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Pet Food Label Secrets Revealed! Know What You Are Feeding Your Dog And Cat


Reading a pet food label, how difficult can it be? You just pick up your regular brand and look at the variety on the front, right? Not so fast! Reading a pet food label isn't as easy as you may think. It's not just ingredients and feeding suggestions. There's also a "secret code" you should know about. The code helps you separate the Chicken Formula from the Chicken Dinner and the Beef and Bacon from the Beef with Bacon. You may be thinking "Aren't they all the same?" and the answer is no.

While pet food labeling is regulated at the federal level, some states have their own labeling laws. Many follow the Pet Food Regulations established by the AAFOC (Association of American Food Control Officials).

The secret of pet food descriptions are dictated by four AAFCO rules...

1) The 95% Rule - The products that fall under this regulation have simple descriptions such as "Chicken Cat Food" or "Beef for Dogs". These foods must contain at least 95% (not including water) of the named ingredient. In this case, chicken or beef. If a food description contains more than one meat, poultry or fish ingredient such as "Chicken and Liver Cat Food" , then both ingredients combined must equal 95%, with the first named ingredient being the highest percentage of the two. The 95% rule does not apply to grains and vegetables, so "Chicken and Rice Dog Food" must still contain 95% chicken.

2) The 25% or "Dinner" Rule - If the named descriptive ingredient falls between 25%-94% of the total product (still not counting water), then the description must include a qualifying word such as "Dinner", "Platter", "Formula", etc. As in the first rule two listed ingredients must have be at least 25% of the total weight combined. So, "Chicken Dinner" only has to contain 25% chicken, while "Chicken and Liver Dinner" only has to contain 25% of the two combined. (Minimum of 3% of any named ingredient.) Unlike the first rule, the 25% rule applies to all food, not just meat sources.

3) The 3% or "With" Rule - This is where things get a little sneaky. Any ingredient on a label proceeded by "with" must equal at least 3% of the total weight (minus water). That might sound all right if the food is "Beef with Chicken" (95% beef, 3% chicken), but how does it sound in this form..."Dog Food with Beef"? Yep, that tells you that it only has to contain 3% beef! (Makes you wonder what the other 97% contains doesn't it?)

4) The "Flavor" rule - There is no percentage attached to an ingredient described as a "flavor". There only needs to be an amount sufficient enough to be detected by test methods. As you can probably guess "Chicken Flavored Cat Food" may contain very little chicken. In this case it doesn't even need to be chicken as we normally think about it, but instead can be chicken meal or chicken by-products.

Premium Food - Looking down the pet food aisle you may be attracted to foods listed as "Premium" or "Gourmet". These descriptive words have no requirements attached to them, so while a "Premium" food may sound like it's higher quality food, in reality it doesn't have to be any better than anything else on the shelf.

Now you know the secret of pet food descriptions and can be confident that the next time you're scanning the different varieties of food for your best friend you'll be able to tell the difference between "Beef for Dogs", "Beef Dinner", or "Dog Food with Beef".

Jill Richards is the Owner/Operator of "Have Leash, Will Travel - Pet Sitting" in Aurora, CO and offers t-shirts, sweatshirts, and stickers to Pet Professionals, Animal Rescue Workers, Anti-Breed Ban/BSL Fighters, and Pet Lovers through USPetPros.com


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Tue. August / 11 / 2020

Lifelike robotic pets are helping isolated seniors avoid loneliness - CNN
Lifelike robotic pets are helping isolated seniors avoid loneliness  CNN

Entertaining pets during the pandemic - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Entertaining pets during the pandemic  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Cuddle Buddies! Nearly 75% of Dog Owners Let Their Pets Sleep on the Bed with Them, Survey Says - PEOPLE
Cuddle Buddies! Nearly 75% of Dog Owners Let Their Pets Sleep on the Bed with Them, Survey Says  PEOPLE

International study indicates shift to raw/home-made food diet for pets over past decade - Jill Lopez
International study indicates shift to raw/home-made food diet for pets over past decade  Jill Lopez

Greenlin Pet Resorts offers a perfect getaway for pets - ABC27
Greenlin Pet Resorts offers a perfect getaway for pets  ABC27

Are you worried about leaving your pet home alone post-pandemic? - pennlive.com
Are you worried about leaving your pet home alone post-pandemic?  pennlive.com

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society offers new helpline for pet owners - NEWS10 ABC
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society offers new helpline for pet owners  NEWS10 ABC

Pets of the Week: Aug.11 | The Herald-News - The Herald-News
Pets of the Week: Aug.11 | The Herald-News  The Herald-News

