Pet food labels are full of information, much of it mandated at the state and federal levels. Dogs and cats require more than 40 essential nutrients, and a pet food product that is labeled as “complete and balanced” contains those nutrients at the proper amounts for their life stage. Click here to watch a quick video
on how to understand what’s on a pet food label.
Shoppers have an array of options when considering food for their dog or cat. When selecting food for your pet, look for the nutritional adequacy statement, indicated life stage and the guaranteed analysis to ensure your pet is getting the nutrition he or she needs. The nutritional adequacy statement will indicate that the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage, such as growth, reproduction, adult maintenance or a combination of these. If the food does not meet the complete and balanced requirements, it is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Ensure that you follow the feeding directions indicated on the package and that the food you select is appropriate for your pet’s life stage.
Finally, the guaranteed analysis (GA) indicates to regulators reviewing each label that the product complies with nutrient requirements and voluntary label claims. The GA also ensures you, the pet owner, can find the levels of, at a minimum, four key nutrients in your pet’s food: protein, fat, fiber and moisture.