Why You Should Read Pet Food Labels and How to Do It
As pet owners, we all want to ensure that our furry friends are receiving the best nutrition possible. One of the best ways to do this is by carefully reading and understanding pet food labels. By doing so, we can ensure that we’re feeding our pets a healthy and balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Here are a few reasons why you should be reading pet food labels and how to do it:
Ensure your pet is getting the right nutrients.
Pet food labels provide valuable information about the ingredients and nutrient content of the food. By reading the label, you can determine whether the food contains the necessary nutrients your pet needs, such as protein, fat, and fibre. You can also see if the food is nutritionally complete and balanced, which means it meets the nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Avoid harmful ingredients.
Reading pet food labels can also help you avoid harmful ingredients that may be detrimental to your pet’s health. By checking the ingredients list, you can see if the food contains artificial preservatives, by-products, and fillers. You can also look for high-quality protein sources, whole grains, and vegetables, and avoid generic terms like “meat” or “by-product.”
Help manage your pet’s weight.
Pet food labels also provide information on the calorie content of the food. By knowing the calorie content, you can ensure that you’re not overfeeding your pet and help manage their weight. This is especially important for pets who are overweight or have health issues that require a specific diet.
Now that you understand the importance of reading pet food labels, here’s how to do it:
Look at the ingredients list.
The ingredients list provides information on all the ingredients used to make the food, starting with the most prominent and working down to the least. Look for high-quality protein sources, whole grains, and vegetables, and avoid fillers, by-products, and artificial preservatives. Also, make sure that named animal protein sources are the first ingredients listed, such as “Hoki fish,” “chicken,” “beef,” or “lamb.”
Check the guaranteed analysis.
The guaranteed analysis provides information on the nutrient content of the food, including protein, fat, fibre, and moisture. Make sure that the food contains the necessary nutrients your pet needs, and ensure that it’s nutritionally complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards.
Look at the calorie content.
The calorie content provides information on how much energy the food provides your pet for growth and repair. Make sure that you’re not overfeeding your pet and that they’re receiving the appropriate number of calories for their size and activity level.
In conclusion, reading pet food labels is an essential part of providing your pet with a healthy and balanced diet. By understanding what to look for on the label, you can ensure that you’re feeding your pet a high-quality, nutritious diet that meets their nutritional needs.