Dog Food Labeling & Dog Food Regulations

The truth is that the rules often allow for manufacturers to lead consumers into false beliefs on what they are feeding their dogs. The problem lies in the labeling specifics. For example, if your product says “With Chicken Flavor” the flavor only needs to be detectable but there does not have to be any actual chicken meat present in the product. How about one that’s labeled “Beef Dinner”, this product only has to contain 25% Beef and even worse, a product that says “With Beef” only has to contain at least 3% beef!

So even though you are buying a product that you think is “With Beef” and in your mind that means it’s full of hearty beef, you better think again! What you need kaneles to be looking for are whole products such as beef, chicken, salmon or venison. If a product says “Salmon For Dogs”, then at least 95% of that product must be Salmon and/or 70% including the water.

It’s just too easy to be fooled into thinking you are purchasing a wholesome product for your dog. You need to be able to decipher the labeling on the products you are purchasing to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition you are intending them to get.

Currently the pet food industry is being monitored by three different agencies. These agencies each play a different role in trying to ensure pet food safety. **FDA Center Veterinary Medicine**

The FDA division for Veterinary Medicine of course deals with animals and one of their functions is to make sure that the ingredients that are used in pet food are safe. The ingredients in pet food must also serve a functional purpose such as nutrition, flavor or vitamins and minerals. Any additional substances such as preservatives or additives must be specifically approved before they can be added.

**Association of American Feed Control Officials**

 

  • AAFCO is not a government agency like the FDA, instead its members are made up of state and federal employees from various agencies and employees from pet food companies. They have additional rules and dog food label regulations on top of the FDA regulations for pet foods. However, dog fd. regulations vary from state to state and not all states agree to AAFCO regulations.
  • The AAFCO require dog fd. to obtain the AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement in order for them to utilize the term “complete and balanced” on their packaging. It’s basically their way of guaranteed compliance for nutritional standards and statements and ingredients. If a dog fd. product acquires the AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement, it has met the Nutritional Profile based on the laboratory testing or it has successfully passed a feeding trial on live dogs.