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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 Sun. June / 13 / 2021

More pets are eating insect-based food to fight climate change for their owners - CNBC
More pets are eating insect-based food to fight climate change for their owners  CNBC

Is COVID-19 more common in pets than we previously thought? - Medical News Today
Is COVID-19 more common in pets than we previously thought?  Medical News Today

Pets of the Week: Frost and Lumi - Crossroads Today
Pets of the Week: Frost and Lumi  Crossroads Today

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

Dog gone summer vacation: Options available for pets to ride along or stay at home - St George News
Dog gone summer vacation: Options available for pets to ride along or stay at home  St George News

A Bangor cemetery will now let people be buried with their pets - Bangor Daily News
A Bangor cemetery will now let people be buried with their pets  Bangor Daily News

Tips to save your pets as temperatures rise into triple digits - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com
Tips to save your pets as temperatures rise into triple digits  KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

Officials in Malden offer affordable rabies vaccine clinic for pets - WCVB Boston
Officials in Malden offer affordable rabies vaccine clinic for pets  WCVB Boston

REMINDER: Do not leave your pets in the car on hot days - kwwl.com - kwwl.com
REMINDER: Do not leave your pets in the car on hot days - kwwl.com  kwwl.com

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

These adorable pets are looking for a forever home: June 12-13 - SILive.com
These adorable pets are looking for a forever home: June 12-13  SILive.com

HOA Homefront: What are the protections for pets? - The San Diego Union-Tribune
HOA Homefront: What are the protections for pets?  The San Diego Union-Tribune

Pet Vet: Hot weather and pets - WNDU-TV
Pet Vet: Hot weather and pets  WNDU-TV

Harrisburg Humane Society shares tips to keep pets safe this summer - ABC27
Harrisburg Humane Society shares tips to keep pets safe this summer  ABC27

Pet care before, during, and after earthquakes - Los Angeles Times
Pet care before, during, and after earthquakes  Los Angeles Times

Brown County Humane Society staff, pets move into new building - CBS 4 Indianapolis
Brown County Humane Society staff, pets move into new building  CBS 4 Indianapolis

Pets of the week: A large, outgoing terrier and a quiet 'Cheshire Cat' - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: A large, outgoing terrier and a quiet 'Cheshire Cat'  Duluth News Tribune

Pets Fur People holds 8th annual Peltier Subaru Dirty Dog Wash - KLTV
Pets Fur People holds 8th annual Peltier Subaru Dirty Dog Wash  KLTV

Pandemic pets: An increase in fostering is keeping more Baton Rouge pets alive - [225] - 225 Baton Rouge
Pandemic pets: An increase in fostering is keeping more Baton Rouge pets alive - [225]  225 Baton Rouge

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

July 1 deadline approaching for Franklin County dog owners to license their canines - The Columbus Dispatch
July 1 deadline approaching for Franklin County dog owners to license their canines  The Columbus Dispatch

Pandemic brought increased pet adoptions and need for in-home animal hospice care - Charleston Post Courier
Pandemic brought increased pet adoptions and need for in-home animal hospice care  Charleston Post Courier

Tips to help pets deal with separation anxiety - WLS-TV
Tips to help pets deal with separation anxiety  WLS-TV

Humidity enhances heat risk for pets - WSIL TV
Humidity enhances heat risk for pets  WSIL TV

Second Chance Pets: Penny - KOIN.com
Second Chance Pets: Penny  KOIN.com

Having a ruff day? FM area bars, restaurants open patios to pets for a pawsome experience - INFORUM
Having a ruff day? FM area bars, restaurants open patios to pets for a pawsome experience  INFORUM

How Pets Helped These LGBTQ Families Survive the Pandemic - The Daily Beast
How Pets Helped These LGBTQ Families Survive the Pandemic  The Daily Beast

Erie Humane Society fiestas for Senior Pets - erienewsnow.com
Erie Humane Society fiestas for Senior Pets  erienewsnow.com

