ANVC's Nutrition Library
Choosing Your Pet Food
What does the Label tell you?
Many brands sold in retail stores offer "all life stages" products that are not tailored with the key nutrient requirements of different ages. Protein, calcium and sodium for example are nutrients that have varying requirements in different life stages. If a diet is labeled in a manor that states it is good for "all life stages" this means the diet is tailored for a puppy or kitten - when the pet's diet requirements are at their most essential to optimize growth. Check the bag for the "AAFCO Statement". This indicates whether the food has been tested (indicates Animal Feeding tests) or is just formulated (no feeding or digestibility trials have been done) and for what life stage it is approved for.
Excess amounts of nutrients such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, or phosphorus can be dangerous to your pets' health. Screening should be done by the pet food company to avoid nutrient excess. The Crude Analysis on the bag only indicates the minimum or maximum of the nutrients, it does not tell the actual which may be much higher or lower than indicated. It also does not tell you the source of the nutrients.
Pet foods should be carefully researched by the manufacturing company and independent research facilities to ensure the product is of the highest quality and will best suit the needs of your pets' based on age, lifestyle or condition. Our Veterinary Team will recommend a food that has research backing its claims.
Manufacturing policies vary by company. Inspections should be done by independent certified authorities of a pet foods' manufacturing facilities.
Dog and Cat Food Standards by AAFCO
(AAFCO - Association of American Feed Control Officials)
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