying attention to these nutrients is essential to ensure your dog receives the necessary nutrients for their health and vitality.

Dog Food Label Round Up

Feeding instructions should also be looked at, as feeding the correct amount of food is necessary for maintaining an optimal body weight and overall health. By understanding what to look for on dog food nutrition labels, you can choose the best food options and ensure your dog gets the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

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