Head Tilting Over “Guaranteed Analysis?”

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Science isn’t for everyone, especially when reading buzz words like “guaranteed analysis” on a dog food label. Just what in the heck is all that mumbo-jumbo about?

If you are not in the nutrition field, understanding phrases like “guaranteed analysis” can be difficult without proper education. Never fear  –  there are a few key steps you, the pet owner, can take in order to expand your intelligence and understand the content within the labels.

“Guaranteed analysis” is broken down into charts in order to provide the consumer with basic nutritional values, as well as the guaranteed percentage of key nutrients. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Associate (CVMA) established that, legally, manufacturers must provide at least the minimum crude amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and water.

However, “guaranteed analysis” short-changes owners on certain factors in dog food, such as digestibility and absorption. It is your responsibility as the sole provider for your pet to examine the overall nutritional value of your pet food choice. Any questions should always be addressed with a local veterinarian, pet nutritionist, or other trusted animal health expert.

When examining the label on your pet’s food, be on the look out for the following:

  • Mineral content: Some of the best and essential nutrients for your dog include calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and linoleic acid.
  • Wet and dry matters: Take into consideration the weight of food before it is processed; if meat is the number one ingredient and grain is number two, be warned that meat has the potential to shrink nearly one-fourth of its original state, which allows grain to become the more prominent ingredient.
  • Minimal requirements of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and water: Ensure that the food you choose meets the minimum requirements for your pup’s nutritional intake.
  • Ingredient list: The obvious and most important factor of any dog food search, this helps owners determine which products are digestible and will be absorbed into their pet’s bloodstream. Otherwise, if indigestible, the product is rendered useless to your pooch’s nutrition and is excreted as waste.

The learning process of owning a dog is never ending, so don’t feel bad if you aren’t up to par on “guaranteed analysis” thus far in your months, years, or even days as an owner. Becoming a more active and forward thinking pet parent by educating yourself can only enhance your and your pet’s experience.

Being mindful of your doggie’s dietary requirements can only extend their health and happiness with you and with life itself.

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