Understanding Pet Food Labels

September 22, 2017
King Charles Spaniel sleeping

Are you any good at understanding pet food labels? Do you know what you are feeing your pet? Your dog is your best friend and you want to feed him food that is good for him.

Food labels are one of life’s mysteries. They are meant to show you exactly what is in your food. More often than not after reading the label you still have no idea what is in the food. Regulations are improving human food labelling and making it much clearer. There is no such regulation for pet food.

Nutrition plays an important role in your dog’s health and life span. It is just the same for humans. It is important to feed the right food for your dogs size, age and breed.

Understanding Pet Food Labels

My dog Eddie, is my best friend. He is a lovely dog, loving and loyal. More often than not he can be found curled up snoozing. He loves nothing more than curling up beside you. He does love to play and really enjoys his walks. I want to keep him in the best health I can.


King Charles Spaniel sleeping

A little while ago he was very ill with pancreatitis. It is horrible when your dog is ill. You want to help them but they can’t talk to tell you what is wrong. He is now better but has to eat a low fat diet. Even something as simple as trying to identify how much fat is in a dog food is next to impossible. Even the person in the pet shop was not clear. It is almost as if the labels are deliberately misleading.

I now feed Eddie diet of Pure dog food, which is dried human grade dog food, Canagan dog food and chicken and pasta. It took a long time to find a food that he would eat.

Read more: Pure dog food

What is in dog food

Dogs require a well balanced diet to meet their health needs. Dogs are omnivores, they can eat a mixture of plant and animal foods. They require different foods at different stages of their life. Puppies are growing and their diet needs to consider this. Older dogs may need help with their joints or a lower fat diet. To help choose the food you look at the dog food label. Unfortunately these are often confusing.

When you look at pet food labels you will often see the terms dehydrated, powder, dried, meal or concentrated. These often go alongside meat and animal derivatives. This food comes from the parts of the animal that are surplus to the requirements of humans. Think feet, beaks and other animal parts. Do you really want to be feeding this to your dog? I look for food with one word description of the meat. If I see salmon, chicken or beef I know it is higher quality.

Looking further at the ingredients you may see things like crude ash, inorganic matter listed. Do you have any clue what this means? I know I don’t. I want to know exactly what I am feeding my dog. Expensive food is not necessarily the best. If the labels were clearer it would be much easier to pick a product suitable for my dog. I don’t understand why the labels have to be so mysterious.
Read more: Five ways to play with your dog


What you should know about the labels on your pet food

Recently I came across this pet food labelling infographic from Data Label which helps to demystify pet food labels. Do you think pet food labels are confusing? Let me know below.
Pet food labelling infographic
Collborative post.


2 responses to “Understanding Pet Food Labels”

  1. This is very interesting. Indeed most pet food or treats have obscure ingredients in them, even the ‘good’ ones… it’s a minefield..

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