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Pet food label tricks to keep “Fido” and “Fluffy” healthy for life!
Fat is fuel!
To easily analyze the “main” ingredients of your pet’s food, first identify the fat content and every ingredient listed prior. Because fat should be at 10% or higher (no more than 25% for dogs), everything listed afterwards is more accurately considered a miner ingredient based on weight.
Protein! This is the most important ingredient for your pet in the sense it should make up the bulk of “Fido” and “Fifi’s” diet. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous manufactures may pull some tricks to cut corners. Here’s what to avoid:
Gluten and wheat gluten do not make a nutritious protein source for your pets. Also, avoid soy whenever possible. These three ingredients are the top allergens for dogs and cats!
With that said, the first ingredient listed on the label should be a meat source. Avoid “meat by-products”, as they are likely low quality parts of the animal that are unsuitable for human consumption. They consist of feet, beaks, brains, intestines and some feathers. They can also be derived from "4-D" meat sources -- defined as food from animals that have been rejected for human consumption because they were presented to the meat packing plant as "dead, dying, diseased or disabled."
The most important thing, is to use your common sense – if something doesn’t seem “right” it probably isn’t. And remember there’s always a nutrition specialist at your local Tabby & Jack’s ready to answer your questions.
Many caring pet owners want to learn more about what they are feeding their furry friends, but reading pet food labels can be confusing and deceiving.
The pet food manufacturing industry is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration’s Center of Veterinary Medicine. The regulations for pet foods are very lax and poorly monitored. Therefore, as pet owners, we must take a proactive role in understanding pet food labels and our pets’ nutritional needs.
Here’s what to look for: