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How to Understand Pet Food Labels

How to Understand Pet Food Labels



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Published by Jeff
This ipaper should help people understand just how to read and understand the information labels and ingredients of the pet foods that you buy for your dogs and cats.
This ipaper should help people understand just how to read and understand the information labels and ingredients of the pet foods that you buy for your dogs and cats.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Jeff on Jul 06, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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How to Understand Pet Food Labels
Trying to understand the information on pet food labels can be quiteconfusing. As a pet owner you want to feed your dog or cat what is thehealthiest for them. As a consumer you need to keep an eye on yourbudget. Every time we look at the ingredients panel for dog or cat foodwe get thoroughly frustrated and just end up purchasing based onrecommendations and budget.Finally I decided to do some research myself to learn what it allmeans. This paper may be a little in depth
but it’s worth it.
There isinformation in here that most people don’t know.
The Ingredients
All pet foods must list the ingredients present in dog food.Ingredients are listed in descending order, according to weight
Becareful of one tactic used by manufacturers to disguise less desirableingredients. Breaking an ingredient into several different smalleringredients and listing them individually is used to lower theseundesirable ingredients farther down the ingredient list. For example, aproduct list could contain chicken, ground corn, corn gluten, groundwheat, corn bran, wheat flour, wheat middling, etc. If we were togroup all of the corn ingredients as one, they would probably far out-weigh the amount of chicken, and wheat. As a consumer, you mustread all of the ingredients carefully.Let’s look at the some of the ingredients on the example panelbelow:
Page 1 of 10
Ground whole grain corn: Ground whole grain corn is the entirecorn kernel ground or chopped. Since this is the first ingredientlisted then the pet food contains more whole ground corn thanany other ingredient.
Chicken by-product meal: Chicken or Poultry by-products areclean parts of slaughtered chicken or poultry such as heads, feet,and internal organs (like heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, abdomen,and intestines). It does not contain feathers.
Animal Fat: Animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (formof Vitamin E) this is fat that was obtained during therendering process of mammals or poultry. Note that the animal source isnot specified and is not required to originate from “slaughtered” animals.
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Soybean Mill Run: Composed of soybean hulls and soybeanmeats that adhere to the hulls which result from normal millingoperations. In other words, leftover soybean parts.
Flaxseed: Flax seed is the richest plant source of antioxidantlignansand Omega-3 fatty acids that both help support an activeimmune system. The high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed meal also help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. Flaxseed meal also has a very high level of highly digestible proteinand essential amino acids needed to keep dogs fit and healthy.In addition, flax seed meal contains high amounts of fiber (aidsin digestion), Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6and is extremely high in the minerals Potassium, Calcium andPhosphorus. This ingredient has many good qualities, butunfortunately is farther down the list in quantity. Below is a listof the good fatty acids found in flaxseed oil.
FATTY ACID COMPOSITION OF FLAXSEED OILOmega-3 Essential Fatty Acid………..57%Omega-6 EFA………………………….16%Omega-9 EFA………………………….18%
Chicken Liver Flavor: Just that. Chicken liver flavor.
Corn Gluten Meal: Corn gluten meal is a by-product of processing corn to make corn starch and corn syrup and is thedried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch.
Dried Egg Product: Dried Egg Product is one of the mostnutritiously beneficial ingredients that can be used in any feed
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