Points for Pets: Lepto vaccine for your dog important protectant for your canine & you - WV News
Points for Pets: Lepto vaccine for your dog important protectant for your canine & you  WV News

Robotic Companion Pets Available to Adults Living with Dementia - The Selma Times‑Journal - Selma Times-Journal
Robotic Companion Pets Available to Adults Living with Dementia - The Selma Times‑Journal  Selma Times-Journal

Adoption fees waived or reduced as some animal shelters reach capacity in North Texas - WFAA.com
Adoption fees waived or reduced as some animal shelters reach capacity in North Texas  WFAA.com

Pets killed in Sacred Heart house fire - West Central Tribune
Pets killed in Sacred Heart house fire  West Central Tribune

Hello possum: the New Zealanders keeping invasive marsupials as pets - The Guardian
Hello possum: the New Zealanders keeping invasive marsupials as pets  The Guardian

Looking to get a furry friend? Pet license no longer required in Cumberland County - The Fayetteville Observer
Looking to get a furry friend? Pet license no longer required in Cumberland County  The Fayetteville Observer

When Dogs Heal: Portrait Book Reveals the Resilience of HIV-Positive People Through Their Pets - PEOPLE
When Dogs Heal: Portrait Book Reveals the Resilience of HIV-Positive People Through Their Pets  PEOPLE

Booming: We got used to being home with our pets during the pandemic. Now what? - Desert Sun
Booming: We got used to being home with our pets during the pandemic. Now what?  Desert Sun

Harris County Pets waiving adoption fees for packed shelter - KPRC Click2Houston
Harris County Pets waiving adoption fees for packed shelter  KPRC Click2Houston

Fresh pets can be contaminated with Salmonella, so we will voluntarily recall one lot of Fresh Pet® Select small dog bite-sized beef and egg recipe dog food.Around the Web-Pennsylvania - Pennsylvanianewstoday.com
Fresh pets can be contaminated with Salmonella, so we will voluntarily recall one lot of Fresh Pet® Select small dog bite-sized beef and egg recipe dog food.Around the Web-Pennsylvania  Pennsylvanianewstoday.com

Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center celebrates National Foster a Pet Month - WHSV
Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center celebrates National Foster a Pet Month  WHSV

Camp Bow Wow shares heat safety tips to keep pets safe this summer - FOX 7 Austin
Camp Bow Wow shares heat safety tips to keep pets safe this summer  FOX 7 Austin

Many pets are being illegally dropped off at an animal shelter in Denham Springs - WAFB
Many pets are being illegally dropped off at an animal shelter in Denham Springs  WAFB

Madison family displaced, several pets die following dryer fire, Fire Department says - Madison.com
Madison family displaced, several pets die following dryer fire, Fire Department says  Madison.com

Friends fur-ever: Pride Corpus Christi holds first Pride Pet Paw-rade - Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Friends fur-ever: Pride Corpus Christi holds first Pride Pet Paw-rade  Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Vaccinate Pets to Protect Them from Rabies (Health) - Larimer County
Vaccinate Pets to Protect Them from Rabies (Health)  Larimer County

PET OF THE WEEK: Lillian - Odessa American
PET OF THE WEEK: Lillian  Odessa American

Southern Utah Adoptable Pets Guide - The Independent | News Events Opinion More - The Independent | SUindependent.com
Southern Utah Adoptable Pets Guide - The Independent | News Events Opinion More  The Independent | SUindependent.com

Your pets feel even hotter in this hot weather - WGEM
Your pets feel even hotter in this hot weather  WGEM

Helping your pets beat the heat this summer; advice from Humane Educator - News-Press Now
Helping your pets beat the heat this summer; advice from Humane Educator  News-Press Now

Hot Dog Summer: Tips to keep your pets safe - FOX 7 Austin
Hot Dog Summer: Tips to keep your pets safe  FOX 7 Austin

