Just as you would read the label of any product that you buy, you must also read the label on the dog food can. It will tell you a lot about the contents like the ingredients used in its preparation, the nutrients included, the fat and protein content and quality and instructions for feeding your dog. You can also find the price on the label.
When you buy dog food from a dog supplies store, give preference to dry food, as it is not only economical but also easy to store. Whatever kind of food you buy, remember that it should be of good quality and be healthy. Given below are some of the main points that you should check on the label of the dog food.
Guaranteed Analysis – Though it sounds complicated, it is not so. The label contains an information panel that lists levels of all the protein, fat, water and fiber that has been used in the manufacturing of the food. This is not unlike the information found on cans of human food. The protein and fat content is crude and hence they are not digestible. Only when you read the analysis, you will be able to judge if the food is digestible and how much. The second information that you can glean from this chart is the percentage of fats and proteins that is determined by the water content in the product.
List of Ingredients – It is essential for all manufacturers to provide the consumer with a list of ingredients that have been used in the formulation of the product and dog food is no different. The order of listing should be in descending order according to weight. One trick that manufacturers use without lying is sub breaking of a single ingredient so that you are unable to judge its weight. Some of the common ingredients used in pet food are detailed here.
(a) Meat – This is the clean flesh and can include striated muscle, diaphragm, tongue, and heart et al.
(b) Meat-By-Products – These are the clean parts of animals that are not flesh. They include kidneys, brain, blood and bone et al.
(c) Fish Meal – It is the tissue of whole or cut fish that has been powdered without extracting oil.
Instructions For Feeding – These must be included in all dog food as they recommend the quantity of food to be fed according to the fat content. Also, they depend upon weight, and growth level. But the guidelines should be taken as a rough chart and you must feed your dog according to its metabolism, temperature et al.
AAFCO Standards – AAFCO is the association that controls the production and sale of pet foods. If a company has met the standards like nutritional levels et al set by AAFCO, it can market its food.
It is difficult to say which is the best available dog food. Each dog has is own needs and there are so many brands and types of food available that you have to choose the best one keeping in mind what your dog may need.