Decoding pet food ingredients is a chore. Many label requirements according to industry and federal guidelines do not lead to clear information for the consumer and in fact manufacturers can and do deliberately obscure the label ingredients.
Ingredients are listed in input order by weight on the label, as in human food, however did you know that ingredient splitting is allowed in pet food? For example, consider the ingredient, peas. Peas are not bad. However, in lower end foods, if you add all the: peas, pea flour, pea protein and pea fiber together you suddenly have an overwheliming amount of pea ingredient by weight. On top of that add all the lentils and other legumes and you end up with a highly plant based protein source, not meat.
So what do you do?
Look at the 1st 5 ingredients for the heavyweights. If blueberries are the 15th ingredient they probably contribute little. Further look at the: protein level, fat level, calorie count and feeding guideline. All are required to meet minimum daily requirements set by AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, if it says it meets AAFCO standards on the bag/box/can. If the feeding guideline indicates fewer calories per cup and more cups per day required, you can pretty safely assume there is more "filler" in the recipe. And you get more poop (with more filler).
And, there's more. Did you know "natural flavor" is ususally code for monosodium glutamate? The murkiness goes on and on.
Confused about pet food ingredients and feeding your pet with quality foods that meet your lifestyle and budget? See us at Pets Pets Pets.
Healthy happy pets & pet parents!