Purina Seeks Pet-Loving Scientists To Help Grow Understanding Of Unique Bond Between People And Pets With Biennial Call For Global Scientific Research Grants - PRNewswire
Purina Seeks Pet-Loving Scientists To Help Grow Understanding Of Unique Bond Between People And Pets With Biennial Call For Global Scientific Research Grants  PRNewswire

Pandemic pets are not being returned at local SPCA - The Winchester Star
Pandemic pets are not being returned at local SPCA  The Winchester Star

Franklin senior living facility to participate in animatronic pet pilot - williamsonherald.com
Franklin senior living facility to participate in animatronic pet pilot  williamsonherald.com

Dogs rescued from pet clinic fire in Clearwater die after being left in hot car - WFLA
Dogs rescued from pet clinic fire in Clearwater die after being left in hot car  WFLA

Keeping pets safe in the heat - Spectrum News 1
Keeping pets safe in the heat  Spectrum News 1

Dog daycare: who will look after your pet when you go in to work? - The Guardian
Dog daycare: who will look after your pet when you go in to work?  The Guardian

Extreme heat in forecast. Cars remain deadly for children and pets - KGUN
Extreme heat in forecast. Cars remain deadly for children and pets  KGUN

Pet Tales: Inspirational beagle in the running for Hero Dog Award - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Inspirational beagle in the running for Hero Dog Award  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NJ child killed in dog attack: City wants pets put to death - New Jersey 101.5 FM
NJ child killed in dog attack: City wants pets put to death  New Jersey 101.5 FM

Pet care providers overwhelmed by demand for service - The Daily Jeffersonian
Pet care providers overwhelmed by demand for service  The Daily Jeffersonian

These top pet-friendly hotels welcome furry guests with gusto - CNN
These top pet-friendly hotels welcome furry guests with gusto  CNN

New SC regulation requires tegu owners to have pets microchipped, registered by Sept. 25 - Charleston Post Courier
New SC regulation requires tegu owners to have pets microchipped, registered by Sept. 25  Charleston Post Courier

Pets with Potential: Meet Bella Boo - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Bella Boo  WCAX

Mesa shelter offers refuge for pets & their owners during Telegraph Fire - AZFamily
Mesa shelter offers refuge for pets & their owners during Telegraph Fire  AZFamily

Pets injured, family displaced after Thursday house fire in Casper - Oil City News
Pets injured, family displaced after Thursday house fire in Casper  Oil City News

Valley Fever: Pet vaccine may be available soon - KGUN
Valley Fever: Pet vaccine may be available soon  KGUN

Pet ownership surged during COVID-19. Veterinarians are exhausted. - The Philadelphia Inquirer
Pet ownership surged during COVID-19. Veterinarians are exhausted.  The Philadelphia Inquirer

Keeping your pets cool & comfortable this summer - 10TV
Keeping your pets cool & comfortable this summer  10TV

Vets Go Upscale to Care for Pets (and Their Owners) - The New York Times
Vets Go Upscale to Care for Pets (and Their Owners)  The New York Times

Reno pet monkey might not be returned to owner after escaping in May, documents show - Reno Gazette Journal
Reno pet monkey might not be returned to owner after escaping in May, documents show  Reno Gazette Journal

How to limit pets’ stress as owners return to in-person work - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
How to limit pets’ stress as owners return to in-person work  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Bojangles - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Bojangles - 47abc  WMDT

Woman Adopts Grandparents' Grumpy Cat | The Dodo Cat Crazy - The Courier-Express
Woman Adopts Grandparents' Grumpy Cat | The Dodo Cat Crazy  The Courier-Express

Meet our pets of the week: An Akita mix, a hound mix and a pig - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: An Akita mix, a hound mix and a pig  STLtoday.com

Dogs rescued from fire at Florida pet clinic then die from being left in hot car - Fox 59
Dogs rescued from fire at Florida pet clinic then die from being left in hot car  Fox 59

Rocklin Considers Mandating Pet Owners Pick Up Waste - CBS Sacramento
Rocklin Considers Mandating Pet Owners Pick Up Waste  CBS Sacramento

KC Pet Project volunteer goes viral on TikTok after video with nervous Chihuahua - KMBC Kansas City
KC Pet Project volunteer goes viral on TikTok after video with nervous Chihuahua  KMBC Kansas City

Atlanta Mutual Aid Community Fridge Organization Free99Fridge Gives Away Free Pet Food, Plus Decatur Italian … - Eater Atlanta
Atlanta Mutual Aid Community Fridge Organization Free99Fridge Gives Away Free Pet Food, Plus Decatur Italian …  Eater Atlanta

Pets of the week: Roswell is no mystery. Daisy is sweet and shy - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Roswell is no mystery. Daisy is sweet and shy  MLive.com

Arlington Pet of the Week: Fetch - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Fetch  ARLnow

‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Unveils All-Star Voice Cast with Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, Kate McKinnon and More - Hollywood Reporter
‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Unveils All-Star Voice Cast with Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, Kate McKinnon and More  Hollywood Reporter

Duchess of Cambridge reveals they're keeping chickens as pets - which they hatched from eggs - Yahoo News
Duchess of Cambridge reveals they're keeping chickens as pets - which they hatched from eggs  Yahoo News

How To Help Your Pandemic Pets With Separation Anxiety - LAist
How To Help Your Pandemic Pets With Separation Anxiety  LAist

Furry good news: More pets can now fly in cabin on overseas PCS flights - Military Times
Furry good news: More pets can now fly in cabin on overseas PCS flights  Military Times

Pet of the Week: Ethan - County 17
Pet of the Week: Ethan  County 17

Boardman police: Loose dogs attack resident, several pets in the township - WKBN.com
Boardman police: Loose dogs attack resident, several pets in the township  WKBN.com

Cleveland APL Pet of the Weekend: Walker, an 86-pound gentle giant - News 5 Cleveland
Cleveland APL Pet of the Weekend: Walker, an 86-pound gentle giant  News 5 Cleveland

Pets of the Week | Pets | timesnews.net - Kingsport Times News
Pets of the Week | Pets | timesnews.net  Kingsport Times News

Pet of the Weekend: Tyson - FOX 7 Austin
Pet of the Weekend: Tyson  FOX 7 Austin

How to help pets with separation anxiety when it’s time to return to the office - WTOP
How to help pets with separation anxiety when it’s time to return to the office  WTOP

PET OF THE WEEK: 'Laid back' Sandy seeks a forever home - Gadsden Times
PET OF THE WEEK: 'Laid back' Sandy seeks a forever home  Gadsden Times

Pet of the Week | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News
Pet of the Week | News, Sports, Jobs  Maui News

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (6/9/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (6/9/21)  ABC15 Arizona

San Francisco SPCA shares tips for relieving your pet's stress and anxiety - KGO-TV
San Francisco SPCA shares tips for relieving your pet's stress and anxiety  KGO-TV

Did you know you can shop for Shelter Pets on Amazon? - Dog of the Day
Did you know you can shop for Shelter Pets on Amazon?  Dog of the Day

Make Nutrition a Priority for Your Pet | Lifestyle | islandernews.com - Islander News.com
Make Nutrition a Priority for Your Pet | Lifestyle | islandernews.com  Islander News.com

Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Duke - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Duke  WATE 6 On Your Side

Pets of the Week at Burke County Animal Services - Morganton News Herald
Pets of the Week at Burke County Animal Services  Morganton News Herald

Biden Administration Shutters Trump Pet Project Linking Immigrants and Crime – Mother Jones - Mother Jones
Biden Administration Shutters Trump Pet Project Linking Immigrants and Crime – Mother Jones  Mother Jones

PetSmart Launches New Brand Platform Celebrating The Pet Lover In Us All - PRNewswire
PetSmart Launches New Brand Platform Celebrating The Pet Lover In Us All  PRNewswire

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