How to read a dog or cat food label

How to read a dog or cat food label

  • look at the ingredients list and make sure the ingredients are REAL food- chicken instead of chicken by product meal, chicken fat instead of animal fat
  • the ingredients at the bottom of the list are usually big words that may not seem familiar- these are generally vitamins and minerals and are in every bag of dog food
  • ingredients are listed according to how much weight they contribute to the food so the first 5 ingredients make up the bulk of the food
  • meat products should be named chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, beef, pork, or rabbit and should not be chicken meat or beef meat.  Beef or chicken meat can contain much more than just muscle meat
  • chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, beef, or pork should be listed as the first ingredient
  • in the guaranteed analysis section, the protein level should be over 20, but for most dogs and especially cats, the protein level should be closer to 30.
  •  look for a manufacture date or a best buy date and find the freshest bag to feed your pet
  • and lastly remember that you get what you pay for! A 40# bag of dog food for $20 will cost you more in veterinary bills in the long run than you will ever save on the dog food

Do you have any questions about your pet’s health, care, or behavior? Please contact us, your Merrillville vet clinic, anytime!

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