Austin company paying employees to adopt pets, encourages 'pawternity leave' - FOX 7 Austin
Austin company paying employees to adopt pets, encourages 'pawternity leave'  FOX 7 Austin

Many Americans have adopted pets amid Covid-19. But beware the costs - CNBC
Many Americans have adopted pets amid Covid-19. But beware the costs  CNBC

All About Pets: Remember — make mealtime special for your pets - Prescott Daily Courier
All About Pets: Remember — make mealtime special for your pets  Prescott Daily Courier

#ClearTheShelters Pet Gallery: Adopt one of these lovable pets at a local shelter near you - WAVY.com
#ClearTheShelters Pet Gallery: Adopt one of these lovable pets at a local shelter near you  WAVY.com

Pets of the Week | Mooresville Local News | mooresvilletribune.com - Mooresville Tribune
Pets of the Week | Mooresville Local News | mooresvilletribune.com  Mooresville Tribune

Lubbock Animal Shelter sees increase in lost pets, urges owners to microchip - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com
Lubbock Animal Shelter sees increase in lost pets, urges owners to microchip  KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

Landlords cannot prohibit support animals in New York, even if pets are not allowed - FingerLakes1.com
Landlords cannot prohibit support animals in New York, even if pets are not allowed  FingerLakes1.com

Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets - BBC News
Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets  BBC News

How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety - The New York Times
How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety  The New York Times

Pets enjoy a seat at the quarantined family dinner table - Supermarket News
Pets enjoy a seat at the quarantined family dinner table  Supermarket News

Pets of the Week for Aug. 11, 2020 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for Aug. 11, 2020  WKRN News 2

Robotic pets used to remedy loneliness in nursing homes across Alabama - WKRN News 2
Robotic pets used to remedy loneliness in nursing homes across Alabama  WKRN News 2

Wilson woman captures pets through her art - WIVB.com - News 4
Wilson woman captures pets through her art  WIVB.com - News 4

New Boundary Plus Smart™ System Provides Smarter Security for Pets - PRNewswire
New Boundary Plus Smart™ System Provides Smarter Security for Pets  PRNewswire

East Bay pets of the week for Aug. 14 - East Bay Times
East Bay pets of the week for Aug. 14  East Bay Times

Trupanion Reveals 20 Unique Pet Names That Are Truly Awesome - GlobeNewswire
Trupanion Reveals 20 Unique Pet Names That Are Truly Awesome  GlobeNewswire

Harriette Cole: Dog mom defends ‘over-the-top’ pet funeral - The Mercury News
Harriette Cole: Dog mom defends ‘over-the-top’ pet funeral  The Mercury News

Survey: 44% of women would pick quarantine with pets over significant other - WKRC TV Cincinnati
Survey: 44% of women would pick quarantine with pets over significant other  WKRC TV Cincinnati

New Boundary Plus Smart(TM) System Provides Smarter Security for Pets - Dickson Post
New Boundary Plus Smart(TM) System Provides Smarter Security for Pets  Dickson Post

Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Dexter And Rita - Northport, NY Patch
Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Dexter And Rita  Northport, NY Patch

N.J. pets in need: Aug. 10, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: Aug. 10, 2020  nj.com

How to make grooming part of your weekly pet care routine - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
How to make grooming part of your weekly pet care routine  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

PET TALK: Outdoor time increases pet's exposure to insect stings - New Castle News
PET TALK: Outdoor time increases pet's exposure to insect stings  New Castle News

Lawsuit seeks to overturn Hillsborough pet sales ban - Tampa Bay Times
Lawsuit seeks to overturn Hillsborough pet sales ban  Tampa Bay Times

Pets of the Week: Aug. 10 - White County News
Pets of the Week: Aug. 10  White County News

Pumpkin Pet Insurance is Now Available in All 50 US States - PRNewswire
Pumpkin Pet Insurance is Now Available in All 50 US States  PRNewswire

Wayside Waifs, Unleashed Pet Rescue present sweet animals waiting to be adopted - Kansas City Star
Wayside Waifs, Unleashed Pet Rescue present sweet animals waiting to be adopted  Kansas City Star

Company offering employees $300 for pet adoption - UPI News
Company offering employees $300 for pet adoption  UPI News

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Richard - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Richard  KCBD

Did your pet seem to ‘know’ the earthquake was coming? - WBTV
Did your pet seem to ‘know’ the earthquake was coming?  WBTV

We aren't ticking around — parasites are serious - MSUToday
We aren't ticking around — parasites are serious  MSUToday

Want to keep spoiling your pets during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s the latest in 'pet tech' - USA TODAY
Want to keep spoiling your pets during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s the latest in 'pet tech'  USA TODAY

Zero-waste disposal achieved by pet product giant - VeterinaryPracticeNews.com
Zero-waste disposal achieved by pet product giant  VeterinaryPracticeNews.com

Pet pantry’s ‘car hops’ roll out pet food for needy LA families - The Daily Breeze
Pet pantry’s ‘car hops’ roll out pet food for needy LA families  The Daily Breeze

SMVHS Pet of the Week: Blanca - Lompoc Record
SMVHS Pet of the Week: Blanca  Lompoc Record

Key to harmonious pet relationships: Pheromones - Science Daily
Key to harmonious pet relationships: Pheromones  Science Daily

Toxic Algae That Can Harm Humans, Pets Found In 2 County Lakes - Rockville, MD Patch
Toxic Algae That Can Harm Humans, Pets Found In 2 County Lakes  Rockville, MD Patch

Austin startup giving employees $300 per year to adopt a pet - KXAN.com
Austin startup giving employees $300 per year to adopt a pet  KXAN.com

Be careful not to leave children or pets inside vehicles in summer heat - Parker Pioneer
Be careful not to leave children or pets inside vehicles in summer heat  Parker Pioneer

PET OF THE WEEK, AUG. 10, 2020: MEET MARIGOLD - wvua23.com
PET OF THE WEEK, AUG. 10, 2020: MEET MARIGOLD  wvua23.com

RSPCA warns of a rise in abandonment of exotic pets after lockdown - Yahoo News
RSPCA warns of a rise in abandonment of exotic pets after lockdown  Yahoo News

The Push to Keep Pet Stores Open During COVID Shutdowns - PetProductNews.com
The Push to Keep Pet Stores Open During COVID Shutdowns  PetProductNews.com

Coronavirus in pets, French research strategy and a duplication detector - Nature.com
Coronavirus in pets, French research strategy and a duplication detector  Nature.com

In Central Illinois, some pig owners fight local governments to keep their pets - Herald & Review
In Central Illinois, some pig owners fight local governments to keep their pets  Herald & Review

Fargo man accused of starting fire that killed pets sentenced to prison - INFORUM
Fargo man accused of starting fire that killed pets sentenced to prison  INFORUM

Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Rico - TAPinto.net
Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Rico  TAPinto.net

Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.' - National Geographic
Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.'  National Geographic

Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: Peach, Doug & Laker - 9 & 10 News - 9&10 News
Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: Peach, Doug & Laker - 9 & 10 News  9&10 News

Gateway Pet Guardians to open new East St. Louis clinic - KSDK.com
Gateway Pet Guardians to open new East St. Louis clinic  KSDK.com

Our Pets Heads Are Falling Off - College and Magnolia
Our Pets Heads Are Falling Off  College and Magnolia

These adoptable pets will warm your heart: Aug. 8-9 - SILive.com
These adoptable pets will warm your heart: Aug. 8-9  SILive.com

Getting Answers: What if my pet shows signs of COVID-19? - KVOA Tucson News
Getting Answers: What if my pet shows signs of COVID-19?  KVOA Tucson News

Pet cats in Texas first in state to test positive for coronavirus - Fox News
Pet cats in Texas first in state to test positive for coronavirus  Fox News

App Uses Pet Selfies to ID Shelter Pets - Bay News 9
App Uses Pet Selfies to ID Shelter Pets  Bay News 9

Pets of the Week: Rico and Tigger - Daily Bulldog
Pets of the Week: Rico and Tigger  Daily Bulldog

Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August - KTRK-TV
Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August  KTRK-TV

Biscuit is KLBK’s Pet of the Day! - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com
Biscuit is KLBK’s Pet of the Day!  KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Titan - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Titan  KCBD

Pet and livestock owners should be aware of tick season in Tennessee - williamsonherald.com
Pet and livestock owners should be aware of tick season in Tennessee  williamsonherald.com

Man shares how his pet Chihuahua saved his life - WRBL
Man shares how his pet Chihuahua saved his life  WRBL

Livestock and Pet Owners Should Be Aware of Tick Season - Wgnsradio
Livestock and Pet Owners Should Be Aware of Tick Season  Wgnsradio

Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes - ArmyTimes.com
Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes  ArmyTimes.com

This $150 Pet Feeder Saved My Sanity When I Got a Second Cat - Gizmodo
This $150 Pet Feeder Saved My Sanity When I Got a Second Cat  Gizmodo

Clear the Shelters Presents Virtual ‘Bark Week' Pet Adoption Event - NBC 10 Philadelphia
Clear the Shelters Presents Virtual ‘Bark Week' Pet Adoption Event  NBC 10 Philadelphia

Meet Pace, FOX8’s Pet of the Week - WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro
Meet Pace, FOX8’s Pet of the Week  WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro

COVID-19 can affect pets; cases confirmed | AgriLife Today - AgriLife Today
COVID-19 can affect pets; cases confirmed | AgriLife Today  AgriLife Today

San Antonio Pets Alive! places two dogs up for adoption after owner dies of COVID-19 complications - KSAT San Antonio
San Antonio Pets Alive! places two dogs up for adoption after owner dies of COVID-19 complications  KSAT San Antonio

Palm Springs Animal Shelter says pet surrenders happening due to coronavirus pandemic - Desert Sun
Palm Springs Animal Shelter says pet surrenders happening due to coronavirus pandemic  Desert Sun

Homeward Bound: Pets' Incredible COVID-19 Journeys To Reunite With Owners - NPR
Homeward Bound: Pets' Incredible COVID-19 Journeys To Reunite With Owners  NPR

Pet Advice: Adverse reactions to vaccinations - KSNT News
Pet Advice: Adverse reactions to vaccinations  KSNT News

Pet Improvement: Dog days of summer - Newport News Times
Pet Improvement: Dog days of summer  Newport News Times

Pasco to end retail pet store sales of dogs and cats - Tampa Bay Times
Pasco to end retail pet store sales of dogs and cats  Tampa Bay Times

Helping pets cope with quarantine, and reopening - Jill Lopez
Helping pets cope with quarantine, and reopening  Jill Lopez

United States Pet Market Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis - PRNewswire
United States Pet Market Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis  PRNewswire

Tim’s Travels: Gateway Pet Guardians opens first-ever vet clinic in East St. Louis - fox2now.com
Tim’s Travels: Gateway Pet Guardians opens first-ever vet clinic in East St. Louis  fox2now.com

Pet supply options - Downtown newsmagazine | Birmingham/Bloomfield
Pet supply options  Downtown newsmagazine | Birmingham/Bloomfield

PHOTOS: Local family-owned pet store survives during COVID-19 pandemic - WWLP.com
PHOTOS: Local family-owned pet store survives during COVID-19 pandemic  WWLP.com

Help #ClearTheShelters by Adopting One of These Lovable Pets - NBC4 Washington
Help #ClearTheShelters by Adopting One of These Lovable Pets  NBC4 Washington

Pet food pantry fundraiser being held in honor of Dick Goddard - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
Pet food pantry fundraiser being held in honor of Dick Goddard  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

‘Americas Got Talent' Stars Talk About the Benefits of Having a Pet - NBC 10 Philadelphia
‘Americas Got Talent' Stars Talk About the Benefits of Having a Pet  NBC 10 Philadelphia

Majority of Pet Owners Give Their Pets Some Homemade Food - The Bark
Majority of Pet Owners Give Their Pets Some Homemade Food  The Bark

The pandemic's unlikely pet: Chickens - CNN
The pandemic's unlikely pet: Chickens  CNN

Pet adoption new employee benefit perk - Human Resource Executive®
Pet adoption new employee benefit perk  Human Resource Executive®

New Pet Day Care Facility Opens In New Haven - New Haven, CT Patch
New Pet Day Care Facility Opens In New Haven  New Haven, CT Patch

Pets - Anti Aging News
Pets  Anti Aging News

Owners warned stop kissing pets as U.K. latest to sound the alert over cat infected with coronavirus - MarketWatch
Owners warned stop kissing pets as U.K. latest to sound the alert over cat infected with coronavirus  MarketWatch

Carhops Distributed Free Pet Food at This Giveback Pantry - NBC Southern California
Carhops Distributed Free Pet Food at This Giveback Pantry  NBC Southern California

HOGGING THE SPOTLIGHT: Tammy's Fine Jewelry welcomes store pet - News Courier
HOGGING THE SPOTLIGHT: Tammy's Fine Jewelry welcomes store pet  News Courier

Haz-Mat team responds to formaldehyde spill at Beaver Dam pet store - WBAY
Haz-Mat team responds to formaldehyde spill at Beaver Dam pet store  WBAY

Wasilla man attempted to escape arrest through small pet door, troopers say - Anchorage Daily News
Wasilla man attempted to escape arrest through small pet door, troopers say  Anchorage Daily News

La Crescent Animal Rescue Pet of the Week: Lady - FOX 25/48 - WiProud.com
La Crescent Animal Rescue Pet of the Week: Lady  FOX 25/48 - WiProud.com

Woman speaking out after her pet was attacked by two unleashed dogs in Clinton - WCVB Boston
Woman speaking out after her pet was attacked by two unleashed dogs in Clinton  WCVB Boston

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