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Dog Nutrition – Comparing the Guaranteed Analysis on Dog Food Labels – Why You Need to Know This

making sense of the the guaranteed analysis label

There are several premium dog food companies that will actually provide other nutrients along with their Guaranteed Analysis to let you know that they are using premium ingredients. Examples of these are phosphorus, sodium, calcium, etc. which are excellent for your dog. In order for you to know you’re getting premium food, here’s an example of how the guarantee analysis label should look like.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein – 28.0%

Crude Fat – 16.0%

Crude Fiber – 5.0%

Moisture – 1.0.0%

The guaranteed analysis is based on “AS IS” or “call it as fed”. Do not worry, this is fine. But you need to compare the products on their different moisture content. Make sure you calculate the percentages for each product you are looking at. This is not difficult, so let me show you how to compare different brands.

Example:

Let’s start out with three fictitious companies that you want to compare. Paws Foods, Barking Foods and Dog Food Excellence. (no, these are not real companies)

Paws Foods: Protein : 22%, Fat : 12%, Fiber : 4%, Moisture : 10% AS FED. This would contain 90% dry matter. (100-10 = 90%)

Barking Foods: Protein: 22%, Fat: 12%, Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 12% AS FED. This would contain 88% dry matter. (100-12 = 88%)

Dog Food Excellence: Protein: 22%, Fat: 12%, Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 14% AS FED. This would contain 86% dry matter. (100-14 = 86%)

I think you’re getting the picture here. The more moisture the guaranteed analysis shows you, the less nutritious dry matter there is. You are paying more for the extra water and getting less nutrients. In the case above, the better dog food company would be Paws Foods.

Another thing you should see on the label in addition to the guaranteed analysis is one of two statements coming from the AAFCO (Association of the American Feed Control Officials)

1. “Paws Foods” is constituted to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

The AAFCO lets you know that they have passed all the proper nutrient tests that a dog food requires by their standards. The dog food contained the proper amount of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients that a dog needs to stay healthy.

2. Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that “Paws Foods” provides complete and balanced nutrition.

This lets you know that the dog food has actually been feed to dogs using certain guidelines by the AAFCO and has been found to provide proper nutrition.

I hope you now have a better understanding on how you can choose a good premium dog food. Naturally you want your ingredients to start out with a good protein, carbohydrate and fat. In addition you should always check “Guaranteed Analysis” and one of the statements from the AAFCO. All this combined should help put your mind at ease.

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