Have you ever stood in the food aisle at your local pet store and felt like it was closing in on you? You are not alone! With so many manufacturers and brands to choose from, let’s take a trip down that aisle together and figure out what all of those labels mean so we can find the best diet for your pet!
Did you know that the label on a pet food bag is actually a legal document? Up until recently, I just thought the bag was an attractive package designed to sell me a product. The truth is pet food packaging is closely monitored by several agencies. What can and cannot be printed on the packaging is strictly defined by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
The label is divided into two main parts: The Principal Display Panel and the Information Panel. The Principal Display Panel is more than likely located on the front of the product. That is the primary means of attracting the consumer’s attention to the product and should immediately identify it. The second part of the label is probably located on the back of the product. This is where you are going to find your most important information about the product like the Ingredient List, Guaranteed Analysis, Nutritional Statement, Feeding Guidelines and Statement of Calorie Content. Often too many people pay attention to pretty, colorful Display Panel that is carefully thought up by the Marketing Departments and not enough attention to the “meat and potatoes” on the Information Panel.
I have found that there is not a “Magic Food” out there that is the ultimate top of the ladder. There are many great foods and many great companies that manufacture pet foods. On the other hand, there are some foods that are not top notch. In some future posts, I will share my opinions on which foods are Good, Bad and Ugly. The best thing a pet owner can do when it comes to providing the proper nutrition for their animal is to be educated!