April 29, 2020 2 min read
Federal and state regulations dictate what kind of nutritional information pet food manufacturers must include about their product on labels. They have to list their ingredients in order of weight before cooking; the calorie content; the minimum levels of protein, fat, moisture, and fiber; feeding guidelines; and whether or not their food meets regulations for minimum nutritional standards. That's it. Anything else they choose to put on the label tells you two things: what is important to them as a company, and what they think you want to see.
The good news is that in the absence of stricter regulation, we consumers have increasingly been clamoring for more information about what our dogs are eating, and many manufacturers have stepped up. Their product labels are proud to show off the positive steps they've taken to produce a quality product, like US-based sourcing, whole food and organic ingredients, detailed nutritional breakdowns, lack of fillers, and environmentally sound manufacturing practices. On the other hand, if a label has lots of pictures of happy dogs and fresh, tasty-looking cuts of meat and vegetables, but the information panel only meets these minimum regulations for what is actually in their product, then there probably isn't much in their product worth talking about.
And if you want to know more than what is shown on the label, don't be afraid to contact the manufacturer with a quick call or email. The harder they make it to get the info you need, the more likely it is that they think you won't like the answer!
In conclusion, as a general rule, the best dog foods are those produced by manufacturers which are upfront about their ingredients and manufacturing process, and who choose to include far more information about their foods on the label than the few minimum details required by law. After all, knowing which ingredient sources are best and what manufacturing processes create the most nutritious food is irrelevant if we're content to allow dog food manufacturers to hide that information, so transparency puts power and knowledge back into your hands.What's more, refusing to buy foods from companies that hide key details about their products sends a message to the industry as a whole that we consumers expect more from them, and that they'll need more than flashy, misleading marketing tricks to earn our trust.
This post was brought to you by Canine Sciences, your partner in dog health through good nutrition.
Click here to learn more about Canine Sciences' mission, and how they can help you to identify and address the effects of bad nutrition in your dog